Many small companies who are thinking of implementing an MRP system will have their current data in Excel spreadsheets. 123 MRP Software can import data from Excel but it has to be in a specific format.
One way of tackling this is to copy and paste the current data into the specified format. The issues with this approach are quickly discovered:
- the data required may be in two or more different spreadsheets
- it is a time consuming and not easily repeated during testing
- it requires a long data freeze to migrate all the data to the 123 MRP software
The approach I took when implementing 123 for a company in this situation was to write macros in the spreadsheets which would take each entry and output it in the required format, and combine with data from other spreadsheets and systems to give a robust import file. Whilst the macros take a while to write they can then be run time and time again during testing as the import files become more sophisticated, for instance building the import files for supplier details, BOM details and current stock batches particularly if these include serial numbers.
Our testing gave us confidence that we could build the import files within a couple of hours. This allowed the company to continue running the normal operation and updating the historical spreadsheets until close of play on the day before we went live. We were then able to run the macros,create the import files, and load into 123 within about four hours during that evening. Everything was ready to go live, and it was n’t even that late a night.
Hopefully this will give you an idea of how to approach the import of data into the 123 MRP software. If you want some help from someone who has done it before and has a detailed knowledge of the 123 system please call me, Ian Marshall, on 01628 460 230.
The 123 database holds all the information you need to run your production process but users regularly want it presented in a way that is not easily accommodated by the system. For instance, sales order handling may want to see a simple page showing which orders need to be despatched when. Whilst this can be done in 123 it is not particularly user friendly so I have dealt with a steady flow of requests to present the data in a better format.
The example below (click on the image for bigger version) shows the key information for a product. It has:
- The stock by location
- the works orders in progress to produce more of the product. This one table also shows the detailed status of each work order, and the numbers under each operation are a hyperlink which will show the serial numbers of the products at each step.
- The open orders and when they need to be despatched
- Recently completed orders
Another format of report used is to create a dashboard type view in Excel. The screenshot below shows the sales history of several products all on one page, making comparision of sales by product very easy. The spreadsheet has a dynamic link to the 123 MRP database so the data is updated automatically when the spreadsheet is opened.