Accelerating Business Evolution
Today’s manufacturing businesses operate in an environment of constant and high-speed change, where the ability to adapt quickly and effectively has become essential for success.
Globalisation, synchronised supply chains, and ever higher customer expectations, all place a premium on information and flexibility to maintain competitiveness.
Business Management Software for Small to Medium Manufacturers
Caliach Vision is an integrated business software system enabling rapid information processing and sharing, where management and operational decisions can be fully supported by fact.
It is simple to implement and use, allowing even the smallest manufacturing and jobbing organisations to benefit, while minimising total cost of ownership for all.
Flexible multi-mode operation can simultaneously support both pull and push demand types, while a wide range of features and configuration options are available to support your lean, agile and other business development initiatives.
Automated business exception and workflow reporting, combined with integrated messaging, provide rapid communications both inside and outside the organisation, harmonising internal activities and the extended supply chain.
Extensive and flexible reporting and analysis options simplify monitoring of key performance indicators, and ensure total business condition visibility. Security is assured through hierarchical access privileges, with password validity control and encryption.
Integrated Customer and Supplier Relationship Management (CRM / SRM) maximises value from supply chain relationships, while traceability and tracking capabilities follow materials and product from supplier to individual end-user.
The system operates under Microsoft and Mac operating systems, and can be deployed multi-platform in a mixed local area network environment. The use of cloud hosting can extend the capabilities of the system to make it available to users in diverse geographical locations.
A critical success factor in the implementation and operation of any enabling technology is ease of use. Caliach Vision has been designed to simplify and speed processing with an ergonomic and intuitive Graphical User Interface (GUI). Users can be empowered with a customised working environment, including a structured function navigator complete with personalised help.
Reflecting modern working practices, multiple tasks and windows can be active simultaneously and interactively, while extensive drag-and-drop and drill-down capabilities also increase efficiency. Staff costs are further reduced with comprehensive pop-up help and an integrated, searchable reference system.
The benefits that can be realised from a successful implementation of Caliach Vision include:
- Reliable stock availability and faster stock rotation
- Improved supply chain performance and delivery accuracy
- Fast, accurate cost estimating and secure pricing
- Improved productivity and resource utilisation
- Rapid and effective response to change
- Better management of business growth and product complexity
- Greater administrative efficiency
- Improved customer satisfaction and retention
- Increased profitability and return on capital
- Tighter financial controls and cashflow management
Caliach Vision is an acknowledged innovation in manufacturing management systems, and our aim is to exploit the latest technology to deliver simple, powerful, affordable business management software.
Established in 1990, Caliach Vision pioneered enterprise resource planning software for small to medium-sized manufacturers, driving the industry standard for the sector. Multinational manufacturing experience led to steady growth in our user base, and our systems have proven themselves in a wide range of industries.
We are committed to providing the highest quality products, backed by responsive customer service and support. Our objective is to establish Caliach Vision and future products as standard management tools for small to medium- sized businesses, just as office and accounting programs are today. With Caliach Vision, manufacturing excellence is no longer the exclusive preserve of large corporations.
The parts or item master sits at the core of the system. It identifies every entity that can exist in inventory, from raw materials and assemblies to finished goods, spare parts, consumables, and tooling. Even items that never physically exist, such as phantom assemblies and kits, services or other non-inventory items such as freight charges, can be assigned part numbers to aid processing. While parts have a default stock unit of measure, additional multiple units of measure for both sales and purchasing can be defined.
Bills of Materials
Bills of materials (also known as item lists or recipes) list the constituent parts of your products with their quantities or proportions, including intermediate assemblies or mixes. Their accurate definition and maintenance enables the system to analyse and manage the relationship between customer demand and the supply of materials and product, minimising inventory levels and improving flow.
Non-constituent items can also be included, for example additional non-inventory costing elements and tooling requirements. A comprehensive logging system maintains a full audit trail of changes, including updates to engineering revision status.
Process routes define the sequence of operations carried out on a part to create the assembly or product, including alternate operations and routings. Each operation is carried out at a work centre that can represent a repetitive activity, machine, or other production resource.
Accurately defined work centres and process routes enable the system to provide manufacturing instructions and make-to-lists, identify capacity bottlenecks and accurately measure production performance and costs. Operations on work centres can be carried out in-house or under sub-contract purchase orders.
With information on the cost of inputs and their consumption through bills of materials, and the cost of production through work centre rates and process route times, comprehensive product costing is available. Both current costs and standard costs are maintained, with multiple current costing options. Product costing analysis breaks down into accumulated material, labour, outwork and overhead components, while product yield and by-product recovery is also accommodated.
Accurate costs mean accurate judgements on prices and margins. Rapid re-costing enables you to see the effects of key cost or rate changes – especially important in volatile trading circumstances. Cost logging can be automatically maintained, with graphical display for easy identification of trends.
Total quality management is an important ingredient of business success. Performance measurement and reporting is built into Caliach Vision processes, including options for automatic generation of non-conformance reports, quarantine control, quality data recording, and both supplier and dispatch performance analysis.
