Posts Tagged ‘Insight Works’

One of our key software partners in a recent post reminds us of the long-standing value of a “product configurator.”  Because we work so much with manufacturers and distributors (almost exclusively actually) we see the value in these products every day, and find our own manufacturing software solutions well-equipped, either intrinsically or via third-party add-ons, for them.

As our partners at Insight Works https://www.dmsiworks.com/products/configurator/ (formerly DMS – Dynamics Manufacturing Systems) explains theirs…

A Product Configurator significantly simplifies the creation of production Bills of Material (BOMs) and Routings, or assembly BOMs, to make quote and order generation more efficient.

In the Insights product, new features include:

  • Easily Configurable Rules: Set combination rules for specific products. For example, when building a bicycle, if a specific style of handlebars is selected then a specific lamp will be included while the bell will be excluded.
  • Apply Multipliers: When it comes to bulk material usage, multipliers can be used to ensure automatically generated BOMs include waste and trim material. For example, a window frame may require an additional 10% of frame material for production purposes which will be cut and trimmed for the final product.
  • Build Sophisticated Rules: For anyone who may require more sophisticated rules not supported by the user interface, Product Configurator includes an API… so that rules can be done without a developer license, allowing end-users to create “scripts” for rules.


It all adds up to the ability configure a bill of materials so that end products can be built according to the rules that you specify.

These are ideal for companies that make to order or who build assemblies.  They typically support thousands of functions.  Whereas early configurators of the 1980s and ‘90s in large scale systems once ran in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, today’s solutions are a tiny fraction of the cost, with far-ranging capabilities available on PC-based systems.

Using pre-configured items saves lots of time… eliminates countless data entry and keyboarding mistakes… greatly simplifies order-taking for the sales team… and ensures product accuracy by ensuring that build-rules are always followed.

If you build to assemblies or make to order, you owe it to yourself to look into the world of product configurators.  They frequently pay for themselves quickly, and many times over, while increasing your competitive edge in terms of improved order accuracy, reduced order and build times, and greatly simplified order taking.

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We’re glad you asked!  And with the help of our friends at Insight Works, a leading provider of 3rd party and added-functionality software solutions for Microsoft Dynamics (NAV), we’ll share a few ideas with you today… just to get the folks who aren’t so automated out there on the shop floor… thinking!


Following are a few activities you might not think of initially when you think about production, but each of these represents a streamlining of your production flow, speedier order output, and all the corresponding effects upon efficiency, throughput and the bottom line.

Production Order Assignment – Enable users to assign production orders to Shop Floor employees. Dispatch lists can then be filtered in a number of different ways to show specific production orders, like assigned or unassigned.

Shift Scheduling – Gives users the ability to schedule recurring shift patterns. Recurring patterns are quickly and easily configured with the shift schedule configuration list and can be applied to groups of employees and individual employees.  Applying a schedule will commit the pattern to ‘Alternate Shifts,’ allowing easy overrides and manual configuration of exceptions.  You can even view a visual shift calendar to make things simpler.

Production Dispatch Lists – Used as a primary means of clocking into production orders or viewing outstanding work. When there are hundreds of rows displayed it can be difficult to identify specific items, so Shop Floor Insight streamlines processes by only displaying the list of production orders that are relevant.  Effective dispatch means scannability (a small, focused list), focused on the task at hand (by restricting which work centers are shown), and process-focused (i.e., utilizing global filters so that only orders ready to be released are released, and only finished when actually finished).

Cleaning up barcodes – Barcode entries are used to hold mapping for people, production orders, jobs, and more. Over time these entries can grow in volume, especially on installs that have a very high throughput of barcodes, and generally need cleanup to keep scanning speed fast.  Cleaning barcodes provides options to decide how to clean, whether you’d like to just remove finished production orders, or people that have been removed from the system.

Color code your visual cues – Color-coded visual cues are a great way to help identify which time card lines are open (not yet clocked out), as well as whether the setup time or runtime has been clocked-in – all of which help to make time card management easier.

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