At a Glance:
This live demonstration is an effective way to learn precisely how Plex’s comprehensive ERP system streamlines operations, cuts costs and improves a manufacturer’s bottom line.
The demonstration provides a hands-on view of this industry-leading and comprehensive enterprise software solution which spans ERP, MES, SCM, Quality, Traceability, CRM and more, delivered as industrial-strength Cloud ERP.
Thank you Doug. Good morning everyone. I hope you can hear me just fine. If you have any problems with hearing my voice, please, as Doug instructed, communicate through the dialogue box to Doug and we will try to remedy any issues.
Thank you all for participating today. I am going to do a brief introduction of Plex Systems and Plex Systems Online. We are going to talk about why companies choose Plex. We are going to talk about Plex Online SaaS, Software and Service and key differentiators associated with them.
The fact that it is a living system, which is very important to people that are manufacturing and using systems for manufacturing, total coverage of your operations, the fact that we are outcome driven, that the results that you are trying to achieve are something that we are trying to help manifest through the system. We are built, number one, for manufacturing. We are not a system for all industries, all the time. We are very specific to manufacturing.
We will also have a Plex Online demo that Tom Nessen will provide for you and after that we will have questions and answers.
Let us talk about some of the industries that Plex applies to. This is also information that you can read after the presentation on our website at www.plex.com. We’re very good for aerospace manufacturing, high tech electronics, automotive manufacturers, industrial machinery and components manufacturers, food and beverage, and precision metal formers along with any other general manufacturing. Typically if it is a manufacturing process that produces an item or something that is quantifiable or something you can count, and even processed manufacturing, Plex manufacturing software is a very good fit.
Why do companies choose Plex? First of all, it is a living system and it has true SAS architecture. What that means is that it is a system that is not proliferated as a single instance among all of the customers. In a traditional model, all customers would purchase a software system and then they would have to purchase an infrastructure to support that software system and then they would have to have staff to support the infrastructure and to support the running of the software system.
All of that is something that is very static. When you buy it, it is only as new as the day that you purchased it. You have to wait for upgrades, do subsequent enhancements, do offline systems such as spreadsheets or databases, or manual systems, creating silos of information. None of what I just described is helping your operation. I didn’t say anything about how do we help your operations.
Plex is a true SAS model which means there is a single architecture. There is a single database and a single source code, which all of our customers are tenants within that system. They log in and they have access to their information that is running on that single source code and that single database. Living means that as the software becomes enhanced by customer input, the software that you log in to via a web browser now has those new features. It is dynamic. It is not static.
When a new feature is released, you can review it and opt in and use that feature to enhance your business. It is helping your business. It is not just an expense center that you have to maintain. It is helping your business because it is a living system and is improving.
All of that is via the internet, so the infrastructure that I mentioned that you need to be supported with capital expenditures or FTEs, is no longer needed. All you need are PCs and an internet connection. Then you can log in and start running your business and the system will improve daily, because it is living. You can add new features or have new combinations of features turned on, to which you can opt in to better establish best practices in the system every day. It is living. Constantly getting better and constantly improving versus a static purchase.
Now because of that, that enables the total coverage aspect of Plex. Plex covers almost every aspect of your business from the front end customer demand coming in, to shipping product, to manufacturing, maintenance, quality, human resources, finance, and even multi-tiered finance. If you were an enterprise where you have multiple facilities that you want to roll up into a single financial entity, you can do that. You can nest them in any way that you want, in any geographical location. All you need is internet capabilities.
Not only does it cover all of your enterprise within your four walls, it also covers your suppliers. You can turn on supplier portals at no additional charge with unlimited users. Sub-contract manufacturers or any outsource manufacturing that you do, as well as customers. Everybody who is in your ecosystem, everybody who is in that supply chain for your manufacturing entity is licensed and is covered under Plex.
It is easier to talk about the things that we don’t cover. These are standard items such as CAD drawings. We integrate with CAD drawings. We don’t do Microsoft Office, we integrate with Microsoft Office.
Plex is driven. It is built for today’s business climates and our customers outperform the status quo. The way that we do that is that we don’t design the software. Plex is not in the manufacturing business. You are. That therefore makes you the de facto subject matter experts for manufacturing, and we rely extensively on your capabilities. We rely extensively on your best practices and your knowledge of your industry and we apply those to the Plex system.
