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Production Management for abas ERP

CAD Integration

Countless organizations depend on CAD data and drawings as the foundation of their product designs, but many ERP software packages don’t integrate well with CAD systems. abas bridges this gap through an API-based CAD integration add-on that works with leading CAD software suites, including SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor.

abas ERP’s solution enables businesses to deliver build material data directly between the CAD and ERP systems in just a few clicks, making it easy to keep products up to date based on constantly changing design drawings.

The underlying technology that drives CAD integration

Field mapping functionality is at the core of the abas CAD integration platform. At its simplest, field mapping is a tool that lets organizations establish logical conditions for different values within the system. For example, if a CAD build template does not have the correct number of columns relative to the product detail in the ERP system, the field mapping solution will flag the issue to ensure the problem gets resolved. This simple capability extends out to many essential core functions. These include:

  • Creating flexible templates: Each engineer can create build material templates that ensure smooth integration between the CAD and ERP systems. This allows your team members to quickly create and adjust templates within the CAD system and map out relevant fields for the ERP setup. These parameters are stored locally on the user’s machine, but can easily be moved to other workstations by copying an .xml file any way that works for the user – Dropbox, Flash drive, Samba share, etc. This results in a great deal of freedom for customization while still providing smooth integration that streamlines operations. With flexible field mapping definitions in hand, engineers get complete freedom to build their CAD drawings as needed without sacrificing functionality within the ERP system
  • Simplifying interoperability: abas’ field mapping system allows you to establish columns and similar fields within your build materials framework to ensure the right data ends up in the right place. As your engineers create varied templates for their build materials lists, the field mapping utility ensures that the ERP platform is able to match those templates and collect data from the CAD software correctly
  • Streamlining customization: The field mapping tool allows engineers to create custom bill of material/BOM/production lists and match them with existing field mappings in which the configuration makes sense. The result is a much simpler environment for build material list customization. You can also leverage partial transfer functionality when you just need to take some build materials from the CAD list to the ERP system. As each upload process takes place, the build materials to be transferred between software platforms are put in a chart with checklists showing they will be moved. All you need to do is uncheck a few boxes and you can create a custom list of build materials
  • Working with preconfigured data: There are many products that use the same data in numerous instances, but that information is not needed as part of the design. The result is a situation in which users must enter that data manually in both the ERP system and the CAD platform to ensure it transitions with a build material list during the integration process. Our field mapping tool allows users to establish preconfigured data sets to ensure that information gets to the right place and users don’t need to waste time entering data.

What CAD integration looks like for the end user

Field mapping is a critical, complex process that is foundational to CAD integration. abas works hard to make sure our clients are able to take full advantage of this functionality by ensuring the platform is incredibly simple. Once engineers have designed a product, they only need three clicks to get the job done: One click of the mouse to open the integration platform, another to initiate the transfer, and a third to access the build material list in abas ERP and ensure it is updated.abas’ CAD integration platform also simplifies the process of making changes to drawings, as it automatically updates everything from product master documents to work and sales orders with the right information. Existing orders, on the other hand, hold true to the previous design, but you can manually adjust that in instances when you need to make an exception.

Making business easy

Engineers play an integral role in maintaining ongoing innovation for an organization. Their ability to adjust product designs quickly and efficiently plays an essential role in updating your offerings in light of changing market demands. You don’t need limitations in data integration to come between your company and a blistering pace for innovation. If your people can keep your business ahead, your software shouldn’t hold them back. abas ERP’s CAD integration platform is designed to help your people achieve at their greatest potential by simplifying and streamlining data sharing between disparate CAD and ERP systems.

Production Module

Rising costs, raw material shortages, increasingly more complex manufacturing processes and customers’ higher quality requirements make flexibility a key requirement in production and production planning. Regardless of how your production is structured – discrete or process-oriented, custom, series or mass manufacturing – abas ERP provides the tools your team needs in order to plan resources and deadlines and monitor production processes. End-to-end transparency means that you can adapt quickly to changing customer requirements. abas ERP helps you manage your entire production processes, from planning, work preparation and release through to confirmation of the times and quantities required. Clearly displayed dates, materials and capacities ensure you see the detail you need, giving you the freedom to intervene where necessary. Efficient processes along the value-added chain support employees and ensure lean production.

abas ERP supports the following production processes:
  • Make-to-order production
  • Small series production
  • Series production
  • Mass production

The system accesses the data pool created in the master data.

