Andy Pratico was the Keynote Speaker at the APICS Vancouver Meeting

Synergy’s Andy Pratico was the Keynote Speaker at the APICS Vancouver Chapter Meeting on Thursday, November 26th. He captivated the crowd with his renowned How to Select ERP Without Losing Your Mind (or your job) presentation.  He offers live webinars every six weeks. For more information or to register, please click here.

New Features in VISUAL 8 Blog Series – Feature 3

Written by Paul Tedford

Dynamic Dashboards

Each week we will be sharing a new VISUAL 8 enhancement, click here for a VISUAL look at one of the customer requested enhancements in VISUAL 8.

New Features in VISUAL 8 Blog Series – Feature 2

Written by Paul Tedford

Graphical Document Lifecycle

Each week we will be sharing a new VISUAL 8 enhancement, click here for a VISUAL look at one of the customer requested enhancements in VISUAL 8.

New Features in VISUAL 8 Blog Series – Feature 1

Written by Paul Tedford

Drill to Any Level of Detail from Manufacturing Window’s Info | Cost Screen

Each week we will be sharing a new VISUAL 8 enhancement, click here for a VISUAL look at one of the customer requested enhancements in VISUAL 8.

S.I. Howard Glass Company Holds First VISUAL ERP Seminar, Showcasing Achievements

S.I. Howard Glass Company News: S.I. Howard Glass Company holds first VISUAL ERP Seminar, Showcasing Achievements.

Worcester, MA — On September 29th 2015 the S.I. Howard Glass Company held its first VISUAL ERP Tour and Seminar, entitled “Showcasing Achievements”,  Leveraging the VISUAL ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software, and Synergy Resources expertise.

hi2Elizabeth Keefe, Director of Operations for S.I. Howard Glass Company led the seminar discussion and tour of the Glass Company shop floor as she demonstrated the results of the VISUAL ERP software tools coupled with Synergy Resources business consulting efforts.

Synergy Resources, (a professional business improvement services firm) has helped Howard Glass with employee procedures and training on the world class VISUAL ERP software.

Howard Glass demonstrated the uses, benefits, and successful results during the last 3 years of operations. Attended by 11 people from 7 companies from a wide variety of industries, the seminar presented an educational and enlightening approach toward streamlining business processes with the capabilities of the VISUAL ERP software tools, strategic best process consulting and hard work.

“Streamlining means updating and getting the latest tools and technology to meet our company needs, to revise and improve the basic operations and every employee’s responsibilities of the company. This allowed us to grow without increasing the amount of support staff,” said Elizabeth Keefe. “Holding our costs allows us to be more competitive and win in the marketplace.”

hi1Elizabeth stated that Howard Glass has a very complex business, involved with many industries; Aerospace to Electronics, Biomedical to Electro-Optics industries. The VISUAL ERP system is “flexible off-the-shelf so it allows us to run our business in multiple ways to handle the work more efficiently for each industries unique requirements.” Howard Glass is an ISO: 9001:2008 certified and registered firm, with a proven track record of performance excellence.

Elizabeth Keefe added that Howard Glass’s specific needs for the VISUAL ERP system were to manage and improve the operational business needs of the company by utilizing VISUAL for quoting, material, scheduling, financials, quality, and managing its customers’ ever changing forecasts.

“It’s a truly integrated system from the sales quote to production and quality performance results. We’ve been aligning our processes and tools so that everyone is integrated and using the same system at the same time, allowing for more efficient, consistent productivity and results,” said Elizabeth Keefe,  “The data once entered during the sales process, can be leveraged throughout the operations, with no re-typing of any data.”

hi3Attendees took advantage of the event, asking Elizabeth to recall the operations before the VISUAL implementation compared to today, while also asking a wide array of process questions.

Over the few years since VISUAL was implemented, Howard Glass has steadily increased output, with virtually no added administration costs, remaining fiercely competitive, in a very competitive marketplace.




