Precision is often what sets great manufacturers apart from their competitors. The ability to do work exactly to spec, the first time, at a high rate of speed means a high throughput shop with happy customers eager to work with you again.
This month’s update focuses on precision within Fulcrum, giving you the ability to make subtle changes within the system to increase the flow through your shop by smoothing out the sales process, making the schedule more adaptable, and tracking where and why mistakes happen so they can be corrected.
As always, if you have any questions about these updates or anything else within Fulcrum, please don’t hesitate to contact your launch team member or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to help.
Adapt to Sudden Changes with Drag-and-Drop Scheduling
While we still believe the future of scheduling is automated and algorithmic, we understand that sometimes a quick manual adjustment to the schedule will help you get your shop back on track. To accommodate those needs, we’ve added the ability to drag and drop objects within the schedule to give you that flexibility, but only for changes in the near-term schedule so as not to create cascading issues later on. You can also cancel jobs, set up new ones, and change operations as necessary, and the rest of the schedule will adapt to whatever changes you make, optimizing the rest of the jobs to keep everything flowing smoothly. The path to every job being on-time has some sudden turns, now you can handle them with ease. This feature requires a bit of setup from your launch team member, so please reach out to them if you're interested in implementing this immediately.
Track Payments Before or After the Work is Done with Deposit Invoices
We’re now offering clearer workflows for companies that invoice customers before work begins instead of invoicing after work has been completed. To take advantage of this feature, indicate that a deposit is required on the sales order and the amount. This will kick off an invoice for the deposit upfront.
Track Vendor Performance And Customer Satisfaction with Return and Refund Workflows
We’ve added workflows throughout the system to better handle returns and refunds both in terms of what gets brought back to you and what you send back to vendors and suppliers, including financial reconciliation and reason codes to better keep track of issues. We also added a workflow in the invoicing section to ensure the refund you issue is accounted for in the system. Our goal is to give you the most complete picture of your shop’s flow as possible and while returns and refunds aren’t a huge component of that, they are a critical one both from a financial standpoint and a quality management perspective.
Pull All Certification Information Quickly With Lot Tracking and Traceability Improvements
For high-compliance industries, pulling together all the material certifications for a particular job can be tedious. That’s why we’ve added functionality to tie all the certifications for a job into one pdf, automatically. Certificates will correspond to lots and can be added during receiving or after the fact on the item. When completing a job, the system will look at all the material lots used and automatically pull together all the associated certifications giving you quick traceability.
This will save a lot of time for people doing compliance checks, during audit season, or if a customer has follow-up questions.
Stagger Deliveries with Blanket Orders
The new blanket order feature will streamline the workflow of order entry, production, shipping, and invoicing for large quantity orders with multiple releases. Use the "blanket order" item type on any sales order to add a release schedule and easily keep track of the quantity produced, shipped, and invoiced against the total order quantity.
Track Scrap and Rework More Precisely
We’ve built out additional functionality in the rework workflow to allow users to indicate not only that something needs rework, but also what step specifically needs to be redone and how many parts are affected. This automatically creates a new operation for those parts, which allows for better tracking of additional material and labor costs associated with the rework.
Adapt to Customer Preferences with Flexible Units of Measurement
Not every customer buys in the same way, so we’re making it easier to customize the unit of measurement during the sales process. You can set different units of measure and custom conversions for sales and inventory or set customer-specific units for repeat customers that have consistent needs, whatever best suits your shop’s needs.
Use Split Operation Scheduling to Adjust Your Schedule on the Fly
Sometimes work needs to start on one machine, but move to another to best use your shop’s available resources, so we’re accommodating that with our new split scheduler. You’ll be able to set which operations can be split and the quantity they should be split in and our scheduler will do the rest.
Dynamically Adjust Capacity Based On The Day
Circumstances change, sometimes on short notice, and the schedule needs to adapt to that. Now, you can make really detailed changes to the schedule, including accounting for modified shift start or end time and maximum equipment capacity adjustments to the day.
Continuing to Improve Job Tracking
Following the update of our job tracking page, we’ve made several subtle changes and enhancements based on the feedback we’ve received from many of our customers. When we deploy big changes like these, we’re keenly aware that further small tweaks will likely be necessary, so we really do welcome feedback on what is and isn’t helpful!
Calculate Price Based on Margin
We believe market-based pricing is the best way to maximize income into your shop, but there are certain types of manufacturing that are more closely tied to the cost-plus model of pricing. To make sure we’re not leaving anyone behind, we’ve added functionality for calculating price based on margin inputs. The pricing takes into account the cost to produce an item and calculates a price based on your margin requirement. As the cost changes, the price will change. This method can be used on price breaks, quotes, sales orders, and in the item setup itself.