Production overview

Production overview provides you with a role-based overview of all allocated activities – including due dates as well as the material and capacity situation. You can analyze your activities over a specific period and click to toggle to different applications to perform additional actions, such as processing active work orders and work order suggestions, completion confirmations, amendments to production lists or machine loading and scheduling.

Automatic work order suggestions

For many manufacturing companies, it is imperative that their ERP system automatically generates work order suggestions from new or existing BOMs, which includes checking on whether the required products, raw materials, employee and machine capacities are available. In abas, materials planning and date scheduling automatically generate work order suggestions. Machine loading and scheduling can be manually displayed, edited or released for production. You can adjust the calculated start and due dates as well as reduce or increase quantities. Splitting the quantities suggested by the system over individual sales orders with different due dates is also an option. 

  • Automate production processes: abas ERP identifies requirements and automatically generates work order suggestions, which include the quantity to be produced and the required completion date
  • Simplification of work: With abas, your production department has access to an overview of all open work order suggestions. Here, you can easily convert individual or multiple suggestions into work orders
  • Faster processing guaranteed: The direct conversion of work order suggestions into work orders saves time and avoids errors caused through duplicate data entry
  • Keep stocks at a certain level: This feature allows you to define minimum stock levels for all products in order to generate automatic work order suggestions when the inventory in stock falls below a certain level

From work order suggestion to work order

Releasing a work order suggestion creates work orders, work slips, job tickets and pull lists. Then, an availability check of the required materials is run automatically. Required materials that are not in stock are displayed in the missing parts list. At any time, released work orders can be moved to different dates or their content can be changed, and the system displays the work order’s processing status. The procurement status info system provides you with information about parts currently being procured.

Plan external processing: extended workbench/external production

In the standard order production list you can plan work steps that need to be processed externally. Scheduling then provides information about the currently required level of external services.

External production processes:

  • Requesting/ordering of external processing or production
  • Distribution of semi-finished products/provided parts to the subcontractor via packing slip
  • Stock monitoring in subcontractor’s consignment warehouse
  • Receipt postings of processed parts through a goods receipt slip with completion confirmation to production
  • Entry of subcontracting costs from receipt invoice and inclusion in the final costing

Distinction between series parts and prototypes

A prototype is often produced before a product goes into series production. The costs incurred for the production of prototypes are often much higher than for the subsequent series models, as the efficient production capabilities of series production are not yet available. With project-related manufacturing in abas ERP, you can distinguish between normal series production and the production of prototypes and pilot series.

Variant management

Variant and custom manufacturers need special production structures for specific orders or product variants. You can map these easily in the abas ERP software by maintaining standard, alternative or supplementary product structures.

This enables you to efficiently plan a large number of different combinations and manage them in the product master, giving you an overview of the composition of a product at all times.

  • Adjustments during ongoing processes: You can modify parts of the order-related Bill of Materials (BOM) or operations in the sales order-related task list, even if the production process has already begun. In this way you can, for example, adapt BOMs for quotations or orders and reliably calculate delivery times and costs
  • Flexible planning: Each product can have alternative BOMs. This means that you can easily reschedule in the event of material shortages or machine bottlenecks, production lists can be gradually refined and variants can quickly be created
  • Prevent / control bottlenecks: Alternative BOMs help you confidently manage bottlenecks. You can quickly change the operations for a product, optimize the production batch size by using alternative equipment, or release capacities for other processes
  • Time-based variants: Assign a validity period or expiration date to BOMs in order to seamlessly coordinate variants chronologically
  • Faster processes: Start your production with components and parts already available while other parts are still being finished, parts with long delivery times are being procured or the design process is still in progress

Order/project-related production list

You can map special production structures to a specific order by changing the BOM and task list for the specific order. Single parts, assemblies, materials or operations in the production list can be deleted, replaced, modified or added while the production process is in progress.

Growing project-related production list

An important requirement for make-to-order manufacturing is to be able to schedule project materials in the right quantity and for the right dates, even though the BOM is not complete at the time production begins. abas ERP supports this process. You maintain the BOMs and task lists, also known as production lists, in parallel with design. Based on the growing production list, you can procure parts and produce the modules before the machine or plant has been fully constructed. The production list grows with each component released by the production department until the production list is complete at the end. Single parts, assemblies and materials can always be uniquely assigned to projects.