What that means is that our entire customer base over 80,000 log ins per day, over 500 customers, they provide input as to best practices and features they want to see in the software. We then turn around and apply those to the software, but because it is a living system, the first column, when those features are applied to the software, every other customer has access to those best practices. That helps drive you to best practices for your organization. It is outcome driven for best practices, for best profitable capability of your manufacturing enterprise.
As a result, because of the SAS model and because of the customer driven, outcome driven R and D, and the total coverage of Plex, we have been rated number one by independent parties for customer satisfaction, number one for usage of the system, and number one overall for manufacturing. That is above and beyond such large systems that cost millions of dollars.
Let’s talk a little bit about the living system very briefly. The best way to do it is by analogies. I am going to use three analogies. Research, music, and business software.
Research. When I was a kid, I’m not going to give away my age, let’s just say I’m a Baby Boomer. We did research for school projects etcetera, extensively through the library. Through books and at home, we had encyclopedias. There was Encyclopedia Britannica, we were a World Book family. If I wanted to do a report, I would go to World Book and would open up to the section and we would get the information.
However, that information was static at the time of print. When the book was printed, that was the last information that you had in that book. You would keep those World Books for years, which means that your information would be somewhat obsolete in some cases, and static in other cases. You would have to supplement it with newspapers and other means.
Now, research done today, everything is up to the second. You can go into Google and look into any topic you want to and get the up to the minute of the latest new release. With what happened last night or what happened this morning, you can get the latest information. That is a quantum leap in enabling people to get that information and then process that information.
No longer are you focused on gaining the information, doing the research, finding books to supplement, like in the previous example, World Book, like going to the library and newspapers. People spend less time on that now and they spend more time on processing the information, because the information is at their fingertips, now they can process it. Now they can do something with the information.
It is the same with music. I actually remember 8 track tapes, 45s and albums, which were great. We still use the vernacular album covers and things of that nature. However, those were static music mediums too. You had to find your genre, go to the music store, and purchase music.
To play it, you had to have an infrastructure, you had to have a record player and things of that nature and you had to maintain your libraries. If you did not have a particular music, you had to make a trip to the store, research it, that store didn’t have it, go to another, etcetera.
Now, not only do you have iTunes. I have rediscovered music, because I did not have time or money to have record players or CD players or the ability to go to the store. Once iTunes came along and my kids showed me iTunes, now I can click on any music genre I want and get the music instantly. Better than that is Pandora. It gives you music. It comes to you. You put in your genre and you sit back and listen. It will play the music for you.
Now, you are consuming and just enjoying the music versus going through the effort of trying to find the music, find the media, and find the infrastructure to play it on. If you travel, you leave all of that behind. Now with Pandora, you can listen to your music anytime, anywhere.
Now to business systems. Plex applies the same logic and we are very uniquely positioned to apply the same logic to business systems. In the past, you would buy an SAP instance or something and spend millions of dollars. You would build the infrastructure, staff, etcetera. Plex Online, all you have to do is log in.
The presentation that you are about to see is simply us logging into the system and executing manufacturing processes and because it is a living system, like Pandora and Google, it is up to date every day. Enhancements are provided to the system that you can opt in and opt out. Like Google and like Pandora, it does not force you to listen to anything or look up anything, but when you choose to look up or use information or listen to music, you have it at your disposal.
It is the same with Plex. We do not force you to use enhancements, but they are there at your disposal as your company progresses through best practices. It is very unique.
Now, we are backed by world class data center. We have two data centers, for redundancy. We guarantee 99.9% business continuity, which means it is up all of the time. We have one world class data center in Auburn Hills and another one in Ashville, North Carolina. We are streaming, as we speak, data back and forth between the two.
There is redundancy built into each data center and we audit it quarterly by the SAS 70 standard, which is turning into an iso-standard. These are world class data centers and they have redundancy built in to them. Even down to compressors in the air conditioning are redundant.
If something were to happen to the main site, the other site that is streaming data in Ashville, North Carolina, would continue to go. Unlike typical customers, with on premises, on-site systems, we have world class systems that leverage the collective influence of all of our customers worldwide.