S.I. Howard Glass Company

Worcester,MA – 01604 Tel 508.753.8146

For flat glass substrates and fabrication services, S.I. Howard Glass Company is in a league of its own. Since 1912, we’ve supplied the industry with a huge variety of glass products, readily available for fast delivery.

Our substrates can be custom fabricated to the highest standards of excellence. From simple to complex configurations with the tightest of tolerances, we supply flat glass optical components to hundreds of customers, worldwide. Over the decades we have proven ourselves as a unique, adaptable, and solution-oriented company.

Our expanded product offerings include a wide selection of glass such as: Schott BOROFLOAT®, Schott Optical Filters, Schott B270, Schott D263, Schott AF-32, Hoya Optical Filters, Corning Eagle XG, Glaverbel Soda Lime Glass, and crystal clear Low Iron Float Glass. We maintain a vast selection of sizes and thicknesses from 0.1mm to 16 mm.

Our years of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Machining (CAM) experience combine with our knowledge and expertise in processing these materials. This allows us to prototype parts faster, with the highest degree of accuracy (+/- .001 inches) and fabrication as thin as 0.1 mm (.003 inches).


Synergy UserCon Canada VISUAL ERP User Conference Was A Success!

Synergy had a very successful first ever Synergy UserCon Canada VISUAL ERP User Conference which was held at the Queen’s Landing hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario on September 28 – 29, 2015.

The conference kicked off with Synergy co-owners, Gene Caiola and Mark Lilly, welcoming our valued customers during the Opening Session. This was followed by Infor’s Director of Product Management for VISUAL ERP, Rich Lagoy, presenting the VISUAL Roadmap.

Gene_Mark_OS            RL_VRM

Our attendees were able to choose from 60+ educational sessions in the Operations, Financial and Technical tracks. In addition, our attendees were welcomed to visit our Partner Exhibitors; Avalara, American Eagle, Portable Intelligence, QBuild Corporation and Infor.

katie            Partner

During the lunch hour, John Booth of Crawford Provincial and Lynn Spearing of The Peelle Company Limited spoke to the crowd about the benefits of joining the VISUAL Manufacturing Canadian User Group (VMCAUG).


Soon after, we drew the name of the lucky winner of the iPad for the early bird registration raffle. The winner was John Ashby of Crawford Provincial!


That evening we enjoyed the Welcome Wine Pairing Dinner in the Royal Cambridge room located at the Prince of Wales hotel.


The next day we welcomed speaker, Bernadeen McLeod, President and Founder of Mentor Works Ltd. She discussed various funding programs and opportunities which are available to our Canadian customers. Please watch for upcoming invitations to webinars that we will be co-hosting with Mentor Works Ltd.


We’d like to thank all of our customers, exhibitors and the Infor staff members that attended Synergy UserCon Canada and contributed to making it a success! We hope everyone found great value in the educational sessions and networking opportunities during the conference. We look forward to working with you in the future!



Synergy’s Andy Pratico Presented at NESCON 2015!

Synergy’s Andy Pratico presented “Cut Through the Hype – A Fresh Approach to ERP Selection” on Monday, October 5, 2015 at NESCON 2015 in Marlborough, MA. He filled the meeting room with interested attendees and kept the crowd engaged and entertained with his witty commentary. Pratico offers How to Select ERP Without Losing Your Mind (or your job) webinars every 6 weeks. You can register for a webinar and/or download his eBook by clicking here.

Synergy is Exhibiting at CMTS 2015!

Synergy’s Andy Pratico has been busy this week discussing VISUAL ERP with several CMTS 2015 attendees. He and his colleagues were glad to see many Synergy customers with their own booths at the show as well. It was another great year at the CMTS!

Manufacturing Concepts: MRP Based Systems vs. Order Driven Systems

Written by Andy Pratico of Synergy

There are many theories and concepts about manufacturing control systems. One such concept is the immortal MRP method of planning. A mathematical calculation for time phased purchase orders and work orders, based on inventory quantity on hand, lead time to replenish and future demand.

This concept was originally designed for manufacturing facilities that value material as their most precious resource.

