Sages leading software radically overhauled to improve operational efficiency of small manufacturers

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Sage's launch of version 12 of its Line 50 Manufacturing software range reflects the company's tradition of listening closely to customer needs and incorporating their feedback into its product development.  The inclusion of Graphical Planning and Scheduling functionality in Line 50 Manufacturing version 12 reflects growing demand from the UK's thriving community of small manufacturers for a leaner and more efficient approach to production planning and scheduling that sharpens their competitive edge.

Building on the existing product range, Graphical Planner, powered by Preactor, the leading developer of Planning and Scheduling systems. enables customers to adjust their production schedule in response to unexpected events such as an increased customer order or a missing component delivery.  The flagship product in the Line 50 Manufacturing product range, the Line 50 Manufacturing Controller, enables managers to plan and calculate their resources so that they can immediately see the impact that making a particular decision such as adding overtime or extra shifts will have on their ability to complete and deliver an order on time.

Andrew Buckley, director of Sage manufacturing, commented: "With a strong customer base of more than 80,000 manufacturers, Sage is in a unique position to listen to the market place and provide products and services that meet the challenges facing small manufacturers both today and tomorrow.  In a competitive environment the ability to plan ahead can mean the difference between keeping customers or losing them to more agile competitors.  When our smaller customers told us they wanted the ability to adjust production schedules in response to unexpected events such as an increased order volume or missing component deliveries, we acted on their feedback.  The result is a comprehensive overhaul of the Line 50 Manufacturing product range which addresses the specific planning and scheduling needs of small manufacturers."

 Version 12 of Line 50  Manufacturing brings enhancements to all four variables in the range: Manufacturing Controller, Job Controller, Batch Controller and Bill of Materials.  This is achieved through a fresh, modern look with redesigned navigation and menu systems.

Several customers have already experienced the improved features of version 12 first-hand, and HMC Ltd, a leading toiletries manufacturer, is among these Beta customers.  Oliver Booth, finance and commercial director, comments: "In this incredibly pressurised market sector we see a lot of competition from Eastern Europe, where labour costs are significantly lower.  With a high marginal cost difference between us and our overseas competitors, it is vital we do not waste any precious resources on the factory floor.  Our manufacturing processes are straightforward, but owing to our extensive range of product lines, which each require different components, packaging and chemicals, production scheduling is a lot more complex.  This convinced us we would benefit from the new and improved planning and scheduling capabilities in Sage's latest software.

"Sage's Graphical Planner allows us to see at a glance what would happen to our materials stock and ability to deliver to customers if an order is cancelled or a supplier does not deliver on time.  By using Sage's Bill of Materials product we can coordinate the supply and storage of the components, packaging and chemicals we use, eliminating the expense of carrying this stock.  The insight Sage brings enables us to avoid production breaks and over-reliance on our suppliers.  It represents a big step towards achieving lean practices, giving us the flexibility to stay one step ahead of the competition in this cost-conscious market arena."

The Line 50 Manufacturing Controller now incorporates a powerful planning engine that gives management and shop floor staff greater visibility of what they need to do to improve performance.  Graphical Planner has been developed by Sage in partnership with Preactor, the market leading specialist in planning and scheduling software.  As a finite capacity planning tool Graphical Planner enables managers to calculate and run resource plans for all demands.

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