Stop the guess work - Bring order to your orders and drive quality into every aspect of your manufacturing operation with Infor VISUAL.

You'll be able to make more informed and confident decisions, solve problems faster, and position your company for growth.

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Before, we had to run out to the shop floor every time a customer called. Now, all we have to do is click on VISUAL to know instantaneously where a job is in production, who's working on it, and when the customer can expect delivery.

Joe Griffin, Jr President, Griffin Gear Company, Inc.

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Infor VISUAL questions answered

This is a collection of the questions we are asked most often relating to ERP and business software in general, as well as topics which are specific to Infor VISUAL.

You can click on a question below to reveal the answer.


What kind of industries is ERP VISUAL suitable for

Answer: Across the world, Infor VISUAL solutions are deployed in many different industries, and although not designed for a specific industry type, there are some which are more suitable and work straight out of the box with no requirement for program customization - Vanilla Style !.

  • Aerospace & Defence
  • Automotive
  • Metal Fabrication
  • Heavy Fabrication
  • High Tech & Electronics
  • Industrial Equipment & Machinery
  • Tool & Mould Making
  • Marine Engineering
  • Medical Device & Instrument
  • Oilfield & Gas Equipment
  • Repair and Maintenance
  • Specialty Vehicles

What's the difference between ERP VISUAL and VISUAL Jobshop

Answer: VISUAL Jobshop is a streamlined, lighter version of its larger brother ERP VISUAL, designed specifically to handle tasks for the smaller manufacturers. It contains rich functionality to help you manage operations from quoting to invoicing, but, unlike ERP VISUAL, it is not an end-to-en ERP package.

The most obvious difference between the two applications is that although VISUAL Jobshop has full job costing capabilities and uses an "actual costing only" design, it does not offer a seamlessly integrated financial package. Instead, VISUAL Jobshop exports its financial transactions to popular accounting packages. Applications such as QuickBooks, Peachtree Accounting, and Pastel Software perform Jobshop's accounts receivable, accounts payable, and general ledger duties.

Focused with the small job shop in mind, VISUAL Jobshop does not include a master production schedule, automated MRP/MPS, multi-warehousing, configuration, customer relationship management, patented concurrent scheduling of material availability, and other extensive functions found in ERP VISUAL.

Aren't all ERP Systems basically the Same

Answer: No, many developers claim that their software can be used in any kind of business, but the fact is that most systems were designed for a specific purpose and then modified to accommodate other business models.

You should choose the ERP system which most closely matches your business type, and which provides you with the functionality you need. You should also plan not just for today's needs but for your needs in 5 to 10 years time.

We are a small company, do we really need a System Administrator

Answer: In order to hook you in and get you to buy their solution, many vendors may lead you to believe that you don't require any internal staff to implement and maintain their software. But the truth is, that all but the very simplest systems will require at least one full time System Administrator, at least for the duration of the system implementation.

For many our VISUAL customer with 10 or less users, after implementation is completed, System Administration becomes a part time role for one or more of their staff.

If our software is hosted as a SAAS, will we still need any IT staff

Answer: It is a popular misconception that if your software is not hosted on your own server then you don't require any IT staff - this is almost always not true.

Probably 80% of a System Administrator's working time is taken up not physically maintaining or administrating the server's hardware, but providing help, guidance and front line support to the internal system users.

This user support will be necessary if the server is physically located in your office or somewhere else, and activities like providing user support, report customization and database management are still required no matter where it is hosted.

Unless you have someone on site who can immediately look over the shoulder of a user encountering some difficulty, and provide them with instant help, you will have to rely very heavily on the ASP's support team to remotely provide you with answers.

This will definitely add in a delay factor which will at minimum involve a phone call where the user will need to explain to the support consultant, the problem they are seeing and provide a test scenario for the support consultant to attempt to replicate the problem being encountered.

Who Implements the system

Answer: System implementation is jointly performed by a small core team of executive staff from your company (normally 5 or 6) and by one or more of our Business Consultants.

This joint effort combines the strengths and knowledge of your core implementation team who understand your business processes and unique company business policies, with our experienced Business Consultants who understand our software and how best to mould it to suit your business needs.

What is Annual Maintenance & why do we need it

Answer: Because of the inherent design of any software code, it is inevitable that under certain circumstances an application does not perform as planned or expected and that it will have to be fixed. In addition, software is ever evolving in terms of additional functionality and also due to changing technologies and methodologies.

This means for example that a software application you bought five years ago written in the latest technology at that time, would be obsolete today if it were not continually developed.

Annual Maintenance is an optional charge that you can subscribe to, which helps ensure that the software you bought originally is kept up to date, and that you also enjoy the new features and functionality which have been incorporated since the original version you purchased.

Should I customize the source code in order to get a good fit

Answer: Customization is never a one time affair, if you customize the application source code today to better match you business needs, then you will have to re-customize again every time the developer releases a program fix or new release.

