Update on Q-INMASS, the addition of Job Cost

It’s time for an update!

We wanted to give everyone a quick update of the progress of Q-INMASS, the new Windows based version of INMASS. Yes, we know….the release date has past what we had initially hoped but for a couple for very good reasons. The primary delay has been the addition of a new module that we decided to add for Version 1 of the product. We have added a Work Order/Job Cost module after we learned that many INMASS users need this functionality. As we have worked with our BETA customers and have talked to more and more of the existing users, we have learned that the majority of users have the need for Work Order based Job Costing and that they have devised a number of external tools and databases to accomplish this task. We determined that the need was significant enough that we should develop a module to include in the initial version of the new product.

Some of the highlights of the module include the ability to create a Work Order that includes both material and labor. The labor can be pulled from a standard router or can be input unique to each job. An actual router for the job can now be entered including all of the materials (as always) but also the detailed labor steps including the labor estimates for each step of the router. As the job progresses, there are tabs on the Work Order Screen for quick access to both material details as well as Labor Details. (see below)

Work Order

The second feature of the Job Cost module is the ability to create Work Centers with associated Operations in each Work Center. The Work Center function allows you to have:

  • Standard Work Center labor rates
  • A separate cost for Setup for particular machines
  • 2 separate Burden rates so that burden costs can be applied to a Job
  • The ability to record the available capacity for a given Work Center

 

Work Centers

Also worth noting is the addition of a labor entry screen where labor entries can be quickly made. In the very near future we will be able to also capture the actual labor information using scanners on the shop floor.

Labor Entry

We are confident that this module will greatly enhance the usability of INMASS for its users so we believe it has been worth the delay. We should have the entire system tested and live in multiple locations within the next 30-60 days. In the meantime we have been accepting orders for upgrades and are scheduling them in succession as the orders arrive. There is no change for the pricing as a result of the new Job Cost module. The upgrade costs will remain as previously quoted. As always, we are here for questions. We hope you are having a great summer!

The Introduction of Q – INMASS

We are very close now to the general release of the new Windows based INMASS and we want to start preparing customers for what to expect during the upgrade process.

First we should announce that we have arrived at a name for the product. It will be called Q-INMASS. Ok, it might not be the most innovative name but that’s what we have named it. The Q represents our Quantum name but also represents Quality which we will strive to deliver in each of our future products. We have taken a bit longer to release the new product than we had originally planned due to several factors, but the most significant was the development of a data conversion utility that we felt was necessary for smooth and efficient data conversion from the historic INMASS.

After we originally purchased INMASS we found that almost every customer has a different version of INMASS and a unique data structure. This was problematic when faced with the task of converting data from the old system to the new INMASS. Preformed traditionally, this process would have easily taken 40-60 hours per customer which represented a high cost of conversion and a time delay for how fast we could convert the existing customers. Our approach was to develop a software tool that analyzes the historic data and then converts it to the new system with amazing accuracy and efficiency. The result is that we will be able to convert the systems in a day or two and allowing customers to convert as much or as little history as they want from the old system.

Now that this tool is in place, we will soon be taking orders for the upgrades and we felt it might be time to review what is involved from a time and financial perspective.

In summary, there are two options that customers will have to choose from when upgrading their system. (Cloud or on Premise) Following is a review of those options and what is involved in each. For example purposes, we are using a 5 user system to create the scenarios. The cost will vary, of course based on your actual number of users.

Regardless of which option you choose, the following components need to be considered for a comprehensive look at what is involved.

