by Nicholas Jackson, TrinSoft Senior Dynamics Consultant
TrinSoft exists to “provide value to organizations by using technology to solve business challenges…” This series of blog posts details some of the many customizations (often called extensions) TrinSoft has made to Business Central to fit our clients’ needs, solving simple and complex business challenges.
Companies in the plating, heat treating, and finishing industries operate on a different set of assumptions compared to many other industries. For example, materials received are not considered inventory as they have not been purchased, but still require tracking. Many ERP systems do not support this and would require a purchase order and receipt of inventory, not to mention manual steps to move an item through the production process. This is just one of the many challenges this industry faces trying to use standard ERP software.
TrinSoft has built an extension called PHTPlus built upon the Dynamics 365 Business Central platform. This robust extension provides numerous features specifically designed for those in the industry; many of which are not found in any other ERP.
Here are a few features of PHTPlus:
The backbone of the PHTPlus extension is the traveler. This is a custom document created upon release of a sales order. Travelers contain information such as piece count, number/type of container, status, item information, shipment and invoice records, and a detailed log of all actions taken for that traveler.
These travelers allow tracking of customers’ parts without taking ownership of them (also preventing any G/L transactions from being created). These parts can be received, processed, and shipped from travelers without complicated accounting setup.
Traveler Statuses and Actions
PHTPlus recognizes that each organization has a unique set of requirements for tracking the progress of their travelers as they proceed through each process. To support this, PHTPlus allows custom statuses to be configured by the user.
To manage the flow of these statuses, PHTPlus allows creation of user-defined actions based upon these statuses and the action the user wishes to take.
In the above example, if a traveler is in the “In Process” status, the user will be prompted to choose one of the three available actions: fail, inspect, or pass. Depending on the choice made, the traveler will automatically adjust status and log the action on the traveler.
To define the process a given traveler will take, PHTPlus uses routings. These are highly flexible processes that define the steps a given traveler will take through your line. Leveraging native BC capabilities, routing steps can be assigned to machine centers, given setup/run/wait times, assigned pictures, given quality measures, and much more.
A particularly powerful feature of PHTPlus is the ability to set pricing on each action taken, including a minimum amount regardless of piece count. This will automatically flow to the sales invoice, letting the system perform the complex pricing calculations.
Machine parameters can also be configured ahead of time, letting the values be defined at run time, requiring an integer value or an option from a pre-defined list.
Split and Merge Travelers
A single traveler may have hundreds if not thousands of units of a given item. However, during the processing of these units, some units may fail QC or require retreatment. To manage this, PHTPlus has the option to split travelers.
From the “Traveler Split” screen, the user has the option to split a given traveler into multiple travelers, automatically adjusting quantity, weight, container count, and skid count. Once split, these two travelers can perform separate tasks as needed.
If a traveler was accidentally split or needs to be rejoined back to the original traveler once reprocessed, a user can select multiple travelers and choose “Merge” to combine them back into one.
Native Customizable Reports
Out of the box, PHTPlus provides native reports for traveler summaries, container tags, traveler certifications, and shipment labels. These documents can be customized to fit an organization’s needs or used out of the box. Also, thanks to custom TrinSoft software, any of these documents can be printed automatically on a local printer without user interaction, resolving the common issue of cloud-based software printing to local printers.
These are just a few of the dozens of features PHTPlus has to support the plating, heat treating, and finishing industries. Clients use these features daily to improve efficiency, increase margins, accurately track customer parts, and deliver high levels of service to their customers.
Are you in the plating, heat treating, or finishing industry and could benefit from these features? Are you in a similar industry that could benefit from these features? Contact TrinSoft today for a free consultation to see how PHTPlus can benefit your organization!