Editable order production list

The editable order production list allows order-related changes to any level of a production list. In the case of material and machine bottlenecks, rescheduling is simple; more details can be added to production lists gradually, and variants are quickly created. The overview of a product structure is always available. Info systems within abas ERP help your engineers and production planners review and maintain complex multi-level BOM structures.

Combined production

Combined production describes the simultaneous manufacturing of multiple different products in a single production process. The products are posted as a stock receipt and can then be used internally and sold. Combined products are entered in the production list with a negative quantity. You can use this both in the neutral production lists of the product master and the currently scheduled order production lists. The combined products will be taken into account when the BOM entries are created — manually or automatically by production — and will be posted as stock receipts.

The costs of the combined products are simultaneously taken into account in the final costing of the work order, reducing the material costs of the manufactured main product. The costs of the combined products are also deducted from the material costs of the main product in the preliminary costing. Scheduling treats combined products in the production lists as planned receipts.Available capacities are loaded with the planned/target figures for the work order suggestions and work orders.

Work order completion confirmations

If work orders are processed completely or partially in production, the finished products can be automatically posted to inventory through completion confirmations, freeing up machine capacity. The raw materials required for production, and their associated costs, are issued to Work in Process (WIP) and will be applied to the finished goods. You can create a completion confirmation using a workstation, or a connected scanner, mobile device or radio frequency identification (RFID).

You can also generate completion confirmations automatically. For example, materials that have operations allocated to them in the structure, or materials that are connected with the operation Prepare material,” are automatically debited. The automated completion confirmations can also be linked to any other point in time or event. A defined completion confirmation result can, for example, create a mandatory entry in the warehouse.

Production reports

Comprehensive production reports are essential to give you an overview of the performance and profitability of your company. Enable your team to return relevant data about completed or suspended processes.

You can use this data to assess the efficiency of your company and develop effective growth strategies.

  • Actual quantities: Your employees in production can easily change the quantities in the standard production list to record the materials actually used and update the available stocks
  • Exact costs: Reported scrap and processing times can be evaluated and used for capacity planning, which allows the accounting department to calculate the exact costs
  • Comprehensive overview: With reports and evaluations, you and your production staff can track current activities and forward valuable status information from production to your sales and customer service teams
  • Report operating faults: Faults such as technical defects in machines or material bottlenecks can be reported. This allows inefficient processes to be identified and appropriate countermeasures to be taken
  • Valuable insights: Maintain an overview of and report on production-related key performance indicators, such as material consumption, operating costs, downtime, scrap quantities, etc

Project Cost Accounting Module

Cost management is one of the fields involved in project management. The project costs are estimated and planned in the form of a budget as part of project planning. Budget compliance is monitored throughout the project. Project cost accounting is required for budget compliance, as it provides necessary information about costs incurred, cost trends and possible causes of costs incurred in all phases of a project. Project cost accounting in abas ERP can also be used without activating project management to provide further evaluation for accounting.

Project-Related Value Flow

If project cost accounting is activated, the entire material and value flow can be processed in a project-related way. The project reference information can be transferred from the part of the process that initiated the requirement to the part that fulfills that requirement. This includes all levels of the procurement through to the storage quantity. The connection to valuation ensures the project-related value flow and the posting of the material/production costs transfer the value flow to accounting.

Project Cost Types

With the use of project cost types, which can be used for P&L as well as for balance sheet accounts, consolidation structures are created in the entries at the intersection of the project, cost type and entry amount. These are the basis for possible project-related evaluations. The project structure, e.g. to map main and sub projects, also enables evaluations on different consolidation levels.

Project Management Module

Keeping track of resources, budgets and milestones for multiple projects across various departments can be a challenge. However, with effective management tools that help you and your team improve the planning and coordination across all project phases, you can stay in full control of your projects. By grouping together and visualizing relevant data, your company can optimize the outcomes of department-wide, company-wide and even international projects, ensuring that customer expectations are met on time and on budget. Project management is seamlessly integrated with CRM/sales, production, purchasing, materials management and cost accounting, and also offers flexible project costing and reliable document management for your project files. It is designed to be implemented throughout the entire company, facilitating the involvement of all key departments in the project management process. Project management accompanies all key processes of the company, from sales and purchasing to controlling. Its integration with the production process in particular represents significant added value for mechanical engineering firms and one-off production companies. Extensive evaluation options permit a comprehensive project status overview.