  • Software – This is the library of INMASS software and will include the modules that are found in the historic INMASS. Future modules will be developed and offered as options for purchase for those customers that have a need for them. Some examples of future modules which are already in the planning stages include Advanced Labor Costing, Capacity Planning, Time and Labor Collection as well as many other modules that will be developed in the future.
  • Annual Maintenance – This is the fee which will include Software Support and product updates and enhancements. Unlike the past number of years where there has been no development to the product, we will be aggressively enhancing and developing the system based on customer population feedback and requirements.
  • Hosting Fees – This fee will only apply to those customers who wish to run their system in the Cloud. Cloud users will have no server and will access the system through an internet connection using any Windows or Apple or Android device. All backups, System Admin and Upgrades will be performed for you.
  • Data Conversion – This will be the process of using the Data Conversion Tool to extract the required historical data and converting the data to the new system format. We will charge an hourly fee for this service but for budgeting purposes you should probably plan for 15-20 hours. (much of this is spent cleaning up bad data rather than the actual conversion itself)
  • Training and Implementation – These are the services required to make sure that you get the most from your new system. While the flow of data is similar to the historic INMASS, the user interface is very different and will require some level of training and consulting to maximize the efficiency and utilization of the system. Training can be performed online through GoToMeeting type sessions, however most customers will want to have a few days of on-site training. We will charge an hourly fee for this service but for budgeting purposes you should probably plan for 25-40 hours.
  • Customization (if applicable) – The new system is very flexible and has tons of new features but it is rare that customers don’t need something customized for their unique situations. We always encourage customers to budget something for custom reports, etc.

Relating all of this to your company, let’s look at some possible scenarios. The first thing is to determine which option you will want for your system:

  1.  Cloud based – Run your system over the internet
  2.  On Premise Based – Install your system in house

Scenario One – Running 5 Users on the Cloud

In this option, you would pay for the Data Conversion and Training services required. For argument sake let’s say this will take 40 hours total. The cost would be 40 x $165 = $6,600

Then you would pay a monthly fee of $586 which would include:

  • The cost of the software
  • The cost of annual maintenance
  • The cost of the cloud environment

Summary –

  •  One time fees – $6,600.00
  •  Monthly Fees – $586.00

Scenario Two – Running 5 Users on premise (loaded on your server)

In this option, you would pay for the Data Conversion and Training services required. For argument sake let’s say this will take 40 hours total. The cost would be 40 x $165 = $6,600.00

You would also pay for the software by one of two options:

  • One-time fee of $5,500.00 (Plus maintenance)
  • Monthly fee of $ 336.00 (including maintenance)

Then if you chose the One-time option you would pay a monthly fee of $183 for the Annual Maintenance Agreement.

Summary –

  •  One time fees – $6,600 (services) plus $5,500 (software)
  •  Monthly Fees – $183.00

– OR –

  •  One time fees – $6,600 (services)
  •  Monthly Fees – $336.00 (software and maintenance)

For more information just give us a call to discuss your options and/or arrange a personal demonstration of the new system.

 

 

 

Next Generation INMASS – Inventory Control

One of the most significantly changed modules within the new INMASS is the Inventory Control module. INMASS users will now be able to efficiently control both raw materials for manufacturing, but also finished goods inventory even for large distributors. The new INMASS has advanced inventory features found only in very large and costly ERP solutions; including Warehouse Management functionality.

Starting with the Inventory Item Master:

You can see that Inventory items can have a number of unique identifiers such as:

  • Item Code
  • Preferred Vendor Code
  • UPC Code
  • SKU Number
  • Alternative Item Code

Other features include:

  1. The ability to run periodic promotions (or sales) on specific items
  2. The ability to maintain a Standard Cost (or Selling Cost)
  3. The ability to maintain multiple warehouses
  4. A complete Bin Management solution.

In the Inventory Specification section….

Items can be further segmented by such attributes as:

  • Brand
  • Model
  • Style
  • Size
  • Color

For Warehousing and Shipping solutions, the system allows the capture of weights and Physical measurements. Pictures can also be attached to item for easy identification of parts and assemblies. Items can also be designated as consignment items.

In the Web section, each item can have unique pictures and descriptions for display on the web when using a web store. This feature allows companies to have more explicit details displayed on the web than are typically available in standard ERP descriptions. You also have the ability to display a “web quantity” available that can differ from your actual available quantity.