It is a living system with community driven development. I mentioned that before. It is not a Plex system, it is a customer system. Plex provides the development and the environment, and the infrastructure, but the customers provide the actual business practices that we support.
When you look at the system, it may seem intuitive. It may seem like something you understand. The reason why this occurs is because your peers design the system and Plex simply facilitated their design into the Plex Online manufacturing system.
For total coverage, here are some of the areas, and I will not going into this in detail. I will leave it on the screen for you to peruse. Here are some of the areas that we cover which we talked about before.
Requirements, planning, customer relationships, supply chain, and inventory management, because you are dependent upon your suppliers, your customers, and in many cases, sub-contractors. You need to communicate the same data with them as you have internally. Manufacturing operations management, quality management, which is something that is always missing in other systems. We are tasked, as manufacturers, with delivery quality products on time. Quality management is part of your enterprise system. Our customers realize that and had us at the very beginning include quality in our enterprise system.
Product data management and other systems, such as work flow, document control, check list, etcetera. To help supplement the capabilities of the system and make it easy to use. For example, work flow is a very powerful tool that allows you to not only develop best practices, but if you put those best practices in the work flow system, you can now duplicate and manage those best practices throughout your enterprise.
Often times people will have a best practice and a work cell or in a plant, but it is dependent on people and manual systems. If you try to put those in another plant, or a another work cell, people will not necessarily follow them. With work flow, you can have people go through the work flow. They will follow the work flow and you can manage and maintain best practices throughout your enterprise. Just an example.
For total coverage, our license system is a subscription system, so you don’t pay us a lot of money and then we go away with you hoping that we support you. You pay us on a monthly basis. It is a subscription base. In that subscription base, which is based on the relative size of your company, we have unlimited users.
I talked about communicating and working with your suppliers, your customers, your sub-contractors internally. All of those users are unlimited and uncharged beyond the subscription. That includes any measure of human data that you can type in, any number of sessions, and all of the new enhancements as they come out, there is no additional charge if you have subscribed to that feature.
For example, if you are subscribed to human resources and we come out with a new applicant tracking enhancement, you get that and then you can turn it on after you have tested it. We do have a test database where you can test and opt in to these enhancements if you want to, or not. It is your choice.
Total coverage, management information systems, ERP, supply chain management, customer relationship and quality management. Suppliers, sub-contractors and customers. Outcome driven. It seems that we have been rated based on… It is a chicken and the egg scenario for us, whether Plex is designed by the customers, or the SAS system that actually together have made us the number one system.
The challenge that the competition is going to have is that SAS, and our deployment of SAS with the multi-tenant SAS and the customer driven development in real time is a commitment you have to make from the very beginning. You cannot convert your existing product over to a multi-tenant SAS. You have to rewrite the entire source code, so it is like starting from the beginning. It is going to be very difficult for those with the legacy systems and just about everyone on this chart is a legacy system or an on premise system. This is something that was designed probably in the 70s or 80s that is in use today.
We represent new technology, new capability, and new enablement for manufacturing customers, which allows third parties, who objectively analyze these systems, to rate us as number one in the industry. And because we have the new technology, I think the gap is going to broaden. We will just get better very quickly.
You have to understand that the systems that were designed in the 70s and 80s have been around for a long time. Plex Online began, with the new technology, as a product in 2000 and so in a very short period of time, we have leap-frogged the entire industry and we are going to be moving away. Anyone that wants to sign up with Plex will be signing up with the latest technology and you will have an advantage in the marketplace as well.
Some third party validation is present, including a very nice one from Revstone Corporation. Another fact I will mention is to put Plex in place, you typically have to replace something, because everyone has something. Our success story, our growth, is at the expense of others who have the older technology and they have had to replace those systems. In this case and in many cases, the returns are amazing.
Revstone Corporation replaced an SAP instance in one of their acquisitions, and very quickly received a 400 plus percent return on investment. It is amazing.
Inteva, a spinoff of Delphi corporation replaced their old ERP system with Plex Online, I think they had about a 75% savings in their overall IT costs and they implemented 14 plants in 4 countries in just 12 months. All of this information is online at www.plex.com.
That concludes my introduction. I am going to turn it over to Tom Nessen for the actual online, real time, live presentation of Plex.
