Friday, July 31, 2009

Physical Inventory Faux Pas
A common mistake made by MISys SBM users when creating a Physical Inventory Batch is to enter the inventory count in both the Counted and Recorded fields.
Counted was intended to represent the quantity you counted (1, 2, 3, 4, 5...) during the physical inventory stock take. Recorded represents the quantity the system "thinks" you have in stock. MISys SBM uses a "net change" physical inventory system so that when the inventory is posted, the quantity in stock is adjusted by the difference between Counted and Recorded. This explains why posting a physical inventory batch with the same value in each field has absolutely no effect.

In MISys SBM version 4.0, the Recorded field can be hidden so you won't be tempted to enter a value there, but until the new version is released -- please take note.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dateline Woodstock
Here in Woodstock this summer, the conversation at our favorite lunch counter, the Woodstock Squat and Gobble, has focussed on two subjects: 1) trying to figure out exactly how a governor of a state could "fight even harder for its people" by resigning the office, and 2) trying to come up with the best solution to health insurance reform. Having given up on Question #1, the boys over at the S&G are testing a plan they think most people can relate to. According to Buster Foley, owner of the S&G, the whole problem can be laid at the feet of doctors who get paid for the most complex solution they can dish out. Buster says he noticed, a few months back, that one side of his tongue was swollen. He tried all his home remedies -- asprin, nasal spray, beer, more beer -- but his tongue was still swollen. So he went to see the doctor. The receptionist began his treatment by parking him in a waiting room where he was asked to read a therapeutic article in the October 1981 issue of National Geographic. After 63 minutes of Treatment #1, the nurse moved Buster to a little examining room with a paper-covered table, which evidently emitted some kind of invisible healing rays because Treatment #2 had him sit there alone for an additional 43 minutes. To culminate the treatment, the actual doctor took a few moments from his busy schedule of renewing his subscription to National Geographic and renting more space for people to wait in came right into the room with Buster and actually looked at his tongue. After two minutes and 30 seconds together, the doctor told Buster that his problem was two Latin words that he later figured out meant swollen tongue. The doc asked Buster to come back in a week if his tongue wasn't any better. Buster considered suggesting that since he had already been there in treatment for a total of 108 minutes, maybe he should just spend the rest of the week in the examination room, but he was afraid this would anger the doc who might retaliate by sending Buster to the hospital for tests. Buster didn't want to go to the hospital because he says, from his experience, as soon as they get your Blue Cross number, they pounce on you with needles the size of turkey basters. We think Buster may be exaggerating a bit, but it does seem like those are the two most popular doctor options: tell you to come back in a week, or go to the hospital for tests. From an insurance point of view, the boys at the S&G think coming back in a week has its merits. They point out that, by and large, that option has worked fairly well for the last thousand years. And no one complained about health insurance premiums back then.

Monday, July 27, 2009

MISys SBM UX Survey Continues

MISys SBM users can be in the running for a $50 Home Depot gift card by answering 4 brief questions related to the usability of this software. Our development team is studying ways to make the software easier to learn, easier to navigate, and easier to use. Your comments and suggestions are most valuable to them. The next time you log in, just click the link in the InfoCenter pane which will launch the survey in your browser.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

MISys SBM Maintenance Updates
We are frequently asked how much we charge for maintenance updates for our MISys Small Business Manufacturing software, how often we release maintenance updates -- and what if customers don't want to purchase maintenance.

In no particular order, we release updates for MISys SBM when we feel we have accumulated a sufficient number of bug fixes, or when those fixes can materially impact our customers every-day use of the software. For this reason, there is no set maintenance schedule.

Every currently licensed MISys SBM user receives notice of the availability of a maintenance update for which there is NO CHARGE. That makes mute the question regarding users who don't want to purchase maintenance.

We know there are users who choose not to install an available update, but we never quite understand why someone would favor using software with known bugs over an improved version in which those bugs have been fixed -- for free! There is nothing that forces a user to install available program updates, except that if you install an update on one client PC, you must install it on all client machines.

Monday, July 20, 2009

MISys SBM Pricing Model

In order to keep the entry cost as low as possible for start-ups or other small manufacturing firms who are considering MISys Small Business Manufacturing, the license fee for this software has been broken into two parts.

The first part is a one-time fee assessed for each module or concurrent user license.
The second part is an annually renewing license fee based on the MSRP of the currently licensed modules and users. (You can think of this cost structure as being similar to that of owning and operating a car. You need to purchase or lease the automobile, but you must also renew your driver's license each year if you want to leave the driveway.)
By spreading out the cost of ownership over several years, MISys has been able to successfully market to very small companies and to those with very small budgets -- but very big needs.

MISys SBM users are encouraged to lodge a major credit card with MISys Customer Service so the annual license renewal fee can be charged automatically, avoiding any potential lapse in service. Alternatively, users are urged to pay their renewal fee by check within 30 days of their license expiration.

Friday, July 17, 2009

MISys SAE Training Workshops
Dates have been established for the next round of training on MISys Manufacturing for Sage Accpac ERP (MISys SAE).

Basic Training, which covers all the functionality of MISys SAE Level 1 will be held each afternoon from October 19 - 23.
Advanced Training, which includes MISys SAE Level 2 and Level 3 will be held each afternoon from November 2 - 6.