There are also other easy access tabs for:

  1. Activities – Displays all relevant movement data for items by location
  2. A Quantity by Location window for visibility of Items in other warehouses
  3. A Summary Tab for a historical view of item data
  4. A Purchases Tab to display all outstanding purchases of a specific item
  5. A Sales Tab to display all outstanding sales of a specific item
  6. An Arrival Schedule to display expected receipt dates of each item
  7. An Item Matrix Tab to display all of the possible combinations of a given item based on attributes such as Color, Size, Style, etc.
  8. And a Serial Tab which displays all of the specific serials numbers of a given item if that item is tracked by serial number

Other features within the Inventory Module include:

  • Packing Box identifiers for efficient packaging and shipping
  • Comprehensive Unit of Measure conversions
  • Flexible Pricing options
  • Quality Assurance Tracking
  • Warranty Maintenance and Tracking

Plus a ton more features…..

Next Generation INMASS – General Ledger

The new INMASS General Ledger offers greater flexibility for accounting and financial reporting functions. No longer will sophisticated accounting users have the need to use third party accounting modules to produce timely and accurate accounting statements.

Let’s start with the Account Setup feature that allows either automatic creation of G/L codes, or the ability to setup up your codes. The system provides up to six segmentations within the account codes for tremendous variations of reporting needs.

Budgets can be easily entered and used to monitor mid-year performance of each department or account.

Journal Entries are fast and convenient to enter and there is also a routine to add “Quick Income” or “Quick Expenses” when you need a transaction to immediately hit the G/L rather than waiting for normal posting cycles. (this feature applies to customers setup in batch mode rather than the real-time mode)

Next Generation INMASS – Accounts Payable

The Accounts Payable module within the new INMASS goes far beyond the existing system and has many new features that will enhance the A/P process. This post will highlight some of the new features and functionality that we have built into the new system.

Let’s first take a look at the Vendor Master File.

The Vendor Master File contains more fields of data to properly manage and monitor your vendor activity. In addition to traditional information, there are several features that offer advanced functionality such as:

  1. The ability to designate Vendors consignment vendors for those companies who manage and sell consigned raw materials or finished goods.
  2. Vendors can be segregated by Class code but can also be marked by a Status code that allows you to mark vendors as Active, Inactive, or Suspended. In addition, vendors can also be segregated by Purchasing Group codes that allow the purchasing department to easily manage and identify vendors within certain types, geographies and groups.
  3. Vendors can be setup as Balance Forward, Open item or Cash only.
  4. Allowance for Deposits to be made against orders and then easily applied later to specific invoices.
  5. Integration into the Contact Management System for detailed history of vendor activities.
  6. Easy access tabs allow push button retrieval of all required vendor information such as:
  • eMail history to a specific vendor
  • Purchase Transaction Details
  • Purchase History Summary
  • Balance History
  • Open Vouchers
  • Order History
  • And more….

Voucher Management is made simple and quick by allowing access to all Invoice information from one screen.

The easy access tabs allow users to input Header or Line Item detail.

Next Generation INMASS – Accounts Receivable

The Accounts Receivable module within the new INMASS goes far beyond the existing system and has many new features that will enhance the A/R process. This post will highlight some of the new features and functionality that we have built into the new system.

Let’s first take a look at the Customer Master File.

The Customer Master File contains more fields of data to properly manage and monitor your customer activity. In addition to traditional information, there are several features that offer advanced functionality such as:

  1. The ability to designate customers as either end users or distributors for those companies who sell through a distribution network as well as sell/ship to end users. The system allows you to designate end users to specific distributors so that multi-tiered customer bases can be more effectively managed.
  2. Customers can be segregated by both Class and Territory codes but can also be marked by a Status code that allows you to mark customers as Active, Inactive, or Suspended. In addition, customers can also be segregated by Marketing Group codes that allow sales departments to easily perform campaigns against specific customer types and demographics.
  3. Customers can be setup as Balance Forward, Open item or Cash Only.
  4. Allowance for Deposits to be made against orders and then easily applied later to specific invoices.
  5. Integration into the Contact Management System for detailed history of customer activities.
  6. Easy access tabs allow push button retrieval of all required customer information such as:
  • eMail history to a specific customer
  • Sales Transaction Details
  • Sales History Summary
  • Balance History
  • Open Invoices
  • Order History
  • And more….

