Sofon enables you to automatically load clean orders, augmented with scheduling information, into the ERP system, which provides you with information for production forecasts.
Sofon improves your order management processes by making the following processes smarter:
Manual order entry does not guarantee that orders will be entered into your ERP system error-free. Typos in the information transfer and differences in interpretation often cause problems, making your ERP system inefficient and leading to disruptions in production, overdue deliveries, and loss of your margin. In fact, the consequences can be even more serious. Upon delivery, your product might turn out not to meet the customer’s expectations, meaning that he can’t use it for the purpose for which he intended it. In that case, it’s back to the drawing board with the entire business case followed by a hefty claim for damages.
Sofon facilitates automated order entry. Approved orders will automatically be converted into order confirmations/contracts and loaded into the ERP system. All this means that whatever your sales people arrange with the customers, it will always match what goes into production one-to-one.
In fact, you can set up Sofon so that you can make adjustments to current orders that have already been automatically run through the ERP system. In that case, any changes to the price or delivery time will also be automatically adjusted.
It’s an extremely interesting option if you arrange orders of which the details only become apparent later and even if you supply customer-specific products with a long construction time. You can construct the foundations of the product in advance and offer your customers various choices of variable parts, right up to the last minute. This means that even if your product is complicated, you can offer your customers an extremely flexible service. You can even compile configurations for which you don’t have a buyer yet.
In your production preparation, everything must be 100% right; everything must be coordinated seamlessly to achieve a streamlined schedule and production. This can be a real challenge, particularly if a significant amount of your work is project-based. There are countless moments where it could all go wrong. Perhaps an adjustment isn’t implemented, something is overlooked, or a parts order is entered into the ERP too early – or too late. A single human error can have enormous consequences. Orders for parts might not be coordinated. The project is as good as ready, but you are left waiting for two months for a single part. Or materials arrive too early, are in the way every day and constitute expensive and unnecessary stocks, and as a result you make a loss on your stocks. And all because of one little mistake…. So human.
You can relieve your Production Preparation department of most of their workload. You see, planners can fill in and augment quotes with scheduling information. Quotes include spaces in which the planners can specify what parts are needed and when the parts should be ordered, so that there will be no more orders that are overdue or too early. Your planners won’t need to remember all the details anymore. All they will need to do is keep an eye on the connection between the schedule for parts and the projects. They can then transfer all of that information to the ERP system with just a click of a button.
Adjusting the buying of materials and production schedules to the demand in a very dynamic market can be quite challenging. Of course, you make forecasts, but they depend more on your historic experience and knowledge than on the current market situation. Because you have no idea how much work is coming your way, you regularly run into problems in production. Overdue orders of (essential) parts disrupt the plant and cause longer delivery times. In some cases, you can’t deliver for weeks or even months and there are considerable delays in projects, which makes your customers start to grumble. Expenses, dissatisfaction, claims for damages, and prospects who change their minds about doing business with you. If you maintain large stocks to avoid delivery problems, you risk incurring a loss. If you phase components in and out, you will often be left with large volumes of parts you can’t sell – yet more costs.
If you draw up your quotes using Sofon, you will be able to see how many outstanding quotes you have and their chances of becoming an order whenever you want. Using that information, you can continuously make forecasts about the materials and your production capacity. Then, you can adjust the buying of product parts to match the forecasts and anticipate how many machines and man hours you need. With that in mind, you can plan for new projects carefully, as well. This option is even more attractive if you work with critical, expensive components involving long delivery times. You can predict quite accurately how many of those components you will need, and in which period.
Sofon also helps you phase parts in and out, because you can compare the components in “promising quotes” with the amount you still have in stock, which enables you to plan when to transfer to a new part. As a result, you can use up your stock quite precisely. That transfer will not involve much work. In Sofon, you simply replace the inference of the old part with the inference of the new part. If you use Sofon as your source, your ERP system will automatically order the new part, and there will be a rack ready for the part in your warehouse….