Andy Pratico Interviewed on Business Profits In the Real World News Radio Program!

Synergy’s Director of Business Development, Andy Pratico, was interviewed by Michael J. Kessler, CPA on the news radio program Business Profits In The Real World.  Please listen as Andy shares his insight on the success of Synergy and his strategy on how you too can bring your business to among the most profitable in your industry!

Tune in to listen to Michael J. Kessler hosting Business Profits In The Real World on Saturday afternoons at 4 PM on LI News Radio 103.9FM.

Click below to listen to the interview.



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.

S.I. Howard Glass Certified to the ISO 9001 Standard!

Synergy Resources is excited to announce that S.I. Howard Glass has just been certified to the ISO 9001 standard!  A third generation family owned business in Massachusetts, Howard Glass specializes in the manufacturing of custom made flat glass parts for the industrial, scientific, and medical industries.   A visual customer since 2011, Howard Glass undertook an ISO 9001 implementation, in conjunction with a series of Continuous Improvement and Lean Manufacturing programs including Kaizen, 5S, and TPM Events, beginning in October of 2013. 

This project was made possible with the assistance of a Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Grant.  Synergy Resources worked with Howard Glass through the Grant Preparation and Application Process, as well as facilitating the ISO 9001 program implementation in conjunction with the Continuous Improvement program events. 

During this time Howard Glass has improved to 90 – 95% On Time Delivery from less than 70% over the last  year and a half.  They have continued to meet their growth goals, and expect to increase their revenue based on the recent certification.  The unique blending of the Quality Management System requirements with Continuous Improvement events helped to create a system that is embedded within the structure of day to day operations. 

The consultants of Synergy Resources have been invaluable to us.  Their comprehensive knowledge of industry standards and best practices, combined with their tireless efforts of training our people, enabled us to achieve our goals in such a short amount of time.  We are by far a better company than we were one year ago.” – Elizabeth Keefe, VP of Operations at S.I. Howard Glass Co., Inc.



Revving Up Your Parts!

Written by Don Cormier of Synergy

“Change is inevitable… except from vending machines” –  Steven Wright

Most of you won’t relate to this, but there are a handful of companies who experience revision changes in their parts.  These changes may affect the finished product, a subassembly, or perhaps a material component.

If you happen to fall in the minority of companies who have to manage part revisions, there are some tools in VISUAL ERP that can help effectively manage carrying multiple revisions of a part in inventory.

Part Revisions often fall into 1 of 3 general categories:

  • Revision is fully compatible. In this situation, the part revision may not affect the usage of current inventory. For example, a part revision may be implemented for cost savings. In this case, existing inventory can be consumed, and additional tracking isn’t needed.
  • Revision is not compatible. The old revision cannot be used going forward, nor can the new revision be used in current builds. In this case, a new part ID is often advisable.
  • Revision is compatible (sort of). This is the engineering equivalent of the custom sales order which is “Just like the last one we built…..with these changes”.   The old revision parts are not fully compatible, and can only be issued or shipped in certain situations. This is the situation we will visit in this article.

Part Maintenance

Part Maintenance contains the current revision of any part.  These revisions may be manually managed, or managed through the ECN module.   The current rev is passed to any Purchase Order, Material Requirement, or Customer Order which this part may be used on.


Manufacturing Window

The Material Requirement Card in the Manufacturing Window contains revision history of both the component and top level part revisions.



Okay, great.  I know what the original part revision was, and what the current rev is.  How does this help?

While the VISUAL Inventory Transaction records contain the revision of the part, once it’s in inventory, that part revision isn’t readily available for you to know how many you have at a specific revision level.  Here are some ways to track both quantity and revision on hand. Requirements for specific revisions can be communicated through order line specs, or material requirement specs in the Mfg Window.

1. Part Trace

If your part is traced, you can add Revision as one of the trace properties.


When you transact the part, (receipts, shipments, or issues), you’ll be prompted for the revision.


In Part Trace Maintenance, we can readily see the quantity we have for each revision:


Trace ID’s can be can be associated with a specific work order or customer order they should be used on, by using the comments field in Part Trace Maintenance.


2. Locations

Another way to manage quantity of a prior revision is to segregate the revisions into separate locations. These locations may be in the same physical location with different labeling, but VISUAL will see them in different locations.

  • Create a location to denote the older rev(s) for the part in Warehouse Maintenance


  • Add this location to the part in Part Maintenance


  • Transfer the back rev part to the new location using Inventory Transaction Entry.
  • The Warehouse Locations window (accessed from the material planning window, part maintenance, etc) will quickly show how may pieces are available by revision.


3. Report

The Revision ID of the transaction is stored in the Inventory transaction table. A custom report can be developed to sum up the in and out transactions, grouped by part ID and revision ID. Locations or trace properties should be used to select the correct revision when shipping or issuing parts, or VISUAL will pull based on FIFO.

4. New Part Number

If the new revision is truly not backward compatible, nor is the current revision forward compatible, consider creating a new part number. Existing inventory can be reworked, used for spare parts, etc. Using a new part number, and the material card’s effective / discontinue dates, you can plan to phase in the change.



Synergy is Exhibiting at AeroDef on April 21-22, 2015!