Great. Thanks, Mike. And thanks Doug for the great introduction. Mike, you did a super job explaining how Plex is different and can benefit the entire enterprise.
My job today is to take it a level deeper and show you Plex Online and show you the product and a day in the life scenario on how we can help manufacturers of many different backgrounds accomplish the key things they are looking to do within their business.
I am going to start with a brief agenda. This is what I will be covering today. We are going to start with a basic review of Plex systems. We are then going to move into demand planning, production scheduling, walk through purchasing, look at production and shop floor control, inventory and shipping, and accounting and reporting activities at the end of the demonstration this morning.
This is a very high level approach to what the system can do. You saw from Mike’s footprint of Plex, which I have here up on the screen, we cover the entire enterprise. All aspects of the business. It is impossible, during the 30 to 40 minutes I have here today, to show you everything that Plex can do, but what I hope is to show you a great representation of the capabilities of the system and how it can improve the overall business.
Just a little brief bit of history, Plex started with roots in a quality management system that over the years has grown and developed with our customer base and has started including inventory tracking, traceability, bar code labeling, advanced production scheduling, true integrated shop floor control, overall ERP functions like accounting and finance, detailed product and job costing, sales CRMs, supply chain management, detailed product traceability from source to consumption.
And then we have also brought in a lot of other features that really make our system complete like maintenance, preventative maintenance, tooling, HR, labor and time tracking. We have built out a really terrific system that covers the entire enterprise. Today I am going to try and give you a great representation of that. It is going to show that Plex is a complete solution for manufacturers.
Let’s take a look at the system. What you are looking at here is the log in for Plex Online. If I have a user ID, password, and a company code, I click the log in button and I am given access to a certain part of the overall Plex cloud infrastructure. What I have access to as a demonstration person today is the ACME manufacturing system and the Plex systems version of Plex.
We are using our system everyday right alongside our customers to manage our business whether it is from an accounting and finance standpoint, a quality standpoint, HR, it doesn’t matter. We are using our software shoulder to shoulder with our customers every day.
I am going to drill into the ACME manufacturing company here and you are going to see at the highest level, the different features and functions that ACME uses to manage its business. On the left hand side are executive management features and functions like reporting and dash-boarding, office menu which includes things like HR and accounting and finance. We have all of our shop floor functions for managing things like production schedules, MRP, OEE, preventative maintenance. Those are all housed under the shop floor menu.
On the right hand side, Plex, since we are a cloud solution, we extend very easily out to your customers, your suppliers, and potentially your employees for HR purposes. If you provide a unique log in and password to your customers and suppliers, they can have limited access into the system to see specific information that you grant them access to see.
In the case of suppliers for instance, you may want to start reporting supplier scorecard metrics. Then on a periodic basis, you can allow your suppliers to log in and view their scorecard and see how they are performing against the metrics you define. That is a common feature of the supplier portal.
I am going to go down a level deeper here and drill down into, by using our shortcut bar here. You can navigate by clicking on the boxes, or you can use the navigation bar by hovering over your company logo. By hovering over the company logo, I have access to the shortcuts, I have the access to the ability to change languages, I can launch my test system from this navigation bar, and I can launch new sessions.
I am going to use it as a way to get to my part list. I want to see what this company manufactures and that starts by looking at the part list.
At the top level, within Plex, we have a filter which provides a way for a user to quickly get to the data that they are interested in. In this case, I know I am interested in bring up part numbers that start with 4799 and by clicking search here, you will see some return results on the screen that are related to part 4799.
Along the left hand side here you can see I have a number of different instances of this part, a number of different revisions, I have images stored about the part, I have information about who is buying it from a customer standpoint, and potentially what they call it.
As I go over to the right here, you will notice that there is an icon, a yellow piece of paper with a paperclip attached to it. That is the document control system that is part of the Plex system. If there are paper documents that I need to store and access very easily, all I have to do is click the paperclip and that brings up everything related to part number 4799 that is stored on the document control system. It does not matter whether it is engineering drawings or certifications, or material safety data sheets or anything you can attach into a document control system, we can store it here.
We have the ability to do check in, check out. We can version control the documents. We can alert people who are responsible for reviewing these on a periodic basis to come into Plex and make changes as necessary. Just realize that it is a fully featured document control system that comes right along with Plex.
