ERP show down. Jobboss or E2. Current feelings on both?
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    Default ERP show down. Jobboss or E2. Current feelings on both?

    Business has been going warp speed and I need a better way or tracking life in the shop. We are a job shop but have been growing into some specialized production with documentation being tricky and difficult to do cleanly.

    All accounting is done on quick books and is managed pretty well. Where I am getting killed is cleanly keeping scheduling, quote information, PO history, setup information, material cert information, inspection report, invoice, and the list goes on.

    4 full time 2 part time employees including me. Likely adding a few over the next year or so.

    weighing the options of becoming ISO certified too and want to see if any system will be better than the other. (Yes it would pay for itself)

    We waste enough time backtracking to find information that I'm not afraid of the time it will add to our day to day.

    Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

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    I've used EPICOR, JobBoss and E2. Currently using Global Shop. For your current size and likely growth, JobBoss would be my choice. It's more graphical, and I had a quicker time self training to actually make use of the software. As with any ERP, be prepared for all the data input up front to make the system useful. We were ISO/AS/ITAR certified using both.

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    I haven't used E2, but have been using Job Boss for about 5 years. For most things I think Job Boss works really well. The only downside to me is Job Boss's scheduling is setup for backwards scheduling. So it sees the times for the ops, shipping, secondaries, etc, and takes that time away from the promise date to set the start date on the job. So if the promise date is Friday 8/2/19, and the job has 24 hours worth of work to do on it, Job Boss will schedule the start date on 7/30/19(figuring 8hr days with 1 shift). You can do forward scheduling but it takes constant adjusting. If you like to run JIT, then it would work well for you.

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    Hopefully not to get you too far off track but did you look at ECI's M1 software? I have spoken to two independent (didn't know each other, no relationships with software companies) and they both vouched for M1. I haven't deeply evaluated it but the initial "peek" was good. They make clear distinctions between job shop and OEM which, to me, is what should be the very 1st step in the process. I have a friend who had an "IT expert" choose GS for an OEM, something that to me is borderline laughable (assuming that GS is still job-shop oriented). He says it's close to useless for them. That doesn't mean that GS isn't good for a job shop but it puts a bit of a bad tint on the company (possibly selling them something they shouldn't have).

    To me, buying an ERP system is a bit like buying a truck. The important things are specing it out correctly, making sure you get good support (implementation, training and follow-up) and (most important) using it correctly! If you live out in the middle of nowhere and the closest dealer is Ford, you should probably go that route (and don't by a 1-ton if you are hauling light loads for long distances over smooth terrain).

    Good luck and I'll be interested to see which route you take and how bumpy (hopefully smooth!) the ride is.

    Thanks,
    The Dude

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    I think my first questions for all of those softwares would be;

    Do I own it?

    Does it require the internet?

    Does it sell my customers information to third party?

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    subbed, we're also looking for an ERP system. how much are you guys paying for them?

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    My current employment is my second experience with job boss. I have nothing good to say about it, except that it functions and is cheaper than some other options.

    For something so... dastardly simple, you would think a particular brand would rise to the challenge and make software that simply works and doesn’t cost more than the going rate to run the business. No hidden agendas, no ridiculous maintenance fees, no cruddy support, no 5000 page manual. Just let me print my traveler and I can get on with life.

    My foreman taught me a really valuable lesson; we fix engines so they can move trains, they don’t move trains so we can fix engines. ERP should be doing the resource planning so I can make parts. I shouldn’t have to reorganize the shop and shut down for a week to retrain my guys to implement an ERP system “the right way.”

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    I’ve always used a spread sheet. . . But that works because it’s just me.

    When I get busy lead times, steel orders, consumables orders, notes, etc all get put into a spreadsheet along with my costing.

    Prints and pertinent information are put in a protective hanger in order of need.

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    Long time lurker. We just went live with JobBOSS on July 1. For the previous ~20 years we used Global Shop.