Synergy is exhibiting again this year at AeroDef Manufacturing which is being held on April 21-22, 2015 in Dallas, TX.  You’re invited to attend as our guest.  To gain free Expo-Only admission (a $50 value), register online and use code AERODEFVIP.  Be sure to stop by to visit us at booth 204!  We look forward to seeing you there!

Synergy to Exhibit at HOUSTEX 2015

Synergy is exhibiting at HOUSTEX 2015.  We will be located in booth 2167.  Please stop by to visit us.

As a valued client we are pleased to provide you with free exhibits only admission to HOUSTEX 2015.

BUT DON’T DELAY! Register today and take advantage of this offer. This offer is only valid by using the link below.

Registration is quick & easy!

  • Click this special link to register with your free expo pass.
  • Register as many team members as you like using this link above

Manufacturing is experiencing a tremendous expansion of growth and innovation. HOUSTEX 2015 provides the means to fuel and strengthen that expansion.

HOUSTEX 2015 is an immersive experience, featuring hundreds of exhibitors highlighting the latest manufacturing technologies, and new interactive opportunities. Attendees will enjoy scores of new product demonstrations, hear experts share insights on industry trends, and make connections that can take their company to the next level.

From hands-on demonstrations to thought-provoking special events, HOUSTEX 2015 is at “The Heart of Manufacturing.”

Infor Announces “Parallel Tracks” for VISUAL Users

Infor’s CEO Charles Phillips announced at a keynote address for 500 VISUAL users at VISUAL Connect in New Orleans Tuesday, that VISUAL users now have a choice of staying on VISUAL’s current SQL Windows architecture, a platform that will continue to be enhanced and supported indefinitely, or moving to Infor’s Cloudsuite Business product, one of Infor’s new “Infor Xi” cloud-based solution set.

Infor Cloudsuite Business

will have several major areas of VISUAL incorporated into it such as the Manufacturing Window, Scheduling & Throughput Windows, EasyLean, and Actual Costing functionality.

This new option eliminates the previous mandate for companies to undergo what was previously a forced upgrade to a different technology platform.  Customers wanting to move to the cloud and still retain what they know and love in VISUAL, will be able to utilize the VISUAL functionality that will be incorporated into Cloudsuite Business by mid 2015.

Directly following the announcement, Infor VISUAL Product Manager Rich Lagoy announced many new enhancement initiatives for VISUAL’s next release in productivity, indepth functionality, and scalability including many enhancement requests from User Groups.

Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing initially started at Toyota in Japan (The Toyota Production System, TPS), which is now a much talked about concept in the manufacturing industry. So, what does it actually mean? The philosophy of this term is all about focusing on the customer as the most significant part of a business. The methods and processes of such a manufacturing model aim to maximize value, and at the same time, minimize waste! The intent is to add value to a product that customers actually pay for. All other things are considered a waste and should be removed from the manufacturing process.

To understand Lean better, let us talk about why the need for it was felt. There are two main purposes why Lean exists: To achieve customer satisfaction, and to do so in a profitable manner. Every part of Lean centers on the two purposes; with customer satisfaction being primary at all times.

In this model, anything that does not provide a value to the customer is a waste. Unless customers insist on including something specific, lean manufacturing eliminates it. This makes a process more efficient. Quite often, managers work in haste and apply lean principles to a business application, without even considering the customer-need for it. This leads to change, which customers do not expect or desire. Thus, it is important to ask “why” before implementing a lean principle. In this context, Synergy Resources’ lean manufacturing consultants are always there to help you plan your strategy.

Lean manufacturing is also considered to be an environment-friendly process. With efficient and well-planned production, organizations help reduce energy, water and other raw material consumption and expenditures. Additionally, there is lesser hazardous waste disposal, and consequently; a less polluted environment. Lean manufacturing can bring a lot of green-edge to a company. This is an additional benefit that organizations get in the wake of their argument that environment-friendly manufacturing processes are way too expensive and require a big investment into it.

Let’s also take a look at what ‘waste’ processes lean manufacturing eliminates:

  • Over-production – Manufacturing a product more than the required quantity may lead to excess inventory and eventually selling it off at a loss.
  • Inventory management – Piling up excessive items in inventories leads to further expenses of inventory management
  • Transportation – Unnecessary transit of products may damage them, leading to loss.
  • Rework – Ideally, production flow should move in only one direction every time in a seamless manner. Lean eliminates repetitions in the workflow due to corrections or re-work
  • Motion – Non-essential and incorrect motions or movements may cause undue stress or injuries; and can be done away with! Improvements and higher efficiency in this area results in fewer employee injuries and lesser claims for compensation.
  • Processing – Unplanned or unstructured production practices cause manufacturers to additional processes that may not be cost-effective. These can be eliminated with the help of a VISUAL ERP system.
  • Waiting time – In a manufacturing workflow, the equipment operator should have the least or no idle time, as it is a total waste.

By reducing wastes in the above scenarios, organizations can maximize their profits with lesser floor space requirements, reduced operator effort, lesser inventory maintenance and reduced lead time. Waste elimination requires a major understanding of lean manufacturing practices. The experts at Synergy Resources can help you gain by implementing lean manufacturing practices.