Key Features

Some of SteelManagers key features

Inventory Control

Inventory Control

Stock is the hub of SM; all other modules interface to it in some way. The stock module not only allows users to see what's currently in stock, but also what's due in (and when) from suppliers or production, and what the impact of sales- and enquiries-demand is on stock levels.

  • At-a-glance view of weights, numbers, lengths, etc, in stock; view chemistry and mechanical properties if appropriate
  • Drill-down facilities from product totals, through the individual batches that make up the totals, to details not only of the batches but also where they came from (eg purchase, production) and how they're committed (eg sales, production)
  • See what's due in, when it's due and what its cost is expected to be
  • See how cost is made up: eg purchased at so much per tonne, with any number of added values, eg for transport, inspection, manufacturing, testing, etc
  • See what's committed on current orders and when it's required
  • Full traceability at batch level of both quantity and value

eDocs - Document Management

eDocs - Document Management

Imagine this: there's a customer's truck in your yard, his steel has been loaded, you've prepared the delivery ticket, and now the mill-cert is nowhere to be found! Sounds familiar? SM's eDoc module was designed to ensure that situations like that are things of the past. All critical documents are stored within our system and are always available.

  • Associate documents with SM entities such as casts, sales, customers…Wherever the entity can be viewed on screen, its documents may also be viewed.
  • Store any form of document: if Windows will open it with a double-click, you can store it in SM.
  • Source documents in a variety of ways:
    • all stationery produced by SM can, configurably, be automatically stored.
    • scanner; if you scan barcoded stationery originated from SM the system can automatically recognise and link it appropriately. Thus a scanned advice-note, signed by the customer, can be recognised as a proof of delivery, for example, and automatically stored against the sale.
    • from email attachments. Thus PDF mill-certs, customers' drawings, etc can all be entered - with no need to print them first
  • View, print, email or fax documents or groups of documents directly from SM.
  • Save time: no more lost documents, no more photocopying mill-certs, etc.

Commercial Decisions

Commercial Decisions

Whether your selling from stock for next-day delivery, or engineering components to a customer's specification with a lead-time of months, you'll find SM's Sales Order Processing module quick, easy to use, intuitive, flexible and powerful. Any or all of the functions can be configured in if you would find them useful, or configured out if they would get in the way.

  • Turn enquiries or estimates into sales with a mouse-click.
  • Links into popular accounts systems to enforce credit-control rules.
  • Control sales-order progressing by enforcing rules such as "Contract Review must occur before production stationery can be printed".
  • Quick links into the stock module. Allocate physical stock or incoming material from a purchase order; optionally have chemistry- and/or mechanical-properties checked automatically at this point.
  • Allow SM's alerts system to keep key users informed of sales slippage if purchase expected-dates slip, etc.
  • Add a process route to a sale, listing the manufacturing stages through which the material from stock must pass in order to achieve the customer's requirements.
  • Schedule the route so that orders falling behind schedule can then be highlighted for corrective action to be taken at an early stage
  • Control the load on your internal production facilities
  • Issue purchase-orders on subcontractors; see where your material is at subcontractors; check their invoices against returns from subcontractors.
  • Monitor profitability with powerful job-costing facilities.

Financial Overview

Financial Overview
  • Configurable to meet your business processes
  • Integrates into popular ledger packages

Production Control

Production Control

The Production Module offers both a facility to raise internal manufacturing-orders to convert stock from one form to another (the product starts off as stock and ends up as stock usually on a different stock-line), and also an add-on to the Sales Module (the product starts off as stock but is despatched from work-in-progress - this is useful if your business is jobbing manufacture: it means that you don't necessarily need a stock-line for everything that you despatch to a customer).
In both functions, you set up a process-route (either from scratch or from a library of standard routes) which defines the different manufacturing stages through which the product must pass in order to reach the desired end-product, either the new stock-line or the customer's requirement. Stages on the route can be either internal or subcontracted. Production stationery can be produced at appropriate stages as the product progresses along its route, eg Works Order, Subcontract Purchase Order, Collection Note, etc.
Since route-stages are scheduled, then production problems can be identified early by asking SM which jobs are running behind schedule, which internal resources are overloaded, what material is currently at subcontractor-x, etc.

