Aktion is here to support your ERP choice – to upgrade and extend FACTS, or help you migrate to what is next.

Are you seeing signs that it is time to modernize your distribution solution? What would it mean to your business if your ERP could run on anything from anywhere in a web browser?

Meet Infor CloudSuite™ Distribution, a complete distribution solution that combines the benefits of the cloud with functionality that’s designed specifically for wholesale distributors – available on your servers or via cloud subscription.

Find out more. Register for the free, 30-minute webinar hosted by Aktion Associates and Infor. This is your opportunity to engage with Infor product experts, see a brief demo and ask questions.

Register Now

Long-term value creation for A+ and FACTS ERP customers is at the center of Infor’s recent rollout of Compass. Starting January Jan. 1, 2022, all FACTS and A+ customers are now supported by this Infor group. This strategy aligns perfectly with Aktion’s existing position which has always been to support our A+ and FACTS customers for as long as they choose to use the software.

Headed by Bill Vellante, the vision of Infor Compass is to:

 

What Compass Means to A+ and FACTS Customers

Customers can move at a pace that works best for their business. There’s no rush for A+ and FACTS users to migrate to Infor CSD. Customers may remain on their current heritage software for as long as they want, and Infor will continue to provide support including bug fixes through Compass.

The Infor Compass team is comprised of Infor personnel who know A+ and FACTS and are focused on product direction, support and on delivering an outcome-based customer experience.

Together, Infor and Aktion have the structure in place to support this valued customer set for as long as they choose to use the software.

Our strongest sources of value are:

The bottom line is Aktion’s A+ and FACTS customers have complete peace of mind. They can remain on the current heritage software and receive complete support with Infor Compass and, when the time is right, partner with Aktion to start the journey to a modern business operation.

 

I’ve been working in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software business for over 30 years and have seen many customers have great success with Infor Distribution solutions like A+ and FACTS. Based off my experiences, I’ve compiled a list of the top six reasons why A+ and FACTS customers continue to find success using these heritage ERP solution.

 

1. Reliability
Both A+ and FACTS are tried and true having stood the test of time for nearly 30 years helping distributors operate their back-office operations more efficiently. They are basically bullet proof when it comes to reliability with almost 100% uptime if hardware is current.

 

2. Familiarity
Everyone already knows how to use the software. Which means, there’s no need to allocate additional time or resources to train staff on a new system. There’s value in knowledge capital and knowing how to run a business with the systems in place.

 

3. Version Upgrades
Infor A+ and FACTS have stood the test of time. As these are critical to the operation of a business, to function properly and continue to deliver value, maintenance is required. This maintenance when it comes to your ERP is making sure you are on the most current release. This allows you to take advantage of the new functionality built inside the platform.

 

4. Adaptability
Over the past two years since the pandemic started, I’ve observed that customers on a current release of Infor A+ or FACTS were able to be very agile. The pandemic brought a resurgence of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) which allows for electronic interchange of business information using a standardized format. Our customers that were on a current release could easily add the EDI module allowing them to take advantage of the changing environment and gain new business. By being on the current software release, customers were able to modernize, innovate and drive digital transformation into their business as their customers and vendors required it.

Those who embraced digital transformation have been the most successful during the pandemic. From an Aktion perspective, we experienced an increase in delivering EDI services and there are several new EDI vendors in the market. The result is an uptick in integration data in/out and web services being used more frequently. Those that were on a current software release were able to quickly adapt.

 

5. Customizable
Unlike many ERP solutions today, the source code for both Infor A+ and FACTS is included. This allows users the ability to customize the software to meet their specific business needs. Infor A+ and FACTS users are a very active and engaged community. Collaboration in this community is one of the main reasons why these heritage ERPs are still valued and used in the Wholesale Distribution industry. Sharing customizations with other users is common. Aktion is actively involved in this community and regularly provides input on customizations for users.

 

6. Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Third-party Applications
Another way I’ve seen many A+ and FACTS users add functionality into their system is using ISV applications. These ISV applications can be used to perform targeted tasks such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Tax Compliance, Credit Card Processing, Ecommerce, etc.

 

Deciding What to Do with Heritage Infor ERP
Aktion has developed a list of questions we share with our customers to help them decide if staying on an existing heritage Infor ERP is in the best interests of the business.

Does the current ERP meet 90% of business needs?

Are there plans for a control change in the next 3-5 years?

 

Wizard of Oz Syndrome
In many cases, an Infor heritage ERP was installed many years ago and it’s likely the team that installed the solutions are no longer with the company. Adding to this, businesses change and need to adapt to stay competitive. Even with customizations and adding ISV software, the heritage ERP may not meet the needs of a modern Wholesale Distributor.

To help companies make an informed decision, we recommend conducting a business operations review. The review is a blueprint for identifying the gaps, if any, in their current ERP functionality and is the foundation for developing a comprehensive IT strategy. Frequently the review illustrates for company stakeholders that their existing Infor ERP solution has the functionally they need and is delivering business value. All they need to do is “click their heels!”

 

Another year has come to an end and with it brings a unique opportunity for FACTS users.

