November 2019 Newsletter

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Welcome to PSSI’s Update Newsletter

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

November, 2019

UpdateNovember Edition

This month we focus on migrating to the cloud, as many businesses are starting to do.  We’ll also provide updates from our providers at Microsoft and TIW on the latest releases of their business software.

Software evolves quickly these days, and we want to be sure you’re up to date on the latest technology, as well as the latest news & updates from our recommended software brands.

This month too we’ll close out our three-part series from PSSI CEO Larry Lukasik on getting your warehouse in order.

As providers of business software and consulting help, our mission is 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

7 Powerful Reasons to Migrate Your Business to the Cloud

Lots of business people these days view the cloud with some trepidation and reservations.  We understand.  It’s a bit scary.  But with tongue firmly planted in cheek, we like to remind folks that Hey, the cloud is just some other’s guy computer.

Well, sort of.  Yes, it’s a computer somewhere else on the Internet, but along with it comes a whole host of security, cost savings and built-in collaboration advantages that may explain why moving to the cloud is the fastest growing sector in computing today.  Following then are 7 good reasons, courtesy of our friends at Stratos Cloud Alliance, on why it can make sense for you.

Reduce capital investments.  Cloud migration can eliminate hardware costs required to maintain and upgrade on-premise applications.  Customers can save 35%-50% vs. upgrading servers on-premise.

Put data security in the hands of experts.  Cloud systems are monitored continuously to prevent and mitigate threats, often with tools not easily available to small business.  60% of enterprises with appropriate cloud solutions will experience one-third fewer security failures.

Be prepared for the unexpected.  From weather to data breaches, cloud provides the ability to safeguard data and get back up & running quickly.  90% of organizations surveyed by Gartner say a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000.

Free up resources to focus on strategic objectives.  43% of employed Americans say they spend at least some time working remotely.

Unleash the potential of a tech-savvy workforce.  With the cloud, you can take advantage of connected productivity and collaboration tools that drive your workforce to more productive levels.  Note that 35% of today’s workforce are millennials, where collaboration and connectivity are assumed from the get-go.

Connect line-of-business applications.  Your mission critical ERP, business management, accounting and productivity applications are the core of your company’s workflow.  Is everyone connected?  66% of organizations consider themselves completely successful with business intelligence initiatives rooted in the cloud.

Real time data can be your competitive edge.  Unlock access to power data analysis capabilities in the cloud so your employees can better understand their customers, analyze trends, generate key reports and stay ahead of competitors.

Questions about your system needs, or about moving to the cloud? We urge you to contact PSSI directly at 877.273.2444We’re here to help!

Managing Prospect Quotes in ALERE (Also, ‘Where Used’ in BOMs and Work Order Revisions)

PSSI has been implementing ALERE manufacturing software for over 25 years, and we still think it’s one of the best-priced, best-functioning software products you can buy anywhere.  Users appreciate ALERE’s flexibility over many other systems. 
Below, a few features that make ALERE manufacturing software work so well for so many…

Managing Prospect Quotes
A major challenge for many companies is handling sales quotes for prospects. Often, one or more quotes can go out to prospects as part of the effort to close that first sale and turn them into customers. The ALERE InTouch CRM module is designed to manage prospects and facilitate the creation of quotes for them.

There are several different reports dealing with prospect quotes, and recently the InTouch Prospect Profile screen had two new tabs added related to quotes [see image above].

The Quote tab provides a convenient listing of the different quotes for a particular prospect. The list can be filtered by the status of the quote and a date range of when it was created. Double left clicking on a quote will hyperlink you to the actual document.

The Items tab complements the Quotes tab by listing the individual items on the quotes. Panoptic filtering can be done to look for certain items and quantities.

These two tabs place extensive amounts of information at your fingertips.

Where is an Item Used by BOM’s
A supplier notifies you that they are discontinuing an item you purchase from them and replacing it with another. You need to determine which BOM’s use that item, set an inactive date when the item will no longer be available, add the new item to the BOM’s, and enter the date it will become active. First you have to find which BOM’s use the item.

In v15.0 a Used button was added to the Inventory Item Master screen. Clicking on it will display a browser listing every BOM where the item is used as a component.

The Item Where Used browser provides three options. The first is to go directly to one of the BOM’s by choosing it and clicking on the Select button. The second is to print the list of BOM’s and the third is to send the list to an Excel file.

While there is a Where Used report available, the addition of the Used button provides a more direct and immediate way of managing inventory items that are used as components in bills of material. This helps keeping material planning accurate and ensures production is not interrupted when the old item is no longer available.

Work Order Revisions
Contrary to the way in which most manufacturing systems are designed, work orders in ALERE facilitate changes to material lists and routes to meet production conditions. Allowing changes make the work orders much more flexible but can introduce one major issue during the manufacturing process. Is the work order document on the floor up to date?

To address this question, work orders can track revision numbers and dates.  Work revisions can be done manually or can be controlled automatically according to how the Track WO Revision option is set on the Company Defaults Option tab.

Double clicking in the WO Rev field will display a revision note with a user, date, and time stamp. The note allows a reason to accompany the revision. Right clicking in the text area supports inserting file Hyperlinks to integrate relevant specifications, drawings, etc. for document management purposes.

Work order revisions round out the support required allowing changes to be tracked and the production floor kept up to date.

  • Want to Learn More About ALERE?

TIW has a 7 minute Manufacturing Overview Video on YouTube that gives a concise summary of what manufacturing software can do for youClick the link below 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.


