At a Glance: Comparing Fishbowl and Reckon Accounts Enterprise Edition (Part 2: Manufacturing)

Last week we looked at Fishbowl inventory and manufacturing software and Reckon Accounts accounting software and their inventory abilities. Let’s continue looking at these two by comparing them both by going through their manufacturing features. This will throw the contrast between the two solutions into even greater relief than before because Fishbowl really shines in this area and brings a lot of tools to the table that can really help out manufacturers.

We will cover nine features involving work orders, manufacture orders, bill of materials, and other manufacturing aspects of these two software solutions. All these features are found in the Fishbowl Manufacturing software, and also include all the features that are found in  the Fishbowl Warehouse version. To determine which version is suited to your business’ needs contact the Fishbowl office toll-free on 1300 785 755 in Australia or 0800 785 755 in New Zealand and speak with Kylie.

comparing Fishbowl and Reckon Accounts manufacturing features

Advanced Work Orders

Fishbowl: Work orders in Fishbowl Manufacturing can be used for assembly, disassembly, reverse, service, and repair work orders.

Reckon Accounts: There are no advanced work orders in Reckon Accounts for these types of jobs.

Custom Work Orders

Fishbowl: Create custom work orders from the Sales Order module in Fishbowl Manufacturing to quickly generate sales quotes and orders.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Assigning Users to Work Orders

Fishbowl: Administrators can assign specific users to work orders to establish their responsibility for them.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Production Stages

Fishbowl: Lot numbers can be tracked in great detail, drilling into subassemblies and production stages.

Reckon Accounts: Only single level assemblies can be created.

Manufacture Orders

Fishbowl: The Manufacture Order module makes it possible to set up sub-assemblies and production stages in a bill of materials and link them all together.

Reckon Accounts: You can just do simple assembly jobs, so you’ll need to create several of them to have the same effect.

Auto Manufacture Orders

Fishbowl: Automatically generate new manufacture orders with items found in the appropriate bill of materials.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Auto Manufacture Order to Prevent Stockouts

Fishbowl: When finished products get too low in your inventory, they can trigger Fishbowl Manufacturing to automatically generate manufacture orders to make more.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Custom Bill of Materials

Fishbowl: You can customise bills of materials by setting up option groups and variable quantities to save time and make price adjustments.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

One-Time-Use Items

Fishbowl: In a bill of materials, you can add one-time-use items which allows for more accurate costing with economy of scale production.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Next: Modules and Plugins

Come back next week for Part 3 to see a comparison of Fishbowl’s modules and plugins to Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

This post was originally written by Robert Lockard at Fishbowl in the US and has been edited to suit Australian and New Zealand audiences.

Save 20% on Fishbowl until December 31st.

save 20% on Fishbowl inventory software

Our gift to you this holiday season!

It is now even easier to take control of your inventory in 2017 with a massive 20% off Fishbowl Warehouse and Fishbowl Manufacturing. The Fishbowl range of products automate everyday warehouse processes, allowing you to set up stock reorder points, custom pricing rules for customers, and automatically create purchase orders, meaning you will never miss out on a sale again and avoid dreaded stock outs.

What If I have a manufacturing based workflow?

Don’t worry, Fishbowl can also help you take control of your manufacturing processes, with the ability to automate complex, multistage bills of materials with ease. Fishbowl does not stop at manufacturing however, with our vast range of integrations you can take orders from your website and have the sales order in Fishbowl, make sales on the road with Jobsync, and also have a complete barcode scanning solution at your fingertips with Fishbowl GO.

Get started today

Visit the pricing page and Call 1300 785 755 in Australia or 0800 785 755 in New Zealand to take control of your inventory today.

4 Ways to Maximise Your Warehouse Production

This post comes from Anita Oaks from the Fishbowl US team.

maximise warehouse production

For many companies, their success is tied directly to their efficiency or lack thereof. One of the things that determines whether or not a company is an efficiently run business is its warehouse production processes.