Join FACTS Practice Manager, Phil Maehr as he addresses the community about the exciting news on the horizon for FACTS.

Attend this interactive digital event to:

As a FACTS user if you are only going to attend one digital event this year, then this should be it.

 

Register Now

Spoiler Alert! FACTS has functionality to communicate set critical information and data. Alerts were not standard in FACTS until v7.8. Before v7.8 users relied on reports, handwritten notes for reminders, shouting across cubicles or just flat out didn’t communicate until there was a problem. Are you looking at a sticky note on your monitor right now reminding you of an out-of-stock item? Alert Control Center (ACC) and Exception Control Center (ECC) help put an end to the sticky note madness.

Alert Control Center (ACC)
The ACC and ECC are very similar, but each are designed for different users.

The ACC is set up for general and administrative system users to receive alerts. You can get to the program a few different ways. Access code ACC or click on the icon in the upper banner.

 

Review your alerts. When you click on an alert, it will bring you to a program to respond to the alert. As an example, “CrdHold” will bring you to sales order review. When you are done responding to an alert, be sure to close it. Manage your alerts and try to complete them daily.

The ACC allows users with security to use the System Alerts Dashboard. With security, you can get to the System Alerts Dashboard in User Preferences by using “My Alerts”. The system Alerts Dashboard allows users to subscribe themselves and other users to alerts. You can also subscribe to ECC alerts. For each alert, you can define how you want to receive an alert. The choice is either email or within ACC or both. It is recommended to subscribe to your alerts with just ACC and not email. At the point your alerts are manageable, and you prefer email, you can go in here at any time to subscribe via email.

FACTS 9.3 has several new alerts that get into detail of various programs. As an example, you can be alerted if someone changes a field in a File Maintenance. It may be helpful to be alerted if a user changes a customer credit limit or credit terms. Perhaps you want to be alerted if a user changes an item class on an item or you may want to know if someone was in a file maintenance. These alerts are available and can be programmed specifically to information you want to manage.

Exception Control Center (ECC)
The Exception Control Center (ECC) is intended for buyers. Users can get to the program with the ECC access code or in the Purchase Order (PO) module in the PO Entry menu.

It is highly recommended to review your alerts at least daily. If not a few times per day. Some alerts will alert you immediately, whereas others will alert you after the nightly alert miner process. A very common frustration is going into ECC and finding too many alerts to deal with. Users get overwhelmed and end up just ignoring them and may miss out on critical information.

At Aktion, we help FACTS users to both design alerts and help make alerts more manageable. We have 25+ alert enhancements already created and currently in use by our customers. Let us help you get your alerts under control and go from getting too many alerts a day to just a few that truly need your attention. I hope this article has given you better insight into both the ACC and ECCs in FACTS. Feel free to reach out and contact us if you need help getting your alerts back on track or want to learn more about one of our custom alert enhancements.

Can you trust Infor FACTS to tell you when it’s time to replenish products in your warehouses? Of course, you can. If you don’t trust FACTS to guide warehouse product replenishment, it’s time to review your data parameters and Order Point (OP) adjusters.

Understanding your FACTS data is key to optimizing the product replenishment process. As a former FACTS user and application consultant I want to focus on how OP for FACTS v7.8+ can hone your product replenishment process.

What Affects Order Points?

Order Points are affected by usage, lead time, and safety stock. When issues occur with calculated replenishment values it helps to understand the relationship between these variables to determine how to best address and remedy the situation.

Ask Yourself the Following:

Check your replenishment parameters for lead time and safety stock. Prolonged supply chain lead times have caused it to be difficult to secure products than ever before.

As a reminder, lead time (LT) impacts your safety stock. If you review your safety stock and think FACTS is not calculating accurately, review your parameters on safety stock. There are parameters for minimum and maximum on safety stock.

Types of Item Order Points for FACTS:

Calculated OP is required and is generally the only type needed for most items. The other OPs listed above are optional and are not intended to be used globally. If you choose to use any other type of OPs than Calculated OP, FACTS will default to the highest value OP.

What if you have several customers that order small quantities of a product and one customer that orders many units at a time?

You want to be sure you have enough product on the floor in the event this customer places an order. To achieve this, FACTS has Average Shipment Quantity (ASQ) OP and Five-high Order Point. ASQ works well if there are few shipments with large quantities. Five-high ASQ is helpful in cases where you have a few customers who buy in large quantities and many who buy in smaller quantities.

Threshold Minimum vs Freezing Order Points

Setting a Threshold Minimum (T-Min) OP can be useful when you don’t want stock levels to drop below a specific point. Whereas Freezing OP waits until it gets to the assigned replenishment value. The advantage of T-Min vs Freezing OPs is if you have your T-Min set at a minimum value and FACTS calculates your OP higher than the set minimum, FACTS defaults to the higher value.

After reading this I hope that you’ve found more insight into optimizing your warehouse product replenishment process. Feel free to reach out and contact us if you need any help reviewing your data, replenishment parameters, and OP adjusters to get the most out of FACTS replenishment data.