Challenges That Led To A New System
PQI had software needs that weren’t being met. The system couldn’t track the service portion of the business and it did not provide sufficient flexibility for internal modification.
“JobOps is the most important module on this system for us because it links purchase orders to sales orders. Our service department manager uses JobOps to track when parts come in so as to better monitor inventory. Perhaps the best part is that we can calculate profits and know which orders contribute most to our bottom line.”
PRODUCTIVITY QUALITY, INC. ACCOUNTING MANAGER
Splitting hairs is an everyday occurrence for Productivity Quality, Inc. (PQI). Their customers often ask them for measurement solutions that determine sizes as small as one hair divided into one thousand parts. That’s a lot of zeros: .000003. But numbers are everything to PQI and that’s what led them to Sage 100 and JobOps. PQI represents some of the leading names in the quality assurance (QA) business, offering measurement and machine productivity equipment, parts, related service, and training. Devices include capitalized equipment for tool and die companies, plus various types of probes, precision scales and encoders, micrometers, calipers, and digital gauges. PQI is known throughout a five state area for customized assemblies that enhance QA on specific machines, as well as providing premium customer service.
Although PQI was spun off from Productivity, Inc. in 1991, they continued piggy-backing on the parent’s business software for years. The problem was that PQI had its own software needs that weren’t being met. The system couldn’t track the service portion of the business, for one thing—a big issue since service brings in 25 percent of annual revenue. Neither did it provide sufficient flexibility for internal modification. So PQI went shopping. At the top of their wish list, besides advanced accounting features, was the ability to monitor service operations on a project-by-project basis. Sage 100 with JobOps was the first package they looked at. As it turned out, no other system could touch it for features and value.
Sage 100 now performs a complete range of business functions for PQI. General ledger postings, month-end processing, and reporting are faster than ever before. JoAnn Linnell, PQI’s accounting manager, appreciates being able to drill down quickly with the intuitive menu system of Sage 100, following the trail of various transactions without opening up dozens of screens.
Linnell also makes frequent use of Business Insights, a reporting tool included in Sage 100. Customizable reports provide critical business information in a high-level graphical format for instant access and speedy decision-making.
“I use Business Insights to get sales numbers and financial ratio information quickly,” Linnell says. “Business Insights links all our data and gives us a snapshot of how we’re doing—with analyses like sales breakdowns, costs, best sales for the period, and year-to-date figures, too. It’s a very helpful feature.”
Central to the new Sage Software system has been JobOps, a graphically based job operations and production system from Scanco. JobOps combines the features of job costing, bill of materials, and manufacturing systems into one cohesive module to manage resources and monitor expenses. PQI uses it to manage all sales orders, stocking, direct shipping, inside assemblies, and service activities.
“JobOps is the most important module on this system for us because it links purchase orders to sales orders,” explains Linnell. “It allows us to create work tickets for different types of jobs, so we can break out tasks like calibration, repair, and assembly. Work-in-progress reports make it simple for us to keep an eye on open orders and know when they’re ready to be shipped. Our service department manager uses JobOps to track when parts come in so as to better monitor inventory. Perhaps the best part is that we can calculate profits and know which orders contribute most to our bottom line.”
The new system has eliminated confusion and improved organization at PQI. “The interface between JobOps and Sage 100 is so smooth that it all feels like a single package,” explains Linnell. “Together, they give us a very robust system that does everything we need—a perfect match for our size of firm.
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