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Targeting Vertical Markets, Lilly Software Focuses on Automotive Enhancements in the Latest Release of VISUAL Manufacturing

05 March 2002, Hampton, NH (USA) — In the latest release of VISUAL ManufacturingÒ, Lilly Software Associates accelerates its development into vertical markets with new enhancements that target the needs of the automotive industry. Focused on understanding the unique requirements of critical market verticals, such as the automotive, medical, precision tool and instrument, elecronics, and aerospace and defense industries, Lilly Software continuously strives to create effective functionality that helps customers improve their businesss processes. With the newest product release, the most significant changes include Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) features, support for macros and user-defined reports, new production planning software, and tools for pricing and commissions.

Lilly Software's new automotive functionality will have automotive/EDI users wanting to learn more about the latest version of VISUAL Manufacturing. These features enable users to dynamically manage distribution operations on a customer-by-customer basis. They allow companies to verify order details, maintain price matrixes for parts by customer and date, establish shipping information, modify accumulators, and create thermal labels for orders.

By integrating with Customer Order Entry, the automotive tools offer the real-time data that users need to improve customer communication. The functionality also integrates with VISUAL BTS™, Lilly Software's barcode transaction system, to simplify shipping procedures and enable companies to consolidate pack lists, create Advanced Shipping Notices (ASNs), and automatically generate invoices. The automotivecapabilities in version 6.2.8 streamline the EDI order entry and fulfillment process and ease the task of managing complex orders.

Making business processes easier is also the goal of other features in this release, specifically the added support for both macros and user-defined reports. Macros are small script-based programs usually developed by the application user in response to a specific local need. They can simplify the most complex tasks by automating time-consuming processes and eliminating the chance of incorrect data entry. The new version supports macros in many windows, such as the Manufacturing WindowÒ and Customer Order Entry.

Additionally, VISUAL now supports user-defined reports from many application windows. This allows managers to quickly and easily create reports that contain only the information they specify. It uses VISUAL database fields from any of the database tables that the manager can normally access. Users can also take advantage of Seagate Crystal Decisions to design and compile reports, which they can then run from the User Reports menu.

Wanting to help companies continuously grow and streamline operations, Lilly Software has developed a new production planning solution called VISUAL DBR (Drum-Buffer-Rope). Inspired by the Theory of Constraints business management philosophy developed by Dr. Eli Goldratt, VISUAL DBR enables companies to maximize the use of a Capacity Constrined Resource, reveal other hidden capacity, and use time buffers to create schedules that help deliver products on time. It is an approach to regulating the flow of work-in-process at or near the full capacity of the most restricted resource in the manufacturing chain.

VISUAL DBR is the software that Lilly Software offers as part of its VISUAL Power Boost package to help companies establish a process for ongoing productivity and profitability improvement. When companies participate in this program, they receive training in the strategic and tactical applications of TOC from some of the world's most highly regarded TOC experts. Lilly Software has partnered with the Avraham Y. Goldratt Institute (AGI) and Constraints Management Group (CMG) to offer training and consulting services in all aspects of TOC, particularly in Drum-Buffer-Rope techniques. VISUAL DBR provides the planning tools to help companies exploit their capacity constraints, satisfy existing market demand, and deliever products on time.

Always listening to customer requests for enhancements, Lilly Software also announces the release of a new add-on module called VISUAL Price Book. Price Book is a flexible pricing and commissions tool that integrates with Lilly Software's VISUAL Manufacturing's Order Management window and other ERP pricing packages. It allows companies to work outside of "standard" methods by selecting any level of "creative pricing" to determine prices, discounts, commissions, and order terms. With this application, users can establish price breaks based on cost or quantity and adjust figures "across the board" to eliminate redundant adjustments. They have the flexibility to set up prices by customer, part, market, commodity, or groups. Companies can also easily define commissions for their sales staff. The application maintains its definitions in a separate database from the ERP database, with derivations available through an open COM interface, allowing VISUAL Price Book to be a centralized solution.

"We're focued on developing solutions that differentiate us in the marketplace—solutions that address the needs of vertical industries and meet our customers' requests," says Scott Rich, Vice President, Marketing, Lilly Software Associates. "The EDI enhancements provide our automotive users with improved tools for handling customer orders and accessing critical data quickly. The support for macros and user-defined reports, as well as the new applications, VISUAL DBR and VISUAL Price Book, offer features that enable customers to manage information for more profitable decision making. We want to make the VISUAL product line significantly stronger with each new application release and this latest version of VISUAL Manufacturing accomplishes this goal."

VISUAL Manufacturing 6.2.8 is available now.

About Lilly Software Associates

Lilly Software Associates, Inc. provides a complete line of enterprise and supply chain solutions for manufacturers and distributors. The VISUAL Enterprise™ suite of products helps companies capture and analyze real-time data about all their business processes using ERP, Project Management, Business Performance Management, Quality Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Warehouse Management System capabilities. From award-winning software to strategies in Lean Manufacturing and TOC, Lilly Software offers companies the tools they need for higher productivity and profitability.

Most VISUAL® applications run on Windows® 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, UNIX®, LINUX, Novell®, using SQLBase®, Microsoft SQL Server®, or ORACLE® relational databases.

Lilly Software has received many industry awards for its products, service, and financial growth since its inception. Most recently, the company has been voted one of the Top 10 Best of Breed solutions for manufacturing by readers of Consumer Goods Technology, listed in Software Magazine's Top 500, selected as a Top 100 Logistics Information Technology Provider in Inbound Logistics, listed in the Top 100 Application Vendors in Supply Chain e-Business, included in MSI's Top 100 for its eighth year, and ranked as one of Start magazine's Hottest Companies.


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