Invoice Management is made simple and quick by allowing access to all Invoice information from one screen.

The easy access tabs allow users to input Header or Line Item detail. Payments are also entered from the same screen making the system easy to learn and very quick for users to adapt. Single invoices can be printed at time of entry when a quick invoice is needed.

Next Generation INMASS – Contact Management (CRM)

One of the new features that we have built into the new INMASS system is a Contact Management system. While this would normally be call a CRM (Customer Relationship Management), we have designed the system to manage much more than just customer activities.

The system allows users to manage contacts of many types with the use of a user defined “Contact Type” that lets you segregate contacts as Customers, Vendors, Prospects, Leads or any other grouping that you would want to create. Each contact can also has a “Status” which is also user defined and allows for setting contacts as Active, Inactive or other statuses that a user might find helpful.

The Contact History feature maintains and archives a record of each contact event and records the time and date as well as the reason for the contact and the results achieved.

 

The Opportunities function allows users to identify various opportunities that they wish to track on a periodic basis.

Each opportunity can be assigned:

Value – To quickly monitor high value sales opportunities

Status – a User Defined set of codes that can be set to Open, Closed, On Hold, Waiting, etc.

Stage – This allows users to define the various stages of their particular sales cycle which might include stages such as Introduction, Discovery, Proposal, Follow-up, Close or any other stages that are meaningful to the sales cycle of a given company.

Probability – The system allows users to assign a probability percentage to each opportunity so that the progress of a given opportunity can be carefully monitored.

 The eMail history allows you to see a log of all emails sent to a given contact.

Personal information can be stored for each contact within the system as well as allowing for comments to better identify and remember details about a particular person.

Due to the SQL database, data can easily be imported and exported to Excel, Word or other CRM systems that might contain specific functionality needed by your organization.

Determining the Cost of the Next Generation INMASS for your Company

Oh, it costs money? Yes, unfortunately we are a business and therefore must charge for the products and services that we provide. We at Quantum have invested a large sum to get a next generation product to market, however we are sure you will agree that we will be delivering the new system at a mere fraction of what you would spend to replace INMASS with a contemporary system. In fact, even new (non INMASS) customers who buy the system will find the new system at the very top of the list when comparing overall value as measured by functionality and price. Our mission with the new system is to become the software industry’s highest value solution. There will be systems with more features and there might be systems that cost less (we seriously doubt it!), but when the value quotient of function and price is determined we plan to stand alone at the top. That being stated, INMASS customers will enjoy even better (much better) pricing that the established List Price of the new system.

Our goal is to make the software affordable for everyone so we have developed a couple of options that are very unique, accordingly we should probably establish some terms and definitions when we talk about pricing.

Software – This includes only the application software. It does not include services, support or third party software or operating system components that might be required (such as SQL). We plan to license the entire current library of software rather than piecing it out module by module. The software price therefore is for the entire current library of software including the accounting and manufacturing modules.

Maintenance – This is the annual fee which will include both maintenance and support. Our plan is to continue expansion and development of the software long after the initial release so we will perform periodic updates during the year as well as a more significant release annually. The maintenance fee will allow customers to receive these releases without the need to purchase the new version. Where there are new modules added, there may or may not be a small charge.

In addition, the maintenance fee will include customer support which gives customers unlimited access to our help desk, which will be staffed with live answer individuals trained to readily provide answers for questions and problems that might arise.

Purchase Price – For those who wish to purchase the software, this is a one-time fee that covers the price of the current software library. The price does not include services, maintenance or other expenses that might be occurred. We plan to develop new modules in the future that not every customer will use. As we develop modules for areas such as Advanced Planning and Scheduling, Labor Tracking, Build to Order Job Costing and others, there may be a charge for those add-on modules.