These processes can make the difference between a company making a healthy profit or going into the red. With that in mind, below are four ways to maximise your warehouse production processes.

1. Pay for Productivity

To create a productive production process, you are going to need productive employees above all else. While we would hope all employees would strive to be as productive as possible while on the clock, that is not always the case. While supervisors can keep a tab on workers’ productivity, it’s an even better idea to provide a strong incentive for them to work hard. That way, employees will try to be productive for a reason.

Incentive-based pay is a proven strategy for increasing warehouse productivity. A warehouse’s picking and packing procedures are a good place to start in regards to implementing incentivized pay. However, put some thought and strategy into your incentivized pay program. You don’t want to be paying extra for productivity you would have regardless.

There has also been a lot of research into gamifying business procedures to incentivise workers. This can include having a level system where workers may unlock special benefits like a paid lunch or longer lunch once a week.

2. Choose the Right Partners

Having an efficient warehouse production process does not happen in a vacuum. Many other firms outside of that company must be involved. You need suppliers, distributors and other contractors involved in the process to make sure you have what you need to create and ship your products. You need to be able to form lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with such companies to achieve peak efficiency.

If you, however, choose a supplier that has issues with quality control or timeliness of shipments, it can certainly throw a wrench into your entire production process. Make sure to work with the best firms but also make sure who you choose is cost effective for your operations. If one partner doesn’t work out, don’t be afraid to hire someone else. Even if you feel you are tied to a supplier, it does not hurt to get quotes or look outside your circle, especially if it is going to save you time and money.

3. Implement Customised Warehouse Software

Today, running a productive warehouse also means implementing the right technology. One of the most important pieces of warehouse tech you should deploy is a warehouse management software suite. Consider working with a company that can help you develop customised ERP software to meet your needs. If your warehouse supplies construction materials, for example, you may need features that address seasonal product procurement that don’t affect other industries.

Overall, having inventory software, including Fishbowl Warehouse or Fishbowl Manufacturing, should be designed around keeping track of inventory, orders, shipments, supplies and more. Such a system should be used to let management know exactly what you have on hand at all times and where it is located in the warehouse. When you run low on stock, the software should have the ability to automatically reorder stock to ensure that your production processes keep running smoothly without significant gaps.

4. Place a Strong Emphasis on Production Engineering

According to Forbes, lowering inventory to cover a business for three weeks as opposed to four can create savings as high as $65 million for certain companies. This is nothing to scoff at. However, making your warehouse production processes that much more efficient won’t happen on its own.

To make those kinds of savings a reality, you need to place a strong emphasis on production engineering to create warehouse processes that are that efficient. Amazon, for example, has become so advanced with its warehouse processes that many customer orders are now prepared by robot. While many companies can’t afford robotics, rethinking how your production process works with an eye towards improved efficiency and lower costs can certainly bear fruit for your company.

Efficiency is one of the keys to forming a competitive advantage as a business. Definitely obtain the tools you need to make your production processes more efficient. Don’t fear change, embrace it!

Tips for Making Your Manufacturing Easier to Process

Manufacturing companies need smooth production processes in order to optimize the labor, raw materials, and costs of their company. What follows are four tips that will make your manufacturing processes easy to handle and easier to manage.

Make manufacturing easier with Fishbowl

Create a Production Strategy

In order to maximize productivity, manufacturers should create and maintain a documented production strategy. Be aware that effective production strategies require staff, equipment, and materials planning to be streamlined and highly efficient. There are many advantages of using a production strategy. First, labor costs will be reduced by minimizing wasted time and maximizing process flows. Second, you inventory costs will be reduced because stock levels will be accurately maintained and forecasted by management. In the end, there will be better quality and timely delivery of products.