The mathematical equation is quantity on hand x lead time x demand = suggested PO’s and WO’s. Being a mathematical calculation, the resulting planning forecast can only be as accurate as the data input. Most companies boast of having inventory accuracy of 95%. If the input to MRP is only 95% accurate, how accurate can the results be once it goes through its numerous computations? Besides the fact that inventory will only be accurate immediately after running the MRP formula, because it is a batch transaction.

An article in APICS magazine written by Jeff South stated, “Typical MRP systems are structured around certain assumptions imbedded in the logic of the planning program. MRP assumes that every item is an inventory item which goes into and out of stock. MRP also requires every item to be started and completed on it’s own and not to be contingent on the existence or progress of some other activity.” It further stated “An ODS creates a master schedule as a function of actual and planned backlogs …”.

This leads into a second manufacturing concept named Order Driven Systems (ODS). ODS were developed specifically for manufacturers whose demand was generated from specific orders (actual demand). ODS recognizes the resource interdependencies of material and labor throughout each work order and value each simultaneously. There isn’t much sense scheduling a piece of material to the shop if the resource (work center) isn’t available.

Another article in APICS magazine stated, “If both capacity and material are critical in making planning and scheduling decisions, make sure that the planning and scheduling systems you are considering can handle both simultaneously.”

In conclusion, as industries are forced by market and competition to become more responsive, their systems will need to change as well. MRP based systems are typically incapable of scheduling demands within the confines of capacity-constrained environments. Whereas ODS’ are designed for constraint based manufacturers where a majority of the demand is derived from actual customer orders, not a forecast. Want to learn more? Please contact us.

Is your QMS delivering Higher Profitability? It should be!

Written by Katie Farrand of Synergy

You may not have an answer to this question. In that case, maybe a better first question is Do you know what your Cost of Quality is? If the answer is No, then your Cost of Quality is likely creating unpredictable production schedules, variability in your organization’s Cost of Goods Sold and is likely impacting your profitability in a negative manner. Cost of Quality can be broken down into many sources and categories, but from a practical manufacturing standpoint there are three key things that should be captured: Scrap, Rework, and Warranty.

  • Scrap is any part, purchased or fabricated, that cannot be used.
  • Rework is the cost of any additional labor, material, or service that goes into bringing a nonconforming part, sub-assembly, or finished good back into specification.
  • Warranty is the cost incurred to bring any defective product that has already shipped to your customer back into specification, which may include a combination of rework, replacement, or credit. (Warranty should not be confused with Goodwill costs, which are costs incurred to satisfy a customer as it relates to product cost, delivery, or performance.)

These costs must be captured within the ERP System and flow through to the cost accounting system. Why is this so important? Because you need everyone in the company to recognize that these costs as REAL and you need this to happen so you can prioritize company efforts and resources towards reducing them. Nothing is more powerful in achieving this than the realization that this form of waste, when reduced, has an immediate impact on the bottom line profitability of the company. So where do you start? First, setup Inventory Transaction Adjustment Reason Codes tied to the appropriate GL account(s). These should be a list meaningful to the organization, but not too granular, that will let you evaluate the source of the cost – somewhere between 3 to 9 codes related to the three types of Quality Costs and possible broken down by responsibility related to Production, Design Change, and Supplier. From there, Scrap and Warranty adjustments can be captured through an inventory adjustment transaction. Rework and Warranty Rework can seem more elusive, but a tried and true method is to create a Rework Part ID and Work Order, in order to capture only the labor, material, service, and burden related to the specific effort, without negatively impacting the products’ COGS, by receiving and adjusting out the Rework Part ID. In the end, an analysis tool like SmartViews can be used to evaluate these costs and start your organizations focused improvement efforts towards eliminating the causes of the most expensive costs first. With a product like VISUAL Quality, there are even ways to link these costs to your Nonconformance records to capture even more data related to these failures. As you can see, these steps will be instrumental in driving your efforts to reduce your COGS, and therefore increasing your profits. For more information or help setting up your own Cost of Quality capturing process, contact us today!