By Patsie Dionise
Finding software that’s right for you can be both challenging and rewarding.
By Patsie Dionise
We live in an increasingly computer focused world, and this trend shows
no sign of stopping. And why not? The right software can help increase
production, lower costs and increase efficiency.
We live in an increasingly computer focused world, and this trend shows no sign of stopping. And why not? The right software can help increase production, lower costs and increase efficiency.
Below, we’ve showcased a few of the software packages available for professionals in the glass industry. All of the information presented comes from the manufacturer.
Inclusion in this section is not intended to constitute an endorsement by Glass Canada magazine or its staff. As with any purchase, please research all of your options thoroughly before making a decision.
Winflexum – FeneSoft – www.winflexum.com
According to FeneSoft, Winflexum software provides users within the window and door industry with a complete and comprehensive solution to their window and door manufacturing and processing requirements.
The company says the software uses the latest technological advances in 3D modelling and online processing. It is fully customisable to user specification, and can handle multiple profiles, such as plastic, timber, aluminum and steel materials. The database can be regularly updated online.
Among Winflexum’s features are realistic 3D visualisation of windows and doors in exquisite fine detail built from the original profile specification, full CAD cross-sectional drawings of the designed structure, links to fully automated machinery and a production control module. The software also features customer designed reports providing 3D quotations, orders etc. with electronic document web forwarding, and a number of modules, including customer relationship manager, project management and finance.
The program also offers remote access for online users, and is available to purchase in modular form.
CenterPoint – WTS Paradigm www.wtsparadigm.com
According to WTS Paradigm, CenterPoint generates quick, accurate, and professional looking quotes for your customers, and automates all of your order entry processes. CenterPoint also acts as the central repository for cataloging options and pricing for your product knowledge. The company’s configuration technology lets you store all product pricing and options, including to-scale drawings of each window or door. By using CenterPoint, WTS Paradigm says that you can greatly increase productivity and eliminate waste by reducing configuration error that comes with manual entry. CenterPoint can also be distributed through your sales channel so your customers can directly quote and order through your system. Features include an intuitive point-and-click or keyboard-driven graphical configurator interface allows for high speed quoting.
GlasPacLX – GTS Services – www.gtsservices.com
The design goal of GlasPacLX was to give glass businesses a holistic view of the details needed to make effective business decisions, and to enable them to do away with a combination of spreadsheets and systems. Driven by the input of more than five thousand GTS software users, the company invests one man-year of development every quarter to create an enhanced version release of its software.
GlasPac LX Online allows users to access critical business data from anywhere. Rather than building a proprietary accounting package, GTS partnered with Microsoft and Quickbooks to provide customers with financial applications tightly integrated with GlasPacLX.
GlaziersEdge – Glass Shop Software www.glassshopsoftware.com
GlaziersEdge includes a product database with over 2,000 items. Other features include: Customer quotes, orders, and invoices, both heavy glass (frameless) and standard shower configurations, custom pricing, costing, and markups, and labour, cutting, and fabrication charges. Also included are purchase order entry and tracking, inventory control, work flow management, word order and employee schedules, and accounting and sales reports. The software has the capability to interface with QuickBooks, PeachTree Accounting and other accounting packages.
The company says that quotes and orders can be created quickly and accurately using easy point and click facilities. Quotations, invoices and purchase orders or can be printed, faxed, or e-mailed directly from GlaziersEdge. The software also supports barcode scanners and thermal label printers.
GlassShop System – Data Tranz www.datatranz.com
Data Tranz provides a wide variety of solutions tailored to different segments of the glass industry. Manager is a system intended for the small repair-only operation. It offers the ability to print professional invoices with repair location, and submit invoices via EDI to Lynx and Safelite.
Lookup XE is the company’s entry-level software, providing basic NAGS lookup along with EDI functionality. Deluxe is the most popular version sold by Data Tranz. It has the same capability as Lookup XE, but can also be networked and includes a function for exporting to QuickBooks, as well as all of the accounts receivable functions offered by the GlassShop Pro System. Pro is a more advanced version for larger operations. The system includes inventory and purchasing controls, scheduling, and accounts receivable.