I am going to go back to our part list and from here I am going to go a level deeper into part 4799. From here, this is what we call a sub menu which is a crossroads for everything within Plex that relates to this part whether it is part information, process routing information, building material, product or part revision information, quality control information, it is all stored right here.
For example, I can quickly bring up my process routing to show how I make this part from start to finish. This part goes through a number of different operations starting from the cut operation and rolling all the way down through final audit. On the right hand side here, with these blue trucks on the screen, you can see that the pack operation, or the final audit operation, are both shippable within the system as it set up right now.
Now, you will notice that some parts of the system, that is usually master data within our system, have this little green book that my cursor is circling right now. If I click on this green book, this is going to show the audit trail of changes that have been made to either the part information, the process routing, the building material. Anything that related to this part, we track the changes since they were instituted, in this case, back in 2003, the part was created and changes have occurred over time to this part. We always have the before information and the after information, who modified it, what the date of the modification was, and what it affected.
This is an internal control that we provide, so our customers never get into that position of not knowing what was changed in their system and they always have the ability to roll it back. It is a very important feature within Plex that we store for our customers. That is a quick look at the process routing.
I am going to click on some quality specs for this part. If we bring up the specifications, you will see that there are many different things that we are looking at throughout the process of manufacture. Whether it is precut length or the temperature off the conveyor, we have set up our targets, our tolerances, whether or not we are bringing in our statistical process control database is indicated here as well.
Once we have decided about all of our specifications, then we bring it together within a control plan. Our control plan connects the process step for the operation with the inspection frequency and how we are sampling this product and it produces, dynamically, a check sheet that is going to be used by an operator on the floor. In the case of this one, we have the cut operation, and we have got a few different characteristics that we are measuring as it goes through the cut operation.
Through our quality control system, you can include pictures, drawings, anything that might help the operator perform their quality inspection job better can be included within our check sheets. That is a quick look at the control plan and the check sheet that is generated. We will see this come back up here in a few minutes as we go through the demo.
That gives you a good idea of document control, revision control, building material routing information within Plex. I am going to go back to the PowerPoint and talk about a couple other concepts here as we start to talk about the overall business process flow and we will start mapping in some other ideas here.
What we are going to do is go from left to right across the screen. We are going to talk about demand sources and how we manage that within Plex. We are then going to go through a planning operation and plan production on the shop floor. We are also going to go through a step of buying using MRP to determine what sort of purchase components we need to bring in or raw materials we need to bring in to drive the production process.
Then we will go through the make operation, how do we actually record production in Plex and we will go through all of the detailed production activities through our system. Finally, we will go through a quick ship operation and show you how we account for all of the changes that have occurred from the start of the process. We are going to do this with the mindset that Plex can really manage a global supply chain, an individual business, and handle all the aspects of the detailed production activities.
With that, I am going to start on the demand side. We have grayed out all of the other topics and we are going to focus on demand for a second. Plex can manage a demand forecast for customer products and can manage many versions of those. We can compare versions against one another, we can make modifications of versions. We can lock down versions of forecast that reflect an annual operating plan. We can compare forecasts across periods or years.
When we have decided that we are happy with the forecast that we have determined, we can send it in to MRP directly from the forecasting screen. Here is an example of taking and identifying one version of a forecast that we are managing within Plex and setting it up as our annual operating version. That is our working version to move our business forward.
We then can roll up the forecast into a nice, distinct forecast list showing part, showing customer, showing our forecast periods over time. We can compare those forecasts against one another. We can compare different customers, we can compare different products potentially, and different forecast schemes that we are developing. Once we have decided that we are going to lock this down and use it to manage our forward looking production, we can actually indicate it to be populated in the MRP screens. We will show that in just a second.
Now I am going to go back over to the system and bring back up that forecasting screen and show you how we can maintain that forecast. I am going to go to the customer forecast list. We have indicated here that we are going to use the forecast version 2011 forecast. I have indicated a part that I am interested in looking at the forecast. I click the search button and the results show me the customer, in this case customer 1000, customer Alco, and customer Ford all ordered this part H371.
Sometimes they call it something different. In this case, customer 1000 calls it 16887054, but the results on the right side of the screen are the same. From January to December, we see the demand requirement for this part from this customer.