  • Monitor and control material moving from stage to stage in its manufacturing route.
  • Save time on sales orders by despatching from work-in-progress. Saves having a stock line for everything you sell to a customer.
  • Quickly analyse production schedules.
  • Check internal resource capacity.
  • Quickly check which material is out at subcontractor.
  • Produce stationery such as works-orders, subcontractors' purchase-orders, collection-notes, etc as and when required.
  • Detailed breakdown of target material cost with powerful costing facilities.
  • Monitor your subcontractors' performance.

Procurement Management

Procurement Management
  • Raise purchase-orders for both policy-stock and also merchanting (back-to-back) requirements; analyse both separately
  • Use SM's powerful purchase-planning facilities to assist in making those policy-stock buying decisions
  • If a purchase expected-date slips, alert users associated with sales waiting for the material; within the sales module sales with such material-availability issues are traffic-light colour highlighted
  • Ask SM to remind you when it's time to expedite this or that particular purchase
  • Optionally ask SM to check either or both of chemistry and mechanical-properties of the material received
  • Enter suppliers' invoices and check them against receipts. Post purchase-invoices into a range of popular accounts systems
  • Allocate sales-orders against outstanding purchases. When material is received, prompt user to reallocate, or use SM's alert system to inform sales staff that material has been received. If the purchase's expected-date slips, highlight affected sales
  • Send a purchase enquiry to several suppliers; convert the "best" to a purchase order

Ledgers Integration

Ledgers Integration

We don't try to re-invent the wheel, and since there are many good accounts suites out there (you're probably using one yourselves) we don't write our own ledgers. Instead we provide interfaces into popular accounting systems, which has the advantage, if you're using such an accounts suite, that you don't need to change your accounting system if you become a SM user.

  • Import customers and suppliers from your ledgers into SM.
  • Credit-check customers at the point of entry of a sale or enquiry, and optionally at despatch as well; invoiced-debt and optionally the value of outstanding sales can be compared to customers' credit-limits.
  • Post sales- supply- and subcontract-invoices directly to your ledgers: no duplicate entry needed.

Transport Planning, Despatch and Invoicing

Transport Planning, Despatch and Invoicing

Of course you want to raise a delivery-ticket at short notice, for example because a customer's truck has just pulled into your yard to collect material. But you will also want to optimise your shipping, perhaps by loading your truck with material ordered by several customers in the same general geographic area. SM allows you to do both or either. Equally, a cash customer probably needs an invoice there and then, but your account customers are more conveniently invoiced once a week, say. Again, SM provides the required flexibility.

  • Transport-planning facilities allow you to optimise shipping costs.
  • Flexibly print despatch-tickets: eg a ticket for a single sale, or all tickets for one transport-plan; optionally barcode the tickets so they can be later scanned as proof-of-delivery (see accompanying eDoc page).
  • Optionally print (or email or fax, etc) your own test-certificate or letter-of-conformity
  • Automatically select a default set of stationery to accompany the shipment (eg this sale requires an advice-note only, that one an advice-note, a copy mill-cert and a letter of conformity). Print or email or fax the selected set to the customer's designated contact(s)
  • Monitor your delivery-performance.
  • Invoice a despatch individually or bulk-invoice all outstanding despatches. Again, direct emails automatically to the customers' invoice-receipt contacts.
  • Post invoices into your sales-ledger (provided you are running one of the leading ledger suites to which we integrate).