Project management for small workgroups and midsize organizations

Project management is suitable for small work groups, as well as mapping development projects and transition projects for moving from prototyping to production. The graphical project and resource planning system supports project-related capacity evaluation. All project-related costs are automatically allocated to the corresponding cost objects, facilitating detailed cost control at all times.

The project management tool is particularly beneficial to midsize and large midsize businesses because it can map complex work processes based on hours, as well as extensive costings based on service directories such as project plan creation. Project management integrates all project processing steps from the administration of service directories and preliminary costings to project planning and invoicing. Furthermore, the project management tool features fully integrated change order management and an advanced authorization system.

Map processes realistically

The project management system enables a project-oriented approach in all areas of a company, and is aimed at users with internal projects, mechanical engineering firms, one-off production companies and engineering service providers. The tool supports key processes including order processing, procurement and production processes, and accounting. Project management is also intended for users with customer projects as well as service providers that invoice on a performance basis. It offers tailor-made, user-oriented solutions for realistic process mapping.

Project management supports both conventional single-project planning, where project managers plan for their assigned team, and more complex multi-project planning, where planning for all available resources has to be coordinated between the project manager and one or more resource managers.

Plan and assess projects efficiently

The project file collects all of the important information about a project and displays it in chart form in a single view, keeping you up to date with the latest developments at all times. You can see where costs are overrunning, or where progress does not match the hours spent. Project planning takes production and assembly into account. abas ERP supports you by offering flexible project costing. This gives you the benefit of project and cost analysis information in one simple step.

The project center: where all the data converge

The project center is your central cockpit. From here, you can perform a wide variety of activities, such as project planning, purchase, cost and hour-based evaluations, project-related purchasing and project closing.

Detailed project planning

With the help of detailed project planning, you can also depict complex relationships within a project schedule over any structural depth. Project activities can be scheduled as required. Relationships within the project plan can be mapped and monitored through the presentation of predecessor-successor relationships.

Calculation functions support project rescheduling that occurs from postponements. You can use filters to create an individual project view. Special zoom functions help you see the big picture even for complex projects. The project planner also supports you by offering the option of displaying single or multiple projects.You can use the project planner to monitor order and production processes as well as activities in service processing or partial projects.

Plan resources efficiently

The resource planner balances available staff capacity with the capacity demand arising from projects. It calculates availability for each member of staff, including employees and external personnel, based on the assigned shift plan minus public holidays and other deductions. Capacity demand is calculated from your project activities and tasks. You can identify and assess the capacity utilization of staff members or project teams at a glance, providing the perfect basis for sound budget decisions. You can distribute the workload manually or automatically by the system on the basis of predefined distribution curves.

Flexible terms and conditions

You have access to flexible, multi-level terms and conditions models for prices, discounts, promotions, costing diagrams and costing versions.

Flexible project costing

Preliminary, concurrent and final costing: With accurate costing and ongoing comparisons of the preliminary and final costing, you always know whether you are working according to plan, and can react quickly should a discrepancy arise.

Preliminary project costing

The preliminary project costing can be created based on a freely definable structure. Using cost components, you can specify the services and modules to be calculated in detail. A cover page enables a quick calculation of the profit margin.

Customer and project file

The customer and project file provides extensive information about a customer or project – sales, outstanding items, open activities and tasks, notes, archived documents from the document management system, service equipment and ongoing service activities – in an easily accessible comprehensive overview.

Creating project templates including check lists

abas allows you to create any type of project your business requires and provides project templates to make it easier.

Project status

Extensive evaluation options allow for a fully comprehensive project overview with project status and variances clearly displayed. A key feature is the cost overview from all areas associated with the project, including project performance, purchasing/materials, and production.

Key figures and evaluations

abas PM offers a wide range of key figures, evaluations and statistics to support your business. These include hours-based analysis, ABC analysis of customers and service categories according to sales revenue/profit margin (dependent on customer, industry, area of application), and analysis of key service efficiency figures.

Perfectly planned: Actual, target/actual, analysis, trend, simulation

What was planned? Where are we now? How will the result develop?

abas ERP offers the following tools to support planning:
  • Project planning taking into account production and assembly
  • Accessible and reliable cost allocation for the project (from quotation to final calculation)
  • Freely definable project views according to cost types (cost accounting) or service types (final project costing)
  • Comprehensive evaluation of the liquidity and earnings situation, from variance analysis to receipt level
  • Flexible project costing
  • Flexible costing structures for preliminary, concurrent and final costing, with access to purchasing, production and inventory valuation
  • Comparative costing of the supply chain (especially for remote locations)
  • Accurate product and project valuation that takes into account material, external, production and assembly costs and the external costs of procurement or the services used
  • Versioning and adaptation of preliminary/concurrent costing to current project progress (progress calculation)
  • Incorporation of project requirements and planned values within liquidity planning
  • Timely invoice monitoring
  • Receivables management with access to all project information

Change order management

With the integrated change order management, you can map out the key aspects of a change order to avoid any sales revenue losses that may follow.

