April Release Notes: Machine + Labor Time, Subcomponent Workflows, and Continuous Flow

Our goal with this month’s big releases is to give shops a greater level of understanding and control over how they run their business no matter if their work is fully custom, a mix, or fully product. 

We’re excited to be able to finally release these since they help Fulcrum adapt to a greater variety of shop conditions, making it even more useful no matter what your workflow looks like. For current customers, if you need help getting any of these new changes implemented, we’ll be happy to help, just reach out to your launch or CS contact!

See you next month!

Machine Time Tracking and Costing

To help you see costs more clearly and quote more accurately, we’ve introduced a new method to break out machine, labor, and overhead rates within Fulcrum. Previously, work centers used a blended rate of machine and labor costs, but now users can see more detailed job-costing information by breaking out the labor and machine estimates. This way, you can track machine and labor time separately to ultimately arrive at more accurate job costs for complex jobs or for machines that can run lights out.

To take advantage of this new feature, flag work centers and the associated operations that you’d like to track machine time against in your business setup. This will enable machine time estimates on the associated BOM/Routings and tracking of machine time in the job tracker.

Item Customization and “To Make” Roll Up Logic

We’ve made some key changes to the way Fulcrum recognizes customizations to items on sales orders and quotes that will help shops that use some customized components and some from stock. 

Fulcrum now identifies the specific layer of the BOM/routing that was customized, allowing the system to give better “to make” recommendations on the job for the non-customized portions of the job. 

The “to make” roll-up on a job looks at all of its subcomponents, existing inventory, and demand across other jobs, and comes up with a recommended quantity of the subcomponent to make. 

The system now understands specifically which subcomponent was customized — meaning it cannot be pulled from stock — and which were not customized and could be pulled from stock. This will help streamline your review process and enable the system to give you better recommendations.

Build Items To Stock

In the same vein, you now have the ability to flag certain items as “build to stock.” This will route job creation for this item to the demand planning section. If your site is configured to automatically generate jobs for every sales order line item, items with this flag will be excluded from that logic. Instead, the job for the stock items will be generated via the demand planning module. 

Additionally, if an item is flagged as “build to stock” and is a subcomponent on a new job, the “to make” recommendation of that subcomponent will be set to 0, and a recommendation to make a new stock job will show up within the demand planning module. 

This update is particularly useful when making customized subcomponents for an item. Items can now be created as “build to stock,” which will help keep the data our demand planning module needs clean and accurate.

Continuous Flow

We’ve added a continuous flow process for production. This flow allows items to move through production as they are individually completed, rather than waiting for a full batch to be done. This new feature will allow for items to move more efficiently through your shop, especially in cases where one work center is a bottleneck for downstream processes. The feature can be turned on in business setup. 

Data Downloads

We’ve added a feature to download reporting data from the Jobs, Sales Order, and Invoice pages. These downloads will provide you with year-to-date overviews in an Excel spreadsheet. The downloads can be found at the top of the pages for Jobs and Sales Order pages, while the Invoice report can be found within the Reporting section of the Accounting module. The downloads will be available to admin users.

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