August 2019 Newsletter

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Welcome to PSSI’s Update Newsletter

From your enterprise software experts at
Performance Software Solutions, Inc.

August, 2019

UpdateAugust Edition

So… it’s the doldrums, right?  Still, our newsletter soldiers on.  As providers of business software and consulting help, we’re out to inform our clients, partners and prospective customers year-round about the tools, people and software we utilize to make you more profitable and efficient.

We welcome your feedback at any time.  You can call us at 877.273.2444, or drop us an email at

Speaking of the Future: Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Power Platform with HoloLens

If you’re a user of Microsoft Dynamics NAV — now Business Central — then you may be interested in the emerging business cases around it that aim to bring the physical and digital worlds together.  In a recent interview with Jason Gumpert at, Edo De Martin, general manager for mixed reality apps at Microsoft, explained recently that Microsoft applications based on HoloLens (and, increasingly, mobile and tablet devices) are coming into the world. He explained:

“In mixed reality, we did a bunch of research on how this technology could solve business needs. Based on our research, we came up with four core areas: remote assistance, training, collaborative visualization, and contextual data access, also known as ‘your data in your space’.”

Guides, which De Martin manages, trains people on how to correctly work with assets in a real-world setting. Guides can display 3-D visuals, training materials, and interactive tasks through HoloLens. It is intended to train workers and measure their performance, with the ability to capture and store data on their usage history via Microsoft’s Common Data Service for use in reporting on experience and performance – or in other apps that consume CDS data like Dynamics 365 Field Service or Finance and Operations.

Organizations are often seeing limited ROI from classroom training and institutional wisdom is being lost due to an aging workforce.  Frontline workers have been under served by technology for too long. “And here’s where the connection to Dynamics 365 comes in, because here we have a tool and, with no coding, we can enter in these processes that have been missing for years. [Customers are] able to capture these processes that have been missing for years and take data about training in real time, pumped out to Power BI and read it, understand it, put it into CDS, and then bring [it] together to get insights on training that are completely new.”

At the recent Microsoft Business Applications Summit, Microsoft representatives noted use cases like looking up a guide while servicing a device (rather than calling for Remote Assist with a live person). The approach would likely use “markers” on the device to help the worker get hands-free access to the right guide, which could provide anything from a 3-D model overlaid on the device to documentation.

HoloLens 2 capabilities like eye gaze can advance a guide. And while hands-free scenarios appear to be top of mind at Microsoft, representatives at the conference stated that they are considering mobile and tablet scenarios.

ALERE and the Importance of Making Modifications the RIGHT Way.

PSSI has been implementing ALERE manufacturing and accounting software now for over 25 years, and we still think it’s one of the best-priced, best-functioning manufacturing software products you can buy anywhere.  Users appreciate ALERE’s flexibility over many other systems.

Recently, TIW President Rod Hatcher made a timely comment about modifying their system, while ensuring you do it the right way, by ensuring future, downstream compatibility.  As Rod notes in a recent company newsletter, eNotes

“You made a decision to allow ALERE to be an integral part of your company. We appreciate that, and one of the things we do in return is to provide a product that protects your investment now and in the future. That future means that your company has the opportunity to update to new releases of ALERE and to bring your modifications along for little or no cost. However, and this is important, those modifications must be done using the methods and processes outlined in the ALERE Developer’s Kit.

We strongly advise that any modifications that you decide to undertake be carefully discussed with the person doing them to make sure they will be done under the auspices of ALERE. Not only will this ensure that your company can move modifications forward easily but the ALERE development methods have proven themselves to be a much more efficient way of coding.

There are three aspects to new releases that are important to your company. The first is obvious, taking advantage of new features and products. The second is keeping pace with technology changes. The third is less obvious: correcting issues that cannot be safely addressed in field patches and integrating those patches into new ALERE versions to maintain performance and integrity.

Being able to make modifications is often crucial. Being able to move to new releases and retain those changes protects your company’s future.”

Want to Learn More About ALERE?

TIW has a 7 minute Manufacturing Overview Video on YouTube that will give you a nice overview of what manufacturing software can do for you.  Click the link above to see why ALERE may be a great fit for your manufacturing operations.

To learn more, call us any time at 877.273.2444, or visit us on the web.

In this issue of Update

  • Speaking of the Future: Dynamics 365 and HoloLens
  • Who Is PSSI?
  • Tips & Best Practices
  • The Importance of Making Modifications the RIGHT Way- ALSO: Watch This 7-Minute Manufacturing Software Overview VIDEO 
  • Customizing Dynamics NAV – Who Does What?
  • Free White Paper: Software That Matters
  • The REAL Key to Our Longest Economic Expansion Ever

Who Are We?

Performance Software Solutions, Inc. is a northern Indiana-based reseller of enterprise accounting, manufacturing and distribution solutions from leading brands including Microsoft, TIW Technology and Sage Software.  We have been serving the small to midsize manufacturer and distributor, mostly across the Midwest, for over 30 years with a team of business consulting and software experts that is second to none.