In change order management, individual progress reports can be marked by the processor as potentially eligible for a change order. This marking can be used in the creation of change order requests. The next escalation level of a change order requirement enables you to group a change order. All objects of change order management allow you to link to corresponding items in the service directories and order items. All activities are documented with a project and project activity reference. The integration with the sales process makes it possible to monitor sales orders resulting from a change order request or requirement. The change order overview info system groups all of the information about the management of change orders based on a reference date.

Change order management also offers functions for recording project hours, both web-based and offline.

Time Recording / Job Time Module

The integrated time recording / job time management in abas ERP allows for a quick return of completion confirmations. Interfaces with external attendance time recording interfaces transfer working hours, break times and shifts to abas ERP, making this information available for statistical analysis, capacity planning or financing.

Time recording at a glance
  • Recording of time and labor data
  • Recording order times
  • Freely definable shift schedules and daily schedules
  • Automatic shift allocation
  • Automatic end of job
  • Time data archive
  • Time recording via mobile devices and terminal
  • Interface to external time and labor data recording systems
Standard lists and evaluations
  • Attendance and absence lis
  • Time record, time stamps lis
  • List of order times according to various criteria

abas Shop Floor offers both attendance time recording (ATR) and plant data collection (PDC) via scanner and tablet or touch terminal. The application is optimized specifically for industrial devices.

Work Order Management Module

The concise, easy-to-use work order management tools in abas ERP make it easy for you to schedule and release work orders based on your business’ specific priorities. For example, if you’re operating in a make-to-order manufacturing environment, you might schedule and prioritize work orders based on your customers’ sales orders and real customer demand, whereas businesses in make-to-stock environments might prefer to manage work orders based on minimum required stock or potential cost savings based on batching or higher run quantities.

Making these types of adjustments, as well as updating due dates or even changing raw materials based on supply or cost, is simple using abas’ production dashboard. And with the addition of the planning / scheduling tool, Simcron, you can see all of your work orders in a graphical layout, making it easy for your shop floor team to know what they need to do on a day-by-day or even hour-by-hour basis.

Central management of production processes

In abas ERP, the production center is the hub – the place where you can view all work order suggestions and work orders, modify them and trigger actions:

  • Select work order suggestions according to various criteria
  • Show/hide the single-level production list for any work order suggestion
  • Release work order suggestions
  • Print shop floor papers
  • Post material withdrawals
  • Receive completion confirmations for work orders and/or work slips
  • Toggle to the procurement status and plan chart info systems

Capacity planning

For capacity planning, you can change both sales order and operation dates. The effects of the date amendment are displayed in a table or as a graphic, and the system allows you to drill down into the displays. The visualization of capacity bottlenecks and capacity load are also possible.

Bottleneck analysis

The bottleneck analysis offers information about problems in production, and analyzes the production load. abas displays all bottlenecks in a production plant for a selected period, and by drilling down, you can analyze a bottleneck in detail.

Moving processes

You can change the dates of work orders, operations and processes in abas ERP. Scheduling will take the changes into account, and they can be displayed immediately.

Cancellation of planned capacities

Completion confirmations allow scheduled capacities — usually time or quantity units — to be canceled.

Capacity changes

The theoretically usable and available capacity, defined in the master data of a capacity group and referring to specific time cycles, can be temporarily changed. You can specify excess or shortfall capacities, and your changes are included in the scheduling calculation.

Outstanding backlog

Operations that should be, but are not, processed by a specific time are displayed in the capacity view as an outstanding backlog.

Simcron APS as part of your work order management

  • Prioritize work and purchase orders based on sales order forecast, minimum stock, and other demands
  • Create an assortment of production schedules (daily, weekly, monthly, shift, etc.) based on available time and material for production
  • Generate printouts or other media of these schedules as needed
  • Develop graphical representations of production, material, work center, and custom schedules
  • Define KPI’s for critical planning scenarios
  • Define alternative resources to shift work and optimize your demand planning
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