    I've spent the past 2 years identifying various options, whittling them down to a final few, going through demos, negotiating price & terms, selecting JobBOSS, then handling the transition from Global Shop to JobBOSS.

    E2 was one I looked at and considered, but ultimately went with JobBOSS.

    As far as the actual software goes, JobBOSS is pretty good for its market. The lower (relatively speaking) price and flexible payment options were a big selling point.

    Tech support has been great, the sales reps were annoyingly pushy during the selection process (despite me explaining my timeline and selection process), and customer service during implementation was atrocious.

    Overall for JobBOSS, I'd give the software a B, tech support an A, and sales/customer service a D. If you don't want to pay $10-20k (or more) up front, it was the only decent option I found.

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    Two things so far that I've felt for a long time and have been confirmed by at least one post about this:

    a) Don't listen to the sales guys! They are pushy and basically just want to get a sell at "any cost" (which is how my OEM buddy ended up with Global Shop).

    b) The reason they are so complicated is that everyone wants stuff their way and these companies keep adding features that just make it more complicated. I do believe that if you can find a code writer and have the skills to explain the functionality, you'll have several benefits: lower maintenance & training, easier to use and no SAS fees. I did this at the last job shop I worked at, works great and took about 10 minutes to train each person on their functions. Lots of improvements made over a few years that make it better & better. But, no everyone can justify the time and expense to make a custom system (or even know how to design it).

    The Dude

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    Thanks everyone for giving your feedback.

    I just sat down with our in house accounting person and set up a system that we can accomplish much of the tracking via workarounds in quick books without compromising anything.

    I'll give that a try for a while and see if some of these changes will "take" before exploring the benefits of going with an ERP.

    On a side note, how many of you have a bar coding system set up? I might want to do bar coded material setup as part of the initial change.

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    Quote Originally Posted by yoke View Post
    ...we can accomplish much of the tracking via workarounds ...
    Ah, WIP tracking I presume? I'm sure I'll get some negative hits back on this but I would strongly urge you to reduce your leadtime short enough to the point where you don't need to track it anymore. The ideal goal is to make all orders that they are either not started or complete/shipped. If most of your orders are "started but not complete", it only adds to the chaos (hence the perceived need for tracking).

    I only see WIP tracking having one useful application: if you have assemblies with multiple flows that need to come together (either simultaneously or at various times). Scanning can be used as a "trigger" to make the easy stuff when the hard stuff is done. I've implemented this at various times with great success.

    The other reason that people like to scan work is to collect labor data. Well, I wouldn't go off scan times as they are not always accurate (for various reasons, but mostly the shop can try to make adjustments if they know they are being tracked). I would add up work for a week and then compare that to "what did we pay for this (labor and materials)?". Track that over time (your ERP should be able to automate this, and you are looking for trends in either direction) instead of trying to analyze every job. Pretty much a waste of time. If you really feel like you have to analyze each job then you either suck at quoting or your shop is running in pure chaos.

    The Dude

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    We are using this Realtrac | Machine Shop Software | Job Shop Software | Manufacturing ERP. Not as well known as some of the others but we really like. I helped a shop implement E2 and I prefer Realtrac above it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post

    I would strongly urge you to reduce your leadtime short enough to the point where you don't need to track it anymore.


    ....then you either suck at quoting or your shop is running in pure chaos.

    The Dude
    Many of the shops I work with regularly have a 6 month + lead time. A close friend of mine just quoted a job at a 1 year lead time. If you are machining a $1 widget I could see having a short lead time, especially for return customers, similar part families, etc. Hell it takes a week for steel to show up at my door. A week to get it back from heat treat. Another week to two weeks for wire work. Never mind any specialized custom tooling that might be needed, outside vendors throwing a wrench in the whole works, or never mind me actually machining it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    Ah, WIP tracking I presume? I'm sure I'll get some negative hits back on this but I would strongly urge you to reduce your leadtime short enough to the point where you don't need to track it anymore. The ideal goal is to make all orders that they are either not started or complete/shipped. If most of your orders are "started but not complete", it only adds to the chaos (hence the perceived need for tracking).