ALERE Manufacturing Overview (7:00)

In this issue of Update

  • 7 Reasons to Move to the Cloud
  • Who Is PSSI?
  • Tips & Best Practices
  • ALERE Tips: Managing Quotes… Item ‘Where Used’… Work Order Revisions
  • 7 Minute Manufacturing Overview video 
  • Why Should I Upgrade? 2019 Release of Dynamics Business Central 365
  • Free White Paper: Software That Matters
  • Part 3 of 3: Getting Your Warehouse in Order, by Larry Lukasik

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…

The Real Costs of Inaccurate Inventory
Smaller Shipments Create Bigger Challenges as Customers Move Online
5 ERP Implementation Tips Worth Heeding

Why Should I Upgrade? What’s New in Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (formerly “Dynamics NAV”) – the Fall Release

Wave two of Dynamics 365 Business Central, recently released, focuses on modern clients, modern developer tools and faster migration for critical ISV add-ins.  

So often clients ask us: Do I really need to upgrade my software?  Why should I keep up with the updates? 

While the choice is strictly yours, and often dictated by cost considerations like the cost of porting unique custom modifications, or the time required to implement and test, it often makes sense.

After all, you’re paying for the ongoing enhancements through your software maintenance fee.  Updates often fix small bugs that can’t be cost-effectively managed any other way.  New features are constantly being added, and refinements made to existing functionality.  As operating systems evolve, and the cloud begins to dominate, staying up to date on those upgrades is your safest and most cost effective way to remain current and eligible for full support and continued enhancements.

To illustrate, check out the abbreviated list we published below of just some of the newest features that came with the Microsoft Dynamics Business Central 2019 new release last month:

  • Allow non-sequential numbering
  • Cancel reminders and finance charge memos
  • Carry line descriptions to G/L entries when posting
  • Create records and convert prospects with better templates
  • Use the Copy Document function on blocked lines
  • Aged Accounts Payable includes External Document Number field
  • Reconcile payables with the External Document Number field
  • Ability to download a database export file
  • Detailed notifications for update events
  • Multiple production environments
  • Report production outages in the Business Central Administration Center
  • Improved design for extensibility (integration with external or 3rd party applications)
  • Add links to your navigation menu
  • Add notes and links to data
  • Enhancements to Excel integration
  • Filter reports more efficiently
  • Full keyboard shortcut support
  • General user experience adjustments
  • Get overview of all business features
  • Identify the company by a badge
  • Longer timeout period for the server connection
  • Modern clients only for Business Central
  • Personalize actions on your Role Center
  • Resize columns with fewer clicks
  • Save and personalize list views
  • Switch between companies in your Business Inbox in Outlook
  • Multitask across multiple pages
  • Customize user profiles without writing code
  • Enter data with speed and agility
  • Filter option fields by multiple values
  • Enhancements for customer migration tools

And these are only the user-side improvements for the most part.  Developers have their own list.  Point is, a lot is happening to enhance your functionality each time an update or upgrade occurs.

BC365 release 2019 represents yet another step in the continuing evolution of the product formerly known as NAV, and PSSI is committed to keeping our clients and prospective clients up to date on the latest changes.  Continue to follow this newsletter for news and updates in the future.

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.

Getting Your Warehouse in Order

This is the last in a 3-part series of articles from PSSI’s Larry Lukasik on how to look at your warehouse, organize your inventory and improve your bottom line.

Larry Lukasik has spent decades helping clients improve their factories, warehouses and overall profitability by working closely with them to improve their procedures and their automation.  As the new owner of PSSI, Larry leads our team in helping all our clients make the most of their systems and improve them wherever possible.


  • Establish your standards for a clean and organized warehouse. (Floors swept weekly, no plastic wrap hanging from pallet rack locations, all items neatly stored with ID labels visible.)  Publish this set of standards, assign responsibility for doing the actions and audit the warehouse on at least a monthly basis.  Provide feedback to the team on performance.
  • One of the best techniques for keeping a warehouse organized is to zone it and assign individuals to each zone. (Rotate quarterly if necessary.)  Allow each warehouse employee at least one hour per week to review their assigned aisles, racks, shelves or floor locations and correct any poor housekeeping actions.  When doing audits, provide feedback to the necessary individual to ensure compliance with your standards.  You will be amazed at how warehouse employees start policing each other to ensure that no one is messing with their area.


  • Identify and document every process that either adds or subtracts inventory from your warehouse.  Formal documents should exist for every movement in or out of an inventory location.  Simple requisition forms can be used for informal receipt/removal (e.g., sales samples) of inventory items.
  • Enforce your procedures.  Nothing moves without paperwork.  Have necessary blank forms ready for immediate use in the warehouse if system-generated documents cannot be acquired quickly.  Simple rule: no paperwork, no inventory movement
  • All transactions increasing or decreasing inventory should be entered by warehouse personnel and should be entered the same day (hour) as the actual movement of the inventory (i.e., real-time processing).  When warehouse personnel realize that they control the accuracy of the inventory in the business system, they are more likely to take ownership of it.


  • From an efficiency standpoint, a warehouse should be organized by “activity” first, product type second and item number last.  The most frequently picked items should be closest to the point of use (shipping dock or production floor).  Some consideration will need to be given for the specific commodity and the racking type that is required to store it, but the closer you come to storing by activity, the more efficient your warehouse will become.


  • Implement performance metrics for the team.  People typically do what you “inspect,” not what you “expect.”  Having measurements will condition your warehouse team into a performance mindset.  When setting measurements, I recommend having three: one for accuracy, one for productivity (picks per labor hour) and one for timeliness (on time shipment/delivery of materials).

There’s a lot of money wrapped up in your warehouse.  We’re here to help you maximize its value.  We hope our tips of the last three newsletters have helped.  As we like to say, we’re here to help.

Warehouse and manufacturing improvement are our specialties.  Give Larry a call if you’d like to talk about yours, at 877.273.2444 (or 574.239.2444).

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