Risk Management

Risk management isn’t just reserved for financial or insurance companies. How manufacturers prepare and handle risks will directly impact business efficiency and success. Management should collectively forecast market expectation in order to accurately estimate potential sales and future revenue. Because sales forecasts are based on historical data, the company should track and trend sales and production processes. Planning inventory with supply chain managers will establish smooth product pipelines that can respond to sudden changes in market demand.

Human Resources

Most manufacturing managers focus on things like worker safety, product quality, and production timelines. However, human resources management can positively impact manufacturing processes in some instances. For example, if a customer suddenly places a high volume order, the company must have staff on hand who are already trained and familiar with production processes. Failure to adequately prepare staffing needs will result in employees being overworked, which reduces quality and increases accidents. This is why you might use a third-party service such as Molding Business Services recruiting agency for injection molders. This means you save money and find the best qualified people for a very specific job within the company.

Standard Operating Procedures

At the heart of a Quality Management System (QMS) are standard operating procedures (SOPs). Every manufacturing position must have documented steps that highlight how to safely and correctly perform work duties. SOPs reduce worker errors, increase product consistency, and increase customer satisfaction. Creating SOPs takes more than just simply observing and documenting work processes. Instead, management and employees can collaborate to agree upon the most effective and sensible work steps.

As a final note, management should concentrate on removing chronic production bottlenecks that restrict process flow and create waste. Potential solutions may involve labor, technology, procedural changes, and even engineering adjustments. Brainstorming meetings are ideal, but they must be focus on proactive and positive problem solving.

Making a Healthier Business – Bar Codes (Part 8)

This is part eight of our 10 part series looking at making a healthier business with Robert Lockard.

Over these last seven blog post we have looked at how inventory management tactics can help your business be more successful. Last week we talked about Pick, Pack, Ship, and now it’s time to address the important role that Bar codes play.
bar-code-inventory-management-software

Bar Codes, What Are They?

A bar code is a group of parallel lines that can be scanned by a machine in order to bring up information about a product. Bar codes also frequently have numbers under them to help with identification.

Types of Bar Codes:

UPC-A

The most common barcode used on products at most stores. It includes 12 digits

UPC-E

A shorter version of the UPC-A, which has only six digits

EAN-13

A 13-digit version of the UPC-A

RSS-14

A short barcode that doesn’t use any numbers

A Bar Code & It’s Purpose

Every bar code has a unique purpose. Some are used on small packages, some on big ones. Some can access extremely detailed information, such as 2-dimensional barcodes, while others are simpler, such as Interleaved 2 of 5. The point is, you should decide which bar code(s) to use based on what you want to use them for.

How to Print Bar codes

Before we think about using bar codes, we need to be able to generate and print them. Luckily, Fishbowl has the ability to print bar codes for many things, including parts, products, locations, and more. You can even print shipping labels right from Fishbowl’s interface, but that’s a whole other discussion.

Once you have bar codes for everything in your warehouse, you can use any number of bar code scanners or bar code tablets to make use of them. You can use bar codes to:

  •    Cycle count inventory
  •    Reorder products
  •    Check the status of orders
  •    Pick products off shelves for order fulfillment
  •    And many other things

How Bar Codes Help you

Bar codes help companies increase efficiency and solve many problems. For example, if you scan bar codes to reorder products instead of typing product numbers into a computer, you reduce the risk of errors and typos creeping in. And that’s just scraping the surface.

You can train as many employees as you like on how to use bar code scanners to receive shipments, order inventory, and much more. This lets your employees do more work in a shorter amount of time. If you want to keep track of all of the products in your warehouse(s), as well as the shipments coming in and going out, you need to use bar codes.

If you’d like to go back and read the seven previous parts of this series, here are the links:

Inventory Management
Cycle Counting
Supply Chain Management
Warehouse Management
Inventory Tracking
Software Integration
Pick Pack and Ship
We’ve only got two more to go until we reach the end of this particular series of blog posts. Come back next week when we’ll talk about: Multiple Locations.