Serial number assignment and tracking facilities follow components and assemblies from goods inwards through manufacturing and invoicing to end-user, and when applied to tooling and test equipment additionally provide calibration control. Component and assembly serial numbers can be linked to each other during processing, supplementing product information and aiding servicing.
In many environments it is essential to maintain a clear record of the use of materials through the production process. Identifying the source and destination of material batches used in product then becomes crucial to a good quality management system. Full multi-level batch traceability combined with shelf-life control is provided, ensuring confidence in the quality of supplied product.
Key performance indicators can be collected and displayed graphically, while workflow messaging provides early warning of problems. Certificates of conformance can be generated directly from batch quality data results including customer details.
Additional Data and Control
Engineering data can be maintained and associated with parts, typically to provide drawing, document or tooling control, and for attaching additional text and graphics to part information when documents are printed.
Rapid access to additional business-wide information is also provided through a comprehensive, integrated link framework. A wide range of external document types can be linked to all internal master records, and most transactional records. Users are hence able to link, access and print additional data such as Computer Aided Design (CAD) drawings, quality plans, customer letters, pictures or web pages – all with a single click from a related record within the database.
Customer and Supplier Relationship Management
Effective management of supply chain relationships is increasingly important in gaining competitive advantage, through the development of sales leads, customer contacts, and both potential and existing suppliers.
The integrated contact management facilities in Caliach Vision include multiple addresses and contacts per business, event tracking and reporting, and next action scheduling. Letter maintenance and mail merge capabilities combine with powerful bulk event logging and mass change features to improve productivity, and mailshots can be sent as emails, individually or in a bulk process.
Customer and supplier records can be generated automatically from contact management records, complete with bi-directional links, while sales and purchase information can be used directly to target CRM and SRM campaigns. Extensive drill-down between records means related information is never more than a few clicks away.
Customers benefit from a comprehensive price discount structure and automatic credit-checking, while suppliers can have minimum order values and rules defined. Both have multiple standard, and user-defined categories for analysis.
Customer and Purchase Parts
While part definitions include general sales and purchase information, optional cross-reference data can also be generated where individual ordering details are required for specific customers or suppliers. Unique part numbers, descriptions, price breaks, and currencies are all maintained. This data is provided as default on purchase or sales orders, overriding standard part information.
Customer part definitions can also include related contract information, with powerful mass-change facilities and change logging. Time phased promotional pricing regimes are also supported. Purchase part definitions are optionally created or updated automatically on goods receipt, while multiple cross-references can be maintained for each supplier-part relationship.
Sales Orders and Dispatch
In a fast moving multi-currency trading environment, efficient sales order management is a key component of business success. Accurate sales commitment information is essential to meet fulfilment performance targets and manage demand effectively.
Caliach Vision provides a wide range of features to aid administration and access to sales information. From enquiry to invoicing, the system is both flexible and rigorous, enabling high levels of sales desk professionalism and customer satisfaction.
Rapid, accurate pricing and available-to-sell information, coupled with instant conversion of quote to order and easy order duplication, maximise both productivity and responsiveness. Flexible invoice and delivery addressing, shipping and invoice consolidation, and instant dispatch or cash sale, all help extend efficiency improvements to the shipping department.
Sales product configuration, including a powerful rules-based configurator, enables detailed product knowledge to be embedded into the sales process, effectively automating the crucial sales-to-engineering interface. Along with options such as automatic sales commission assignment and processing, these features bring a truly lean sales front-end within reach.
Purchase Orders and Goods Receipt
While sales orders manage a key part of the demand side of the business, effective purchase order management is essential to optimise the flow of materials to production and sales, minimising both inventory and supply costs.
Simple processing and instant access to information such as projected supply and demand information, alternative supply options and purchase history, all make routine administration fast and reliable – releasing valuable staff resources for advanced supply chain management activities.
Purchase orders can be created back-to-back with sales order demand, or in batch mode from MRP results, to further ease administration. Multiple-supplier requests for quotation can be generated, and subsequently converted to purchase orders.
Sub-contract assembly and operation processing are both accommodated, with outwork kitting and shortage control, and multiple delivery and supplier addressing. Goods can be automatically allocated to demand items on receipt to support lean picking environments, while quality data recording, quarantine, goods return and non-conformance features aid total quality management.
Work Orders and Shopfloor
Efficient management of the conversion of materials, components and assemblies into goods for resale, is the key challenge for a manufacturing business. Work orders provide the main control for this activity, directing the flow of materials, providing manufacturing and capacity information as well as enabling the recording of shopfloor progress and times.
Material supply for production is managed through allocation and kitting processes, with comprehensive variance, shortage, yield and by-product controls. Alternatively, materials can be backflushed on product receipt, for greater flexibility and leaner processing – backflushing also allows single-order KanBan production control.
Work orders can be created back-to-back with sales order demand, or in batch mode from material requirement planning results, with available to kit reviews and bulk kitting. The sequence of operations can be unique for each order, accommodating variations in both processing and resource availability.
