Newsletter August 2017

Hi all,

This newsletter is intended to keep you up to date with Match-IT developments.

1.  Hours.  Our support hours have changed to be 8am to 4pm which better suits our customers.  If you work in the evenings or weekends there is an emergency number you can ring if you are stopped.  We cannot guarantee to be able to help, but we will if we can.  This number is not published.  Please call and ask for it if you think it would be useful.

2.  SQL backend.  This was a huge undertaking by Dave Nichols and one customer has been trialling it for many months now without problems.  Having a SQL backend opens up Match-IT to generic report writing and the internet; for example your customers could create orders that appear in Match-IT and get their order’s status etc.  It’s also an alternative way of writing scripts if you have any coders in house.  We now have excellent in-house web skills ourselves (PHP, Javascript, node.js etc) and can help you build such interfaces.  We targetted PostgreSQL for it’s technical excellence and it is available for free at the link below.  If you would like us to set up a parallel SQL version of your system for you to trial it, please call on the support line and let us know.  It is available under your existing support agreement.

https://www.postgresql.org

3.  Cus/Sup reviews.  After feedback from auditors we have added a customer/supplier review system which forces you to review their details every N days (default 365).  They are considered to be unapproved if this is not done, which satisfies the auditing requirement.  This is available in builds from February this year.

4. A tip.  Many virus checkers target mapped drives which means that you need to exempt the Match-IT mapped drive on your PCs (imagine tens of PCs all having a virus checker targeting files on the server via a mapped drive).  This can cause problems when you get a new PC or update the virus checker etc.  The probem can be eliminated completely by deleting the mapped drive on the PC and using a “UNC path” in the shortcut to Match-IT instead.  i.e. instead of something like m:\sys\match_go.exe it becomes \\myservername\match_it\sys\match_go.exe.  If you would like this done, let us know your IT contact and we’ll speak to them.

We will leave it at that for now and detail more changes in the next newsletter.  Match-IT is in active daily development; including tracking upsets caused by Windows updates and a full list is always available in the link below; a useful shortcut to add to your browser toolbar maybe.

http://match-it.com/software/release.htm#latest

Why do sometimes have to recover a data file?

When using Match-IT across a network it is essential that the network is reliable because any dropout mid file transaction can cause a corruption the a data file.  Here are some tips to minimise problems:-

  1. On the server and workstations, exclude the Match-IT data folder (or .tps files) from real-time virus checking (etc) scanning.
  2. On workstations, do not use a mapped drive to point at Match-IT in your short cuts; use a UNC path.
  3. Do not rely on FiFi.
  4. Do not pull the network cable out of laptops before closing Match-IT and waiting for it to exit completely.
  5. Close Match-IT and wait for it to exit completely before shutting down your workstation.
  6. Never under any circumstances click the “shutdown anyway” when shutting down your workstation and WIndows says you have left Match-IT running.  Close Match-IT properly first.
  7. A Terminal Services solution (user logs into a server and run Match-IT from there) will provide better stability if any of the above are unresolveable.

How do I remove an Ad Hoc Works Order?

The output batches from an ad-hoc WO are almost always being used to satisfy a demand up the chain, so it is not usually possible to delete the WO itself.

The procedure needed is to go into the detail of the WO, then go to the Schedule tab, clear the Ad-Hoc Order Until date and save the WO.  It is then removed at the time of the next full reschedule – either automatically by the Agent overnight or if you decide to do one manually.

What is a dis-assembly method?

The Product Manual briefly mentions a dis-assembly method, but what does it do in practice and when would you use one?  This article attempts to answer those questions by means of an example.

Say for example that you use parts called A, B and C in your methods, and you can buy them from various suppliers as usual.  However, let’s say that A, B and C are in fact parts of a connector (for example) and you can buy a whole connector cheaper than the component parts.  By using a dis-assembly method attached to the connector, Match-IT will buy it and create a works orders to take it apart as needed; i.e. if it needs to acquire an A and/or B and/or C – which will have been defined as parts in other methods.

If the connector has an our part num of X and the relative value of A, B and C is 40%, 40%, 20%, the setup in the materials catalogue will look like this:-

X (can be purchased ticked and suppliers attached as usual)
METHOD (dis-assembly option selected)
  STEP (normal works order step)
    PART (self)
    OUTPUT A (40%) (the percentages are set manually - only you know the values)
    OUTPUT B (40%)
    OUTPUT C (20%)

A (nothing ticked)
B (nothing ticked)
C (nothing ticked)

“PART (self)” can be added to the method by dragging in a PART record from the list on the right – it defaults to “(self)” – i.e. use myself as the kit.  Similarly the output records can be dragged in and then edited to define what they create; A, B and C in this case.  If the connector cost £10 the cost of A, B and C will be £4, £4 and £2.

Any method requiring a whole connector will just have a “PART X” in its method somewhere as per normal; nothing special will happen; the connector will be bought and used like any other part.

If an A, B or C is required in a method, Match-IT will buy a whole connector X, create a works order to take it apart, using itself as kit and attach 3 outputs A, B and C, which will need to be booked in as the outputs of the works order.

Now say for example that a part called Y requires an A, the eventual schedule will partially look like this:-

WO(Y) < A < WO(X) < X < PO(X)
        B < 
        C < 

Unless of course there is some A in stock, in which case that will be used instead.

This is a very simple example.  The dis-assembly method can also have resources to do the work and they will be costed as per normal.  Other parts and/or tools may also be needed.

How do I cancel a shutdown?

When you use the resource shutdown facility, what you are in effect doing is adding resource weeks to the system. Resource weeks are records that define availability. Each record spans one week and has a start date.

So to cancel a previous shutdown, go into the list of resource weeks:-

Functions | Standing Data | Resources | Resource Weeks

Then locate and Remove the relevant resource week records one by one.

How do I print using a different paper design?

When printing a document, you can tell Match-IT to use an alternative paper design as follows:-

  1. Select the second tab of the printing window – Print Options.
  2. Tick the Use an Alternative paper checkbox.
  3. Select the desired paper design using the ellipses button.
  4. Continue as normal.

The screenshot below shows an example of printing a sales order acknowledgement; you would use the ellipses button to select a paper design other than UserOrderAck.

altpaper

How do I know when a new version is available?

We build Match-IT every night and you can always upgrade to the latest release of the current version.  Sometimes we’ll tell you that a feature or fix will not be available until a particular version is released, which we will announce in a news item.

You can subscribe to news items via the footer of this website to get email updates, or by following us on facebook or twitter.

 

 

What is free issue stock?

The free issue stock facility operates as described below:-

1. There is a flag in the material record – Is Free Issue. Note that the flag is against the material, not a PART in a method.

2. When this flag is set, it triggers the scheduler to create a new type of purchase line – free issue – and associate the customer for the schedule demand with it.

3. There is a free issue purchase schedule similar to the normal purchase schedule.

4. Lines in the free issue purchase schedule can be approved and printed, but it’s optional.

5. The event diary system nags for free issue stock, as for a normal purchase.

6. When booking-in goods, selecting a free issue item against a non-approved purchase line will auto approve it.

7. You can buy things directly from customers if you wish, there is no need to create another supplier record for them. Similarly, you can sell things to suppliers.

8. 6 and 7 are possible because you can associate two account references with a supplier/customer. One for use when selling and the other for use when buying. The appropriate account code will be passed to the accounting system. They can be the same.