Customizations – The new INMASS architecture and programming environment makes it very convenient and affordable to perform customer specific customizations. These customizations will NOT impact your ability to upgrade to the most current version as they are released.

Subscription Model – This is an industry first! We are offering a monthly subscription fee to use the software without an up-front purchase and no long term commitment. It is not a lease or a financing mechanism. It is a true use fee which can be fully expensed and we require no long term commitment. For customers using the software for over three years on this model; they will have the option of converting to a purchase at a price of 50% of the original Purchase Price. The Subscription Model includes full use of the software library and the annual maintenance and support. The price does not include services, maintenance or other expenses that might be occurred.

Hosted Model – This model is for those who will run the system in the Cloud and accordingly will not have the system installed on-premise. The price includes the use of the software, maintenance and support, as well as the hosting fees. The price does not include services, maintenance or other expenses that might be occurred such as your internet connection.

List Price – This represents our published List Price for the Software Library.

INMASS Customer Price – This is the price that current INMASS customers will pay, with the provision that they are current on their maintenance contract as well as any other outstanding invoices. INMASS customers who are not current will pay the List Price.

INMASS Beta Customer Price – This is the prices that INMASS customers will pay who are participating in our Beta program.

Without disclosing our detailed pricing tables on the internet, we want to give you an idea of what the system will cost so you can use the following scenarios to approximate what the costs will be.

For final pricing of course you will need to contact Quantum so that you can fully understand the option pricing for your particular number of users.

Becoming a Beta Site

Many customers are asking about the option of becoming a Beta site for the new INMASS product so we would like to clarify exactly what is involved in this process so that customers can make informed decisions about their potential involvement.

By definition let us explain what we mean by BETA sites. If one were to be every technical, what we are actually doing right now is installing “Alpha” sites as most development projects start with “Alpha” testing and then move to “Beta” testing before final release into production. Since we are starting with a pre-established design model in INMASS and are well into our development cycle, we are modifying the normal process and calling this a “Beta” program. The following should give customers a good idea of what is involved in becoming a beta site.

What are the modules being used that determine Beta selection?

We currently are looking for customers who use the Inventory and Bill of Materials without using the actual MRP within INMASS. Many customers use these modules and call it MRP but when probed further we find that they actually use the Inventory and BOM modules and then perform other tasks with Excel, Access, etc. to come up with their version of an MRP. When we say “using MRP” we are referring to the actual module within INMASS that performs the actual MRP calculations and reports. Since we by default need the Inventory before BOM and we need both of these modules before adding the MRP; we are looking for those customers who are not relying today on the INMASS MRP module.

What will the customer be expected to do?

Beta customers will be expected to actively spend time working with the new system. Specifically:

  • Entering new items into the database
  • Creating  new Bill of Materials
  • Running the available queries and reports
  • Providing feedback to Quantum for any bugs or areas where the system could be improved
  • Be readily available to Quantum for discussions and questions about the software

How much time is involved?

Beta Customers should be prepared to spend an average of 5-7 hours per week working with and testing the system.

Will we have to key in all of our existing data?

No, Quantum will export your existing Inventory and Bill of Materials data from your current INMASS system and import the data into the new system, so all of your standard items will be in the system from the beginning.

What’s in it for me?

Beta Customers will receive the following benefits:

  • They will earn a 50% discount off of the upgrade price that normal INMASS customers will pay. This is 75% off of the price that new customers will pay.
  • They will have direct impact on features that will be added to the system and in some cases will be able to have features added to the standard product that might otherwise require customization.
  • They will be learning the system which will reduce potential training costs in the future.
  • They have the privilege of frequently hearing our soothing voices. (OK maybe that’s not a benefit)

Will there be more opportunities for Beta testing?

Yes, there will be a couple of areas where opportunities will emerge:

  • When we are confident that the BOM is complete we will move to the MRP module and we will need testers for that module which will hopefully be customers that currently use the MRP module today.
  • The accounting modules are essentially complete today and we will need customers who can test those modules.
  • As we add more modules in the future such as complex Job Costing, we will need testers for those modules as well.