PSSI specializes in helping manufacturing and distribution firms solve some of their most difficult process and technology problems.  Though we implement software solutions (including Microsoft Dynamics Business Central and TIW’s ALERE), we are most tightly focused on people, workflow and process improvement.  We’ve helped hundreds of companies like yours over the past 30 years improve their operations, process flows, automation strategies and their bottom lines.

Need help with your systems?  Learn more at or call any us any time at 877.273.2444

Looking for some prudent advice before investing in software? Check out our Knowledge Bank.

Click any of our links BELOW for tips and best practices on planning for software…

ERP vs. Digital Transformation
Learning From Process Management Mistakes
Seven Jobs of the Future

WHAT’S NEW? Updates on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (formerly “Dynamics NAV”)…

Customizing Dynamics NAV: Who Performs Each Type, and Who Do They Affect?

As Microsoft points out in an article at their website for Dynamics NAV in an article on ‘Tips & Tricks,’ there are several ways in which NAV can be modified, while who does each of them varies by complexity.  Following is an overview of who performs the various types of modifications, and who they affect…

  • Permissions-based customizations are typically performed by a developer, IT pro or reseller.  These show or hide user interface elements based on the license or the user’s permissions to the underlying tables. All elements, fields, actions, and page parts can be removed from the user’s view.  These changes are seen by all users in all companies.  More detailed information can be found here.
  • Installing an extension is typically done by an Administrator.  Extensions are like small applications that add functionality, change behavior or provide access to new online. For example, Microsoft provides an extension that provides integration with PayPal Payments Standard.  Extensions can be seen by all users in all companies.  More detailed information can be found here.
  • Configuration of, say, a user interface, can also be performed by an Administrator.  Companies can customize the user interface for multiple users by adding/removing user interface elements based on permissions, or by customizing a profile that the users are assigned to (using the same personalization features available to users).  These changes affect just those users of a specific profile type.  More detailed information can be found here.
  • Personalizing the workspace can largely be done by any user.  Doing so changes the layout or the content of your pages.  It affects that user only.  More detailed information can be found here.

Thinking about integrating Dynamics 365 into your business?  Or just have questions about the process, or need advice and recommendations?  Call us any time at 877.273.2444, or visit us on the web.

We’re here to help!

Click HERE to read our popular white paper “Software That Matters” on the ins and outs of purchasing an ERP System.

Want to Know the Real Reason the Expansion Has Lasted So Long?

Just. In. Time.

Seriously, read on.  Because we’re not kidding.

A recent article in the Inside View column of The Wall Street Journal by tech/biz writer Andy Kessler carefully proves the point that the key to our long economic expansion has been largely due to business’ rising grasp of the concept of just-in-time inventory, and its application via today’s modern ERP and inventory control systems.

While the Fed creates money the economy needs, it doesn’t create demand.  The record-length expansion is also not due to the stasis produced by a a divided congress, or the Obama or Trump policies, or demographic shifts, or a strong or weak dollar.  As Kessler notes, “you can thank all those consultants you see crisscrossing the country with their AirPods and airy attitudes.”

In previous (that is: Pre-PC) eras, economies would live and die by inventory cycles, he notes.  He lays out the steps in the cycle from expansion through buying, investment, price hikes, etc… all the way back to recession again.  That era ended with the bloated inventories of the early 1980s when everyone from movie makers to chip producers and PC makers, and many in between, got swamped by excess inventories.

When PC-maker Compaq decided enough was enough, they began demanding chips be delivered on a Tuesday for PCs shipped Wednesday.  This gradually smoothed out the cycles of a volatile industry, and eventually led to wholesale adoption of the JIT policy.  36 years later, much of the global economy has perfected the supply chain.

Logistics and ERP software have allowed manufacturers to track every production detail at every plant location.  The data is now held in large databases that help users forecast demand, and the pieces of the chain, when fine-tuned, work synchronously to ensure the right amount of product or materials is delivered to the right customer’s plant at the right time.  The result, as Kessler sums up, is “exactly the right amount of toothpaste magically dropped into Walmart shelves each night,”

Today’s software is a plethora of pieces including supply chain management. customer relationship management, accounting, inventory, business process reengineering and decision support systems.

Of course, the dirty little secret is that all this complexity can be difficult to design and implement, and a task to manage.  While the results are well worth it, these initiatives are not for the weak of heart — or budget.  Hence, the aforementioned need for consultants.

As a result of JIT, software has become “the lubricant for the economic gears, preventing inventory from gumming up the works.”  Consultants, notes the Journal, are mislabeled — they’re really implementers today, as they work to improve analytics, reduce inventory, stop over-investment and tame the boom/bust cycles of the past.  Of course, outside events can still bite us, and prove the boom/bust cycles are not yet fully tamed.  There’s always tariffs and oil wars and over-leveraging to worry about.  But overall, business today has learned to track, project and manage production and inventory like never before.

So next time you see a JIT or lean consultant, thank him… and get his card.

To learn how PSSI can help solve your inventory or other process & production challenges — just contact Larry Lukasik at 877.273.2444 any time.  We’re here to help!

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