GPS – Lisec Software www.lisec-sw.com
Lisec Software offers a number of products in the GPS family, including GPS.order and GPS.prod.
GPS.order covers sales order processing, purchasing, stock control, cost calculation and online pricing. It displays every single product in full graphical detail, and scaled shape drawings can be displayed including all relevant processing details and technical production info. The integrated cover contribution calculation (sales margin) compares materials and production costs to the end sales figure. This is done per order item, allowing the online check of margins by completed product. Sales statistics are very important to document and survey the success of a company. GPS.order offers a full range of quality reports for all company departments, with full graphical statistics, and a number of modules are available to expand the program.
GPS.prod is a production planning and control solution for DGU, laminated and toughened glass. The integrated capacity planning system allows a constant view on production progress, which can be very important when production is complex with multiple production steps and material routes. Orders are exactly scheduled by the machine specific system. A number of different modules are also available for GPS.prod.
PRIDE for PrefSuite Preference North America www.prefna.com
Preference North America has recently announced the availability of the PRIDE (PReference Intelligent Data Exchange) system layer for the PrefSuite family of products. PRIDE provides interactivity between manufacturers, dealers, as well as users of the company’s web based order entry system (PrefWeb).
According to the company, the PRIDE system layer provides window manufacturers with advanced automated remote order entry capability, and manufacturers can not only provide real-time product updates to their dealers, but can also run marketing campaigns and time limited product promotions. Order entry and order confirmation as well as the capability to review production status by dealers are available without the need for email or CD distribution. Software and product catalogs are distributed synchronously similar to the way the updates are made available for other major software applications such as Windows and Java. Notification to the dealers of updates availability comes from the system tray. An integrity check between the manufacturer and dealer is performed each time the manufacturers’ system is synchronized with the dealers’ system which ensures that there is no conflict between product catalogs, pricing, or software versions. Changes to the status of existing orders is provided to dealers constantly allowing them to see planned delivery schedules without the need for calling the manufacturer. This improves the feedback to the dealer and reduces the number of phone inquiries. Web based users (PrefWeb) are provided the same feedback on manufacturing statuses when they log onto the manufacturers website.
Suite360 – 360 Innovations www.360-innovations.com
According to the company, Suite360 presents manufacturers the opportunity to develop an efficient, sound communication alliance with potential to expand into new markets and enhance existing ones to help grow sales, improve efficiencies and profit margins.
This specialized software package combines the company’s reseller solution CustomBuilt360, with its modular ERP software BusinessCore360.
CustomBuilt360 features a Guided Selling Product Configurator that integrates manufacturer’s product catalog intelligence turning specs into rich graphic renders. Features include live customization, order processing, multiple pricing scenarios, integrated quote modules, and up-selling strategy integration.
BusinessCore360 features quotation and estimating, order process integration, product configurator integration, inventory management, production scheduling, work order instructions, quality control statistics, accounting and financial reporting, scalable system and cost control, and many more features.
FeneVision – Fenetech www.fenetech.com
The Core Software is one of the cornerstone products within the FeneVision family. According to the company, it provides valuable production control and information to both plant management and direct labour. The modular software is deployed on networked PCs to schedule, optimize, execute and track IG and glass fabrication. The Production Control software can either interface to your existing business systems (order entry, invoicing, purchasing, etc.) via a custom import/export module or operate as a stand-alone package.
Features of the FeneVision family of software products include complete control and visibility of your production, flexible production scheduling considering machine capacities and unexpected production problems, instantaneous status of daily production, graphical visual feedback at each work cell, and much more.
- Determine your needs. Before you even start looking for new software, figure out what you’re going to want it to do.
- Solicit input. You’re probably not the only using it, and staff morale will decrease if they’re forced to use software that is difficult to operate.
- Determine your budget. Don’t forget that you’re not just purchasing the software. You might need new hardware as well, and budgeting for support services is absolutely vital.
- Determine your top picks. You might be able to eliminate quite a few packages right off the bat. Take a closer look at the products that meet your standards, and thoroughly research them.
- Make your final decision. You’re not just purchasing software, you’re basically hiring a vendor. If you like the product, but dislike the person, then it’s probably best to look for something else.