Shopfloor Automation

Shopfloor Automation

Does this sound familiar? Sales take a call from your best customer who wants to confirm that his order such and such will be with him tomorrow, as promised. Your computer-system tells you that the works order has been printed and presumably that means the job is on the saw now. But has sawing actually started? How many pieces have been cut? Will the job be finished in time for the customer to receive it tomorrow? "Sorry, let me get back to you…" and the salesman has to go out into the works and find the works order by the saw and start counting pieces. And while he's out, the works order comes back to the office indicating that sawing is complete! SM's shopfloor automation module is designed to remove the wait for paperwork to get back to the office, but allows real-time updates to the computer from terminals on the shop-floor. The terminals might be ruggedised PCs, typically with touch-screens, close to your production equipment, or might be hand-held devices connected to the computer-system via an RF wireless network. In both cases the terminals will have barcode readers so that operators don't need to type order numbers, or saw numbers, etc. An additional benefit is that decisions about which job has priority on which machine, made by production-planners in the office, are communicated instantly to the shop-floor. An operator, finishing one job on a production resource, merely asks his terminal, "What's next?" and is informed of the job currently scheduled next on that resource.

  • Real-time update of the computer-system as events occur on the shopfloor
  • Get a better handle on how long jobs take, since the start and finish of each job is recorded as it happens; thus get a truer picture of costs and throughputs
  • Reduce paperwork, reduce delays
  • Record operators, shift-changes, machine downtimes, etc

Quality, Traceability and Certification

Quality, Traceability and Certification

If you've been in the business for any time, you'll know that quality-assurance requirements today are much more stringent than they were yesterday, and you'll probably be able to predict confidently that they'll be even more stringent tomorrow. Many of the requirements are routine, but they all take time, and are all prone to human error. That's why allowing your computer-system to check as much as possible is such a good idea. And if you think that the list below offers far more than you need now, be reassured that it's all individually configurable on or off, and that you are prepared and can turn it on when a customer imposes a new requirement on you next week.

  • Complete batch traceability from supplier to customer via whatever stocking and engineering processes have been applied
  • Check chemistry and mechanical-properties against your buying-specs at goods-receipt
  • Check chemistry and mechanical-properties against customers' specs as you allocate material to a sale and also at other significant events - you might, after all, be changing material properties by heat-treatment or cold-working for example
  • Record significant documents in our document-management system - see separate eDocs page; the list is endless: original mill-certs, suppliers' advice-notes, UT reports, furnace-charts, testhouse certificates, etc; any or all are then available for all staff to check or print, and are ready to be added to the document-pack that will accompany your advice-note to a customer.
  • Generate your own certification, ranging from a simple certificate of conformity through printing casts' analysis to the foot of advice-notes to a full test-cert recording room-temperature and elevated tensile results, room-temperature and sub-zero impacts, ultrasonics, crack-detects and more.

Decision Support and Reporting

Decision Support and Reporting

SteelManager comes with its own set of prebuilt reports built using SAP Crystal Reports. This allows you to quickly analyse your data without worrying about report design.

We also offer add on options making use of other products from the SAP Crystal Report family. These range from the full version of SAP Crystal Reports that allows you to design and create your own interactive reports or SAP Crystal dashboard design.

Expand your access to Steel Manager data over the Web. The new data driver offers additional Web access to Web services by providing support for RPC encoding of SOAP messages, SSL-secured Web servers, as well as a working compatibility with the WS-Security standard. It adapts to custom logon requirements such as e-mail addresses or user/password.

  • Use Steel Managers predesigned reports or design your own.
  • Connect to the Steel Manager Data web service or exported XML data.
  • Use ODBC connections to pull data out into other applications.
  • Export your reports to various destinations. PDF Excel etc
  • SAP Crystal Reports software enables you to easily design interactive reports.
  • SAP Crystal Dashboard Design, personal edition is an easy introduction to dashboard-ing functionality.

Integration and other key features

Integration and other key features

SteelManager can integrate into other leading software packages with ease. Whether it's using a spreadsheet to analyze your data or using an email client to send electronic stationery SteelManager will work with you.

  • Integrate into third party scheduling software
  • Integrate into Marking software
  • Make use of printers specifically designed for printing labels on to steel products
  • Integrate into Ledgers packages
  • Integrate into Microsoft Office
 

Top of Page