    I only see WIP tracking having one useful application: if you have assemblies with multiple flows that need to come together (either simultaneously or at various times). Scanning can be used as a "trigger" to make the easy stuff when the hard stuff is done. I've implemented this at various times with great success.

    The other reason that people like to scan work is to collect labor data. Well, I wouldn't go off scan times as they are not always accurate (for various reasons, but mostly the shop can try to make adjustments if they know they are being tracked). I would add up work for a week and then compare that to "what did we pay for this (labor and materials)?". Track that over time (your ERP should be able to automate this, and you are looking for trends in either direction) instead of trying to analyze every job. Pretty much a waste of time. If you really feel like you have to analyze each job then you either suck at quoting or your shop is running in pure chaos.

    The Dude

    Historically it has been the other way around. Most of the work we do is is 3 or less ops so WIP isn't really a problem. We have such short lead times that the part is to the customer before the material certs are even entered into the system. The inspection report, which is still filled out by hand, might sit on a pile for a week or two before its entered.

    When a customer calls up and asks for the C of C I have to look around a bit to find them the answer.

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    We use AllOrders which was the first gold partner with QuickBooks. I implemented it at my last job and had 14 seats when I left. I implemented it again at my current job and a young guy here has really take off and run with it. We design everything in SolidWorks and import the BOM through an Excel macro that rolls up material quantities. This links to AllOrders through our part number and a sub-assembly reference. AllOrders then produces WorkOrders, Purchase Orders, Pick Lists, Recievers etc. Our recievers actually break down an incoming order by subassembly for every job. So materials go right from vendor box to WIP bins, with the leftovers going to a very sparse inventory. The support has been very good, no outside consultants to get it up and running and it was about $850 a seat when we bought. There is a maintenance fee that is reasonable and we don't mind it because over the 15 years or so I have been using it there has been constant and valuable improvement.

    Software is like PCs, the P still means personal, and you may like it or not. I use AutoCad every day and totally despise it still. Your results may be very different than ours.

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    Related question to this--has anyone worked with any consultants for custom integrations into JobBOSS or any other ERP system? We like how that data flows into our scheduler, but we want to use other tools to send data into our ERP system. I'd love to know if anyone has had any luck with custom integrations or worked with consultants in the past.

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    We just started the process of working with a local software developer to help integrate our custom quoting program into the JobBOSS workflow. We're defining goals & scope of work now, so not sure yet how they will compare to JobBOSS.

    After the experience we had with the JobBOSS implementation folks, we decided to work with a third party rather than go back to JobBOSS.

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    I would recommend looking into Proshop ERP. The software itself was developed by machinists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fal Grunt View Post
    Many of the shops I work with regularly have a 6 month + lead time. A close friend of mine just quoted a job at a 1 year lead time. If you are machining a $1 widget I could see having a short lead time, especially for return customers, similar part families, etc. Hell it takes a week for steel to show up at my door. A week to get it back from heat treat. Another week to two weeks for wire work. Never mind any specialized custom tooling that might be needed, outside vendors throwing a wrench in the whole works, or never mind me actually machining it!
    Everything you mention is valid but should be factored into a proper schedule. Don't start easy stuff if you're waiting on other "harder" things. Don't cut a bunch of brackets while you're waiting for a weld fixture: the brackets could get lost or you might need the material for another job. The basic concept here is "schedule the easy stuff off of the hard stuff". Also to be clear, I'm referring to manufacturing lead time, not customer lead time. Ideally, things should be kept "on paper" (not started) until you're ready to start them. Starting things to early (waiting on tooling, too much WIP, etc.) only causes chaos.

    The Dude


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