I have the ability from this screen to click on one of these months and go to a detailed screen for all periods of this forecast and begin to make changes to it. This forecast manipulation is going to be reflected in our purchasing screen.
That is a quick look at the forecast capabilities within Plex on the demand side. I am going to move back to the PowerPoint and talk about a couple other areas of demand that are very important. If you are a build to order operation, or a build to print operation, or maybe a configure to order operation, then not only might you maintain a forecast, but you also have to manage and maintain orders that are flowing into the system from a variety of situations whether it is entered by a customer service rep, or it is coming in from EDI.
Plex has a full features EDI system within our ERP system, so there is no need for third party EDI systems. We can receive it in and populate our order log. We also have a configurator, so if there are parts, items, or finished goods that have some level of configuration, Plex can manage the configurator and actually allow your customer service reps to configure parts within the system or potentially allow your customers in, through the customer order entry screen, to use the configurator to prepopulate orders within the system.
We have talked about the forecast and we’ve talk about potentially how jobs can drive minimum inventory requirements and produce jobs in the system, so now we have looked at all aspects of demand. The next step in the process is planning for production.
At this point, once demand has been locked down, we move into the phase of creating a job. We can create jobs in a number of different ways within Plex. The most common, probably most straightforward way, is to get an order and from the order you create a job. There is a one to one relationship. We can handle that.
We can also bring into the equation time phase or production requirement planning, so looking at a part or at all demand sources whether they are actual customer orders, forecasts, parent demands, all aspects of demand, and looking at out over a demand time phase window of one week, two weeks, eight weeks, eight months, we can manage that kind of production requirements as well. You see that on the bottom part of the screen.
Now I am going to go in and actually show quickly how we bring up a part demand schedule here. Let me going into part job planning. I am going to bring up part number 4799 and when I click search here, you are going to see that there are a number of different versions of this part number 4799. If I am interested in only the one that is 4799 dash quality, that will limit my search to show me the part job requirements planning for that particular part.
On the screen I see 4799. I see its name. I see the raw materials we have on hand to manufacture this product. I currently have no inventory on hand and I have nothing scheduled and I have a minimum inventory requirement of 1000. On the very far right side, Plex is calculating the excess or the need that I have for this part within my business.
Right now, based on the calculations being driven by minimum inventory requirements, I need to produce 1000 of these items. As a planner, I now can drop down to another level here where I can see details about 4799. I have the ability to create a job within the system.
The system is creating an automatic recommendation for me based on minimum manufacturing requirements potentially. And then related parts are also shown at the bottom part of the screen here, each with a calculation of excess or need as well. So all of my sub-components that may need to be scheduled as well can be done from this screen.
I am going to go in here and create a job. That job is now going to enter the system. It is going to schedule itself against the process routing and the building materials that we created earlier and this is going to populate within the system. Now our excess has changed from negative 1000 to a positive 36,500. So we are in good shape when it comes to this part.
Now, what else can we do at this point? Jobs have been created and we also have the ability to locate a thing called a dispatch list. A dispatch list can show information about work centers and how those parts are progressing through the manufacturing process.
I am going to bring up 4799 quality and look at over 30 days and if we bring up the dispatch list, you will see right here that I have a requirement for 37,500 that I just created within the system a couple minutes ago. You can see that it has already been queued up against the work centers where that production activity is going to occur.
Each one of these boxes shows me information about what has been produced, what is left to be produced, the due date, which in this case, we are pretty late on since it is in red, and it shows me all of the materials I have available to produce this product. If you will notice that there is a printer located on this job as well. If I click that printer, it is going to bring up a job traveler, showing me a paper-based version of the same information.
Job sheet 3539 has been bar coded. I have all of the information about the job routing, where it needs to go, the materials that are required during production, inventory allocations that have occurred, and all of those parts specifications that we looked at earlier are also listed for me on this job traveler. This is going to stay up to date as we manage production through all of those steps. This is an example of what we can do as far as managing a paper-based system as well.
That is a quick look at the dispatch list, how we create work orders, and how we respond to demand within the system. I am going to switch back over to the PowerPoint and cover another topic which is an important one. If we have decided to make something, potentially we need to have the ability to purchase or buy materials whether they are raw material or they are purchase components we are buying from somebody.
