Posts Tagged ‘TIW ALERE’

Of particular interest to our ALERE (aka TIW Technologies) software is the announcement of their latest release: version 14.  The list of new features is too lengthy to detail here (but you can view it here any time: https://www.tiwcorp.com/downloads/history/new_features_v14.pdf)… So we thought we’d recap just a few today.  If you’re an ALERE user, get in touch with us about installing the new version.

Not an ALERE user?  Well then, you’re missing out on one of the premier PC-based manufacturing solutions out there today.  We’ve been proud to represent this product since its early days, going back about 25 years or so.  If you’re looking for manufacturing solutions, ask us about ALERE.

New features added to the latest release include…

  • A new Service module was added to the ALERE product to support the generation and execution of service jobs. The Service module contains the screens necessary to define the service elements (Service Catalog, Service Site Information, Resource Class, Service Ticket and Recurring Service Generation). Additionally, various service reports were integrated into the module.
  • Dispatch Module – A new Dispatch module was added to the ALERE product to support the scheduling (and reporting) of service jobs. The Service Scheduling segment includes the screens used to define the scheduling of service jobs (Resource Calendar, Dispatch Board and Service View).
  • Adjustable Supplier Item Number Fields – Throughout the entire product, the length of the supplier item number can be adjusted by changing the value in the foreign fields table, allowing for whatever lengths are necessary for an individual company’s needs.
  • Adjustment Notes – The Physical Inventory Count screen has a new field to enter notes for the inventory adjustments being made when the counts are posted.
  • UPS Integration – The product now interfaces with UPS to provide tracking, costing and label creation capabilities.
  • Error Screen for Physical Inventory – The Physical Inventory Count screen will now display an errors screen after posting which contains a list of any items that did not post along with the error message. The list can be printed or exported to Excel.
  • Expanded Serial Numbers – Throughout the entire product, the length of the serial numbers has been increased from 20 to 25 characters.
  • Standalone Appointments/Tasks – The InTouch calendar appointments and tasks can now be utilized without a link to Outlook. The information is stored within the ALERE contact management tables.
  • Copy Document Types – The Copy button on the Purchase Order screen has been changed to allow copying one document type to another document type.
  • Transfer/Purchase Order Support – The Add button on the Transfer Order screen has been changed to allow the creation of a transfer order from a purchase order. This will create a transfer order in add

These are just a few of the more than 60 new features and enhancements added with this new release, published just last week.

But you get the drift.  You can check out the entire list with screen shots via the link at the top of this post… or just contact PSSI for details.

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Most of the key ERP software vendors are somewhere in the process of embracing the Cloud – the idea that you can run your software by using a version that is hosted via the Internet.  Long run, the idea is like the electric grid: you don’t use a generator in your home, you use the local electric company.  Same with cloud software – why host your own when the software ‘utility’ can do it for you?

Of course, many folks still own generators, at least for backup – and it’s an apt metaphor.  Recent cloud stories are rife with incidents where software was unavailable for some length of time, but it always returns.  There are other security perils.  It’s not a completely mature offering.  But it’s coming…

One of the vendor-partners whose products we’ve been pleased to represent for many years is TIW Technology.  TIW has evolved from being an add-on (or 3rd party) manufacturing solution for users of database accounting systems, specifically the old SBT line of software (today known as Sage Pro ERP), to a full-fledged modifiable accounting and manufacturing solution called ALERE.  It’s been around for many years, and to this day we think it’s one of the very best manufacturing and shop floor systems on the market at any price. 

Recently, TIW has placed its foot firmly in the cloud, with the release of a host-able version of its Software as a Service offering.  In its descriptive literature, TIW boasts of a number of SaaS advantages including:

Improved efficiency, with access to your data from office, home or away, anywhere you have in Internet connection.

Cost reductions, because you can run on the cloud for a modest monthly fee, thus reducing your up-front (in-house) hardware and software expense.

Customization, as a hosted version can still be tailored to your specific way of doing business.

Allowing you to focus on your core competency, instead of focusing on deploying and maintaining your software, hardware, help desk, or other internal IT issues.

Simplified upgrades, with periodic updates as part of the standard maintenance plan, and applied directly at your cloud site.

Scalability, or the ability add or delete users or new locations as you see fit.

High availability, depending on the “up time” guarantee of the firm doing the hosting.

SaaS has its place in the IT universe.  Once the domain of less mission-critical tasks, such as email or CRM, it’s moving into the core ERP space. 

Our take is that in the long run, costs will be roughly similar.  But while ‘renting’ software via the Cloud costs about the same (or more) over the long run as buying up front, you can “get in” for a whole lot less.  You still need about the same amount of consulting time and services learning how best to use your software, regardless of where it’s hosted.  In the end, it’s still about employees at terminals (of some type, somewhere) needing to understand how to actually use their software.

On the other hand, your hardware and ongoing IT costs can be reduced via a Cloud solution.  You eliminate in-house hardware, but you pay to rent the Cloud hardware.  The trade-offs in uptime, security and your comfort with an Internet-based solution for your company’s mission critical operations are factors that must be considered as any company weighs the cloud option.

As a software provider, we plan to go both ways – working with TIW to provide a cloud-hosted ALERE solution, while continuing to offer the traditional on-site ERP solutions.  After all, you always want to give your customer choices.



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