This will inevitably result in additional costs and delays in you getting the latest software functionality and technology when they are released.

Try to choose the solution which out of the box will meet 80% of your business needs and try to compromise on the 20% non-fit requirements.

Has eCommerce now replaced ERP

Answer: No, eCommerce works on top of ERP it is not a replacement for ERP. eCommerce is quite simply another way of entering transactions directly eliminating the need for any additional human interaction. It allows transactions to be entered outside the four walls of your office, from anywhere in the world.

eCommerce is the front and back ends of the business management process but it is not the business execution part in the middle !.

eCommerce is currently of more advantage to high volume transaction businesses including internet retailers and distributors who potentially receive thousands of orders a day. It is however of less advantage to small and mid sized manufacturers who in contrast may receive very few daily orders !.

What are the costs involved in purchasing an ERP system

Answer: There are three primary capital investment costs and an recurring running cost or expense.

These three capital costs are:
  • Software License cost
  • Training & Implementation costs
  • Hardware costs
The percentage ratio between these costs may vary considerably from one system to another.

Optional software maintenance is a recurring cost fee normally payable annually in order to help prevent obsolescence of your ERP software.

What is the difference between MRP, MRPII and ERP

Answer: MRP is an acronym for Material Requirements Planning and is where it all started. It is a planning technique employed by most MRPII and ERP systems which creates want dates for all the items in a parent Bill Of Materials (BOM) based on a fixed manufacturing lead time for the parent part. It is particularly well suited to the make to stock business or where the top level parent part manufacturing lead time is relatively short.

MRPII however, is not just material planning, but a full suite of software applications designed to manage the entire manufacturing process including Inventory Control, Sales Management, Shop Floor Control, Purchasing etc.

ERP is the third generation of manufacturing software suites and unlike MRPII includes an option for Financial Management integrated to the manufacturing functions available in MRPII.

What is Supply Chain Management

Answer: Whereas MRPII and ERP are designed to manage the Financial and Manufacturing activities within the four walls of the company, SCM also looks outside the four walls managing and tracing the supply of materials from the raw material, through the manufacturing of components, the consolidated assembly, the distribution channels right through to the consumer.

Infor offer a full suite of Supply Chain Management options which will allow you to select the functionality you need to manage your supply chain.

Can we get any grants or funding to offset the purchase costs

Answer: We have many companies in Singapore whom we have helped to successfully apply for local computerization and productivity grants and can help you too.

We have some basic information on our Grants Page, or you can give us a call or alternatively get in touch via the online inquiry form and we will let you know how much and whether you are likely to qualify.

What if I have another question which is not listed here

Answer: Please give us a call on +65 6778.8002 or get in touch via the online contact form, there's no obligation and you can be assured that we don't employ high-pressure sales tactics.

Isn't ERP VISUAL just like all the other ERP systems

Answer: Not at all, unlike many of our competitor's ERP solutions which originated and were adapted from Accounting Systems, ERP VISUAL was originally designed as a Manufacturing Information and Control system, not an accounting system.

VISUAL is optimized for the order-driven manufacturing sector, including assemble to order, design to order, configure to order, repair to order or a mixed-mode environment where the manufacturer partially produces to stock.

Furthermore, VISUAL is highly intuitive, easy to learn and easy to maintain, that did not just happen by chance or as an afterthought, it was designed that way.

Is MRP/MPS the only Material Planning Option Available with ERP

Answer: Most ERP and MRPII systems use MRP planning which is well suited to high volume, repetitive manufacturers where the lead time is relatively short and where orders are often received as forecasts.

An alternative to MRP planning however is Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS) which is more suitable for the 'To Order' business sector, or where the parent part manufacturing lead time is relatively long.

Is CRP the same thing as Finite Capacity Planning

Answer: No, Finite Capacity Scheduling is much more powerful. It will plan the start and end dates for each operation in the manufacturing process according to a finite (limited) supply of resources (machines and manpower). If a particular resource is not available or is fully loaded, then Finite Scheduling will dynamically move the operation to a point in time when there is available capacity on that resource.

Capacity Requirements Planning and Infinite Capacity Planning simply tells you how much capacity you REQUIRE in order to meet your customer delivery dates. It will not however plan the jobs according to how much capacity you HAVE available.

Infor ERP Express supports Finite Capacity Planning, Capacity Requirements Planning, Infinite Capacity Planning and Advanced Planning and Scheduling as standard features in it's core system.

What is the difference between MRP/MPS and APS Planning

Answer: Basically, unlike MRP planning, APS (Advanced Planning & Scheduling) breaks the manufacturing process into distinct operations, and attaches the BOM to each individual operation, rather than attaching the entire BOM to the top level parent part as happens with MRP/MPS planning.. The operations and associated materials are then planned FINITELY according to the availability of Materials, Manpower and Machines.

VISUAL has employed APS as it's standard planning method since release 1.0 in 1992, 6 years before the acronym APS was even coined.
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