It is the same kind of idea. We have the ability to look at the demand from a purchasing standpoint in a time phase layout and we can also do things like vendor manage inventory, manage unit conversions depending on how you receive them or how you consume them into the production process. I am going to go back into the system and bring up that MRP system and show you what that looks like.
If I go into the MRP system, a similar filter box is indicated. I’ve indicated that my finished part 4799 is what I am interested in looking at. Then I provide a window at which I am interested in looking out over. In this case, it is eight days.
If I click the search button, we will see all of the component requirements for this product that I need to, or might need to, purchase over time. Each one is indicated down the left hand side. I have washers, I have resin, I have bushing, and each of them have a calculated demand requirement over the time that we have indicated through our time window. We have a net inventory on the bottom part.
It looks like I am pretty good on the washers. We have in fact probably over-ordered our washers. As a planner, I may want to reduce this list and only show the requirements. I can click this button, click search, and it is only going to show those items that I might actually have to go out and purchase. In the case of the bushing here, we have driven this deep into the negative. If we go down our screen here, you can see we have a number of things that really need to be purchased.
In order to purchase these in the case of this nut, if I click on the item, it is going to take me to a screen where I can see who the approved suppliers are, what my inventory requirements are, and the system in this case is making recommendations based on jobs in the system, or based on minimum inventory levels, that I may need to do a purchase run on this.
In this case, this is a demo system, so we have a lot of requirements that have been building up over time. But the point is that the system is recommending that I purchase 402,784 of these and make sure that they are purchased by 12/8, which is today.
So I am going to go and create that and add it to an open PO. When I do that, it should change the profile on my screen. Now if I go back to showing all my parts, we should see that we purchased 402,784, that they are due to be received, and they have changed my whole net inventory calculation that is being done by MRP. That is a quick look at how we would drive purchase decisions throughout the system using a time phase MRP system.
Let us head over here again and take the next step which is once we have understood demand, we’ve planned production, gone through a buying operation using MRP, the next step is how do we make this product.
We use a lot of different tools, and there are many different tools available to the user within Plex. What you are looking at here on the screen is a job view which is a Gantt chart that has a calendar which shows the length of time that a job that a job is going to consume within production and allows the user to start dragging and dropping jobs from one work center to the next, from high priority jobs to low priority jobs.
We are providing tools to manage activity on the shop floor. That is the planning, that’s the Gantt chart view, showing the job and where it is going to be performed and then we have a dispatch list, which we just looked at, that shows how the job is progressing against the plan.
Then we bring in what we call the control panel. If everybody here is familiar with the term HMI or Human Machine Interface, then you will recognize what the control panel is. The control panel is a central point of control for operators in a touch screen environment to see everything that they need about the operation that they are currently working on.
What I am going to do is go into a little more detail and compare our control panel to maybe what you are familiar with that we see quite frequently, which is work center control stations that look like this, that are heavily paper-based and have a lot of different command and control components. Whether it is tooling, it’s maintenance work orders, it’s managing bar code labels, or quality reports tacked to a bulletin board, safety sheets or quality alerts that are being sent down from the quality department. All of these different activities that are currently managed in most operations through paper and bulletin boards and white boards, can be managed in a virtual environment using the Plex control panel.
What I want to show you now is our version of this same setup for an operator within Plex. There are some facts about our control panel. It is the most deployed solution within the system. If you go to any of our customers, they are running some version of the control panel. It supports the concept of matching physical reality to the system reality.
There are a lot of pieces that I am going to go through on this control panel whether it is bar code labeling, quality reports, safety sheets, work instructions, the same concepts we saw on the previous slide are managed and controlled through the control panel delivered by Plex. It goes all the way down to the human resources side of things. It allows employee suggestions if you have a process improvement system and we also can tie directly down into the PLC through a SCADA server to receive production information directly from a machine as well.
That is a quick look at the control panel. The point here is that the control panel is helping us drive real time visibility and also the financial impact of labor, materials, overhead, and potentially, sub-contract activities. This provides our customers with amazing rationalization of costs and the ability to control those costs or at least understand where they are derived from.