If you have new staff members who need to learn how to use this software, or existing members who can benefit from a brush-up on some of the powerful but less conspicuous features of MISys SAE, please contact MISys Customer Service at 802/457-4600 for details.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dateline Woodstock
Vermonters have a cheerful respect for people from New Jersey -- just check the traffic on Main Street in Woodstock any summer day and you'll see more than a fair representation of yellow license plates. But an incident last week set some residents teeth on edge. From what we can tell, Jersey Doors is one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the country. According to their brochure, their formula for success is simple: aggressive management and strict employee discipline -- and, what is not mentioned, a relentless commitment to cheating. From what was reported in the Woodstock Standard (our weekly newspaper), Jersey Doors lied extravagantly about its technical qualifications, and submitted absurdly unrealistic lowball quotes in order to get government contracts. JD was so good at landing contracts that they couldn't actually build anything. Apparently a reputation like this is priceless in New Jersey. The problem came to roost in Vermont when JD won a contract using Federal Stimulus Money to equip the Woodstock Jail with a high-tech state-of-the-art security door system. What actually got installed was a semi-random collection of hardware which included, as a central element, garage door openers purchased on sale at Sears for $99 a piece. The result was that during a bad electric storm (like the one that visited Woodstock early last week) a number of key doors simply opened themselves, leaving it up to the prisoners to decide, on the honor system, whether they wished to remain in jail. Mind you that the Honor System is as healthy in Vermont as anywhere, but there are limits to any system. As it happened, 32
prisoners out of 37 decided that they did not want to remain in jail. It was a huge story here in Vermont (OK, so it didn't make it all the way to CNN) what with a horde of criminals, some of them petty thieves and DUI offenders, running loose in the streets of Woodstock, pursued by a frantic posse of police and media. One escapee, apprehended at his home in the midst of making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with extra peanut butter, was asked by Sheriff Brady "Who masterminded the escape?" as he was being hustled into a police cruiser. "Ain't nobody mastermind nothin'" the prisoner shouted back. "The mufuh doors just opened."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sage Peachtree Certified Consultants Complete MISys SBM Training
Thursday concluded three days of training for more than 70 Sage Peachtree Certififed Consultants on the new Sage Peachtree Quantum Manufacturing Edition which combines MISys Small Business Manufacturing with Sage Peachtree Quantum Accounting. Consultants learned about the SBM Basic Manufacturing Module, it's integration to Quantum, and the optional SBM modules which included Advanced Purchasing, Advanced Production, Material Requirements Planning (MRP), Bin Tracking, Serial/Lot Tracking, Shop Floor Control, Labor Tracking and Bar Coding. Consultants are now prepared to start selling and supporting the Quantum Manufacturing Edition to their current and future customers. More information is available from Sage Peachtree or at:

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

MISys SBE to SBM Conversion
Since announcing the retirement of MISys SAE Small Business Edition on June 1, we have received a number of inquiries from users wondering about their upgrade options. The easiest, and certainly the most economical option, is to crossgrade to MISys SBM. Assuming your Upgrade Subscription Plan is up to date, you can crossgrade at no cost, paying only the next year's Subscription Plan. For complete information and confirmed pricing, contact MISys Customer Service at 802/457-4600.

MISys SAE 5.5 Service Pack #2
A Service Pack for MISys Manufacturing for Sage Accpac ERP version 5.5 (MISys SAE) was released last week. This Service Pack fixes the sinister "Field Name Not Known" problem and a number of minor bugs. Service Pack #2 should be installed ASAP to ensure compatibility with Accpac ERP v5.5.

Monday, July 06, 2009

New Shop Floor Control Module

One of the major features to be released along with MISys Small Business Manufacturing version 4.0 later this summer is a new Shop Floor Control (SFC) module.

With SFC enabled, you are able to define production tools, work centers, and bill of material routing details. Routing details define the operations you must perform in order to make an assembled item.

Once MISys SBM knows what to do with the components identified in a bill of material, how fast production work centers can operate, and when they are open for business, the program can very accurately predict how long any production will take and how much it will cost.

The new SFC module adds functionality to MISys SBM that is roughly equivalent to that of MISys SAE Level 3. You're going to love it!

If you are a MISys SBM user, or MISys Business Partner and would like to attend a sneak peek webcast on MISys SBM SFC, click here

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Dateline Woodstock
With the Independence Day holiday upon us this coming Saturday, July 4th, the Town of Woodstock is preparing its traditional celebration with parades, concerts, and a massive (by Vermont standards) fireworks display down at the Football Field. Again this year, the local arts council is sponsoring the Woodstock Patriotic Tableau. Those who remember this news item from last year, will know that Woodstock town residents are invited to assemble in the Football Field to form a giant American flag tableau, each person holding a card over his/her head while standing on a specifically marked "X" on the field. (You can imagine this as being similar to the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, but not quite as spectacular.) One by one, participants are allowed to leave the display and hike up nearby Mount Tom (named after Aubrey Mount, one of the early settlers of Woodstock, and his son Tom). From that vantage point far above the Woodstock Football Field, an impressive view of the giant flag can be had. According to tradition (which is an important part of the Vermont culture), after viewing the flag tableau from the top of Mount Tom, one is required to holler out to those below "Hey -- cool!" before heading down the mountain and replacing someone else eager for the trip up. As you can imagine this event takes most of the day, but after 28 years, has become a permanent part of Woodstock's 4th of July celebration. New this year (but highly anticipated) is the Hey Cow event co-sponsored by the Woodstock Farmer's Market and Jim's Small Engine Repair. Jim, a full time dairy farmer and part time engine tinkerer, has lent his herd of Holsteins and the Market has organized 10 teams of elementary, middle school, and high school students who, one by one, will be required to yell "Hey cow!" at the top of their collective lungs. According to the somewhat complex rules, the team that gets the largest number of Holsteins to look up from what Holsteins normally do on the 4th of July, wins the prize: a $100 gift certificate for the local Ben & Jerry's ice cream store.
Have a great holiday!