M2M Technical Projects Overview

Perhaps the biggest item that separates us from other ‘Implementation Consultants’ is our in house technical capabilities.  While our efficient blend of manufacturing business experience and expert knowledge of the Made2Manage ERP system supports full implementations, training, and establishment of best system use practices at your company, when the solution requires custom integration imageprogramming, report writing, or integration, we shine bright!

We are certified SQL Database experts with an intimate knowledge of the M2M data schema and transaction processing.  As such, we handle items such as complex modification and extension of the M2M platform, integration with peripheral third party applications, data corruption repair, and from scratch peripheral custom application development directly tied in to the Made2Manage database.

Here is just a sampling of the kinds of  technical projects we have designed and implemented:

Fox to SQL Report Conversions

M2M used a ‘wrapper’ approach to auto convert reports from FoxPro to SQL versions.  This was a quick way to convert hundreds of reports, but the problem is that it could not convert all custom reports and perhaps more importantly the resulting reports run extremely slow.  With each SQL version, the ‘wrapper’d’ reports have been converted to direct SQL access but some still remain.  Here we convert ‘wrapper’d’ reports to direct access SQL.  We often see 10x+ improvement in speed.

Customer Communication Auto Email

This has been, and remains one of the biggest holes in Made2Manage functionality.  There is no viable automatic email functionality in M2M.  They took a ‘check swing’ at it with Events and Actions but let’s face it, EA is likely one of the worst add on products ever and will cause you more problems than it solves.  It looks like with the ‘enhanced’ CRM rolled out in version 6 plus …. many service packs … they intend to do it, but it’s really not still there.  The bottom line is as of this writing, their data schema and technology does not support a robust customer communication system.

We’ve done a host of projects in this area.  We do automated batch emailing of shippers, order acknowledgements, and invoices with extended email capabilities.  In addition, we’ve done a full blown mod that integrates with ZetaDocs and automatically emails, faxes, or hard copy prints outbound documents based on contact preferences.  It allows multiple contacts to be emailed as well for a given document!

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)

We’ve done just about every flavor of EDI project you can imagine here.  This includes everything from taking a customer supplied requirements spreadsheet and making all necessary adjustments and schedule changes to the Made2Manage files, right on through ASN creation and real time updates for the customer via SOAP connections.

We’ve done the integration for the standard M2M EDI add on, and for projects with limited EDI scope we’ve done automatic order creation from EDI files with return acknowledgements.

When it comes to EDI, there is no plug and go integration for M2M EDI.  It does not exist.  At the end of the day, there is always integration, mapping, and potentially document turnaround to be done.   And for these tasks in your project, we provide extremely cost effective solutions.

Automatic Job BOM Modifications based on Engineering Change Records in PLM System

This is an example of an integration with a third party Product Life Cycle Management System (PLM).  The client has a very high volume of engineering revision changes on lower level components.  Made2Manage has no mechanism for using up lower revision components on a parent even when the engineering change allows for that.  Further, once job orders are OPENED, the component call outs do not change unless you delete and recreate the job order.

Here we evaluate the job bill of materials for OPEN orders and compare the current component call out to the ECO records in the Omnify PLM system.  We automatically make changes to job boms considering both the client rule set for change and the permissible use data contained in the PLM system.  The bottom line is that we are using up older inventory when we can and ensuring we are using later revs where no on hand or on order inventory exists.

Automated Document Addition/Integration with Third Party Applications

With the lack of a suitable API, the creation of documents like Sales Orders, Purchase Orders, etc… require coding, a solid knowledge of the M2M data schema, and a detailed understanding of M2M transaction processing.   We’ve created many one and two way interfaces for clients using third party application to do their PO processing, Order processing, and Quote processing.

SQL Reporting Services (SSRS)

SSRS is the future reporting direction for M2M 7.5 and its a good choice.  It is the defacto reporting engine for SQL and has capability to not only generate a typical standard report, but is capable of generating management dashboards, providing data drill downs, connecting to external data sources, and handling the auto mailing of report data to defined users.

These days, unless there is an existing M2M Fox report that can be quickly tweaked to meet the reporting requirement, most customers prefer adding new reports to their SSRS reporting infrastructure.  You do not need M2M 7.5 to take advantage of this incredible capability.

Custom Applications That Connect to M2M

We’ve done a host of these over the years.  These applications do not require an Made2Manage license and simply connect to the M2M database for two way communication.  As an example, we recently did a grid based screen to support a project management meeting for a tool builder.  The grid displays the backlog of Sales Order Line Items, the jobs supporting those SO items, and the status of those jobs.  Users can then update items in the grid with adjusted delivery dates, notes, new commitments, etc… which are then written back to M2M in real time.

We could write pages describing the hundreds of custom projects we’ve done for M2M users since 1998.  The bottom line is that when the solution requires something beyond mundane reporting writing, we have the technical skills and experience to provide a solution!