Let us take a quick look at the control panel within Plex. I have one that I can put up here on the screen. This is a control panel for job 660 related to part number 4799. Please keep in mind this is designed to be used in a touch screen environment, so all of these big block areas, if its up on an LCD, can be touched and accessed. If I want to see more information about job 660 or any job that I am expected to work on, you can see that I have a slice of the dispatch list going across from left to right.
I can also, if I need to, put my control panel into a maintenance status, or an off status, or indicate that there is a problem which may indicate to maintenance that they need to come and attend to my work center. Now I am going to indicate a lubrication problem.
On the right hand side here, I have my bulletin board or my white board that can show me information about the plant, about parts, about anything that is occurring which can be notified to the operator using this screen. I have all of my information about tooling. I have my work instructions. I can alert maintenance to a work request. I can look at the qualified gauges that can or cannot be used for a certain operation. I have logged in as an operator on the left hand side here and the middle part of the screen here is all of my quality information that needs to be recorded for a part in production within Plex.
I have a setup operation, I have a first piece inspection, and every ten minutes I need to check some quality aspects of the system.
Since I have not done this in ten minutes, it is yellow and indicating to me that I need to take a quality measurement. If I come in here and indicate who the user is and fill out this whole check sheet, then I will be able to put this control panel back into production and continue the activity of recording production and managing my activity within the control panel. That is a quick look at the control panel within Plex and how we use it to record production.
Let’s go back to the slide here and talk a little bit about what happens after the make operation. After the make operation, we enter our finished goods inventory ready and potentially match it with a shipper that is waiting in our shipping department, and load that inventory into a truck and ship it out to a customer. We have a number of different ways to do that.
I have one that I am going to bring up on the screen here, so I will go to customer shipping. I will indicated, if I was a shipping clerk, that I want to bring up all shipments today for customer 1000. Let us get rid of the part number and click search here. Here are all of my shipments for customer 1000 and you can see on the bottom part of the screen here, that I have a mirror dash 8808, 45 pieces were ordered. We bumped up the order to 200 to match the inventory that is out on the floor for these guys. But as I get more green boxes across the screen, it lets me know that I am actually ready to ship this product.
I have now, since I have loaded it to the truck and it is ready to go and been scanned on potentially, the ability to click the ship button, provide some basic information about the truck, the trailer, any notes I want to provide. I click the update button, and many things are going to happen here. This is a demo system, so we are going to show you a lot of different capabilities around what we can print, in this case, to the screen. We may choose to print some barcode labels. We may have a placard that we put onto the palette and Plex is generating all of these.
Let us bring up the barcode labels that may have to go onto the boxes before they are shipped. We have a US customs form that we are generating. We have a customer shipper that can go along with the palette or the boxes. This is the placard indicating the number of skids and where it is going to be delivered to. But all of that is being driven from Plex directly from the shipping activity and directly from the customer information we have about what their requirements are. That is a quick look at how we ship within Plex.
The last thing is, as a result of shipping, how do we issue accounts receivable transactions. How do we track the payment of AR and manage the net process. This is an example of a customer invoice that is currently created in the system right now. Invoice number 12 29. We manage all of that within the system. EDI can be generated from this step as well.
Let’s go take a quick look at the accounts receivable. I am going to look at my AR. Plex has a fully integrated accounting and finance system AP, AR, and GL. If I look at my customer invoices, you will see here that I have a number of them, but I am going to bring up invoices related to customer number 1000 and click search.
We have a number of invoices that were generated here, but at the bottom part of the screen here, we have the unvouchered receipt that I have related to what I just shipped. We can pull that up and choose to print it to make a payment or record a payment. All of that activity can occur on this screen here. This is an example of an invoice, who it is being shipped to and billed to, the description of what the line items are, the account number that they are being charged to, the individual unit price that is available, and the total quantity that we shipped to them as well. That is a quick look at the AR side of the equation.
Let us go back here and I want to finish with one last idea before we move to questions. That is the idea that Plex is a system that covers the entire enterprise. Due to our development model, we believe that we are a perfect fit for the organization. We are constantly providing improvements in terms of enhancements to the system and because we are a cloud system, every time you log in, you are always seeing the latest version of the system in real time.
Like Mike describe earlier, it is a living system, is tremendously easy to use, is very focused on manufacturing and the manufacturing enterprise, and I hope today through my quick day in the life you have seen that. Now I would like to open things up for questions if you guys have them.
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