Operation completions can be individually logged as processes finish, or backflushed automatically with product receipt. Process times can be recorded manually, or assigned from times logged through a comprehensive barcode work tracking interface, which also allows non-productive time and staff attendance to be recorded.
Jobs and Estimating
In today’s fast moving, service oriented environment, the administration involved in the management of sales and works orders, especially the need for detailed product definitions, cannot always be justified. An alternative control for manufacturing and service activities is provided by a jobbing function, where a single job document effectively replaces a sales order, top-level item definition, bill of materials, process route and work order.
Jobs simplify administration of ad-hoc sales of undefined manufactured items, service work, or whole projects. They are particularly appropriate for jobbing and engineer-to-order businesses. A job estimate can also function as a detailed estimate for conventional manufactured items, with simple creation of part, bill of materials, process route and sales order when required, instead of conversion to a job.
Job line items can be for parts, ad-hoc items or operations, and can hold individual cost, price, margin and estimating notes for each line. Line items and entire jobs or estimates can be simply duplicated, and product configuration options are the same as for sales orders. Material supply and operation logging are handled in a similar way to work orders, with comprehensive job status reporting options.
This powerful and flexible system dramatically extends the sales administration options, and integrates fully with invoicing, accounts, as well as scheduling and planning functions.
Stock administration is simplified by automatic processing of inventory movements for all standard order processing activity. Demand planning features and material requirements analysis help maintain optimum inventory levels.
However, even in the most rigorous environments there will always be a requirement for ad-hoc stock movements, such as general issues and returns, adjustments and stock transfers. A stock control interface is provided to manage these, along with stock location and batch maintenance features.
Comprehensive inventory and work-in-process valuation is backed up by inventory movement audit facilities, including costed movement reports and stock change analysis. Stock-take features include automated perpetual inventory selection, and off-line results entry with financial variance reporting.
Production Planning and Forecasting
While sales order demand may reflect fluctuating customer demand and changing priorities, efficient and profitable manufacturing comes from enabling the production process to follow a coordinated plan. Effective sales and operations planning can help reconcile this mismatch by translating internal sales projections and customer forecasts into a production plan, which together with sales orders forms a consolidated master production schedule.
Forecasts and production plans can be auto-generated and maintained on a product or product family basis, with the option of importing from customer schedules or proprietary forecasting tools. Sales history data can be exported for use by these same tools. Production plans are optionally updated on product shipment to further automate maintenance, while sales desk available-to-sell analysis can include planned product family availability, in addition to ordered supply.
Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRPII)
In a complex multi-level manufacturing environment, reconciling supply and demand and juggling finite production resources places heavy demands on buyers and production schedulers. Caliach Vision offers a powerful material requirements planning (MRP) and capacity resource planning (CRP) option to enable anything from sales order demand to a full-blown master production schedule to be translated into detailed supply plans and work centre make-to-lists. Operating within an MRPII compliant environment can dramatically improve manufacturing performance and reduce inventory costs, while moving you closer to your goal of just-in-time production.
MRP can recommend changes in delivery dates and order cancellations as well as new orders, and both works and purchase orders can be generated and printed automatically in bulk from recommendations, with a single click. Comprehensive review, consolidation and override facilities leave planners in complete control.
CRP complements MRP by comparing your existing and planned production against available resources, displaying work centre loading over time. This enables you to identify bottlenecks and slack time, and by fine-tuning order and operation times you can optimise resource utilisation while meeting sales commitments. The system can also work interactively with proprietary finite scheduling applications, including Advanced Planning & Scheduling (APS) systems.
Further gains in administrative efficiency and financial control can be achieved with optional integrated, three-ledger, multi-currency accounting. Powerful management tools are available, including an integrated asset register, subsidiary accounts consolidation, bank cashflow analysis, exchange trading forecasts and comprehensive audit trail facilities.
All three ledgers benefit from daybooks and extensive review and reporting facilities, with multi-level drill-down from chart-of-accounts through account reviews to related data. Credit control memos manage payment approval, and store notes and links to external correspondence, enabling tighter cashflow control. Complex sales tax regimes are accommodated, with automatic processing and detailed review and return generation.
The accounts receivable (debtors) ledger provides full integration with sales invoicing, with all financial transactions processed automatically. Overdue listings and mail merge features further simplify credit control. Accounts payable (creditors) ledger invoice verification integrates with purchase history, and creditor payments can be made and allocated in bulk from overdue payments listings, subject to credit control approval. Both trading ledgers feature flexible payment allocation regimes and automatic exchange trading adjustments.
The general (nominal) ledger offers a range of transaction processing options, from simple double-entry through cashbook transaction sets to powerful, flexible journals. Simple bank account reconciliation and BACS export features eases sychronisation between the ledgers and bank accounts. A wide range of reports and standard financial statements can be supplemented by custom reports and spreadsheet exports, while account budgets can be included on reports, with simple budget maintenance and import/export features for departmental forecasting and monitoring.