BME is an extremely comprehensive ERP framework. The descriptions below are overviews of the modules named and are not exhaustive specifications. These descriptions cover the fundamentals, however, there are many other elements which are included but are not mentioned below.
Included in the many user configurable settings, is a dictionary, where you can set the names of many of the modules, to suit your locality or your business processes. For instance, you may refer to your “Customers” as “Clients” your “Suppliers” as “Vendors” and “Quotations” as “Estimates”. For continuity, the default settings will be referred to throughout this document. This area also includes the default settings for most of the modules within the BME structure. As an example, you can setup the stages for the sales pipeline, the customer tiers (Resale Distributor, OEM, Resale Dealer etc.) or the shipping methods available for the sales system.
All of the modules within BME have a customisable interface. You can add data cards to each area, displaying the most pertinent information for your role. The cards may be resized and moved to the position of your choice to make your job easier. All your settings and choices are remembered by the system, so when you next login, you will experience the same views
BME utilises dashboards extensively throughout. They are present in virtually every area of the system and can be customised to each users’ requirements. Charts, lists and KPIs can be created using data from any table the user has rights to access. Once created they are retentive, so they will be recreated each time that user logs in. The landing page, once logged in, presents you with a dashboard, which when configured to the users preferences, enhances the performance and efficiency of the user, by presenting all the pertinent information related to their role. Most areas of the system have a dashboard as a landing page, so you can ensure the information displayed has the required content.
BME has a prospect management module, where the sales pipeline may start. You can input your prospective clients manually or import them from a flat file such as an Excel spreadsheet. From the prospect, you can create quotations or opportunities. Communications can be created and monitored, as necessary. A prospect dashboard is provided for reporting and visualisation of key data. When a prospect is successfully converted, they can simply be added to the Customer Module.
Customers, as common with most other areas of the system, have a user configurable interface and the ubiquitous dashboard which can be structured to show those all important details, pertaining to sales, financials, quotations, sales orders, contracts and assets plus any jobs (work orders), which may have been raised. Timeline, communications and location are also visible. A customer may have multiple locations (branches) and multiple contacts spread across those locations. All are accessible from this area. Unique pricing for products and services may be set for each individual customer and each customer may belong to different pricing tiers. Document Management is also present, allowing the user to store customer related documents, including images, with the ability to track versions. The financial area allows the company to set the account type, credit limits, trading currencies and billing addresses.
Supplier details are stored in this module, with the ability to create and view different parameters such as purchase orders and related stock. The supplier can be linked to your stock items as the preferred supplier for those items, or as an alternative supplier. Similar to Customers, your Suppliers may have different locations and key contacts from whom you make your purchases. The Supplier interface is equally as customisable and includes user configurable dashboard widgets. Purchase orders may be created from any supplier and the historic and current order data available to view. Purchase orders may be linked directly to a sales order to create a drop ship instruction or from a Job. The name of the module is a library item, so you may change it to suit your business needs.
Opportunities is an area of the system which for some companies, is a vital part of the sales pipeline. From this area, a sales opportunity is created along with associated quotations. The cost of sale is also calculated by entering expenses, which are added to the total quotation costs. One Opportunity may be composed of many quotations of which the customer may select to accept one or multiple quotations to be processed. The total costs of all selected quotations, plus any ancillary costs, such as travel costs to the customer site by salespersons, engineers or consultants are used to calculate the estimated margin from the total sale. The sales pipeline has multiple stages, which can be created manually or selected from a template. An Opportunity is generally used for more complex sales, rather than a simple single quotation. A dashboard is also included as part of the Opportunities module, making monitoring of sales processes easily manageable.
The system has a logical flow and building a quotation is simple yet comprehensive, with the ability to select line items from inventory, and / or create a fully text orientated quote. You may even insert an image in the quote if required. Full costs are recorded in the quote, including the costs of line items and miscellaneous costs for labour, transport costs or anything else you wish to take into account. The quote also shows the margin calculations as a percentage. Quotations may be saved as templates to be used again in a new quotation, for the same or other customers. Quotations need to be authorised before being sent to a customer. This is a permission based operation. “Quotations” is a dictionary item, so if you prefer “Estimates”, you can change the name in the system dictionary. As with other areas of the system, a dashboard is available, to build a suitable view for your sales staff
Sales Orders are the hub of the BME system. They are linked to many areas including Inventory, Jobs, Contracts, Customers, Purchase Orders and Invoices. The SO is based on shipments. You can place customer orders which have multiple shipping addresses and multiple shipping dates. You can create as many shipments as you need to fulfil the order. Each shipment may have unlimited line items. You may also create drop ship shipments, where an item from a vendor / supplier, is shipped directly to the customer. Back orders may be managed and Inventory details viewed as required. As BME supports multi-currency, the sales prices may be set to any currency. By default, the currency of choice will be the based on the customer who is placing the order. You can toggle between the base currency and the currency of the SO. When a line item is added to the sales order, the associated inventory is allocated to the order. You can create jobs (or work orders) from the Sales Order, which may be required for service sales or for manufacturing. The usual customisable dashboard is also available for ease of monitoring and reporting.
BME has a fully integrated accounting system, which, if you have chosen the multi-company option, you will be able to report at the company level, division level and department level, to give you accurate cost centre based financial reporting. The financial dashboard provides very powerful tools, designed to allow the creation of detailed reports and visual references. Widgets may be created which give the user and instant insight as to the status of any given area of the company financials. BME accounting does not include payroll calculations, although entries from a payroll specific application from a third party may be entered as journal entries.
The Jobs module has a dictionary entry so the name you use to define this function may be changed to Work Orders or another name familiar to your organisation. The module has many functions, including creating Jobs / Work Orders for manufacturing, which in turn may be for a customer order (created from a Sales Order) or to replenish inventory (created from an Inventory item). In addition, Jobs could be created for an engineer call out, or an asset maintenance task, perhaps derived from the Contract & Asset Module. Jobs may be a Master (Parent) Job or a Child Job. The Master Job may be a placeholder for a series of Jobs to be executed to perform a more complex operation. Jobs are nested, so a Master Job may have many Child Jobs and a Child Job may itself be the Parent of a Job beneath it. Job costs may be applied to a Job, in the form of Purchase Orders, Inventory costs (add an inventory item to a Job), labour costs or Ad Hoc costs, such as travel or other ancillary costs. For engineers or remote job execution, there is a App, which may be utilised for functions including cost collection. All costs are rolled up to the Master Job and then to the creation source, such as the Sales Order, so the true costs or each job execution can be as granular as needed. Jobs may also be scheduled, either by the maintenance planner or from the Job itself. In addition, the Job may be created from the Resource Scheduler, perhaps as a result of a call out. The Scheduler only allows resources to be added to a job at a particular date / time, if the resource has the appropriate skills to execute the job. As with all activities within BME, all operations performed in a Job, are audited.
As part of the supply chain management, items may be entered on a Purchase Order from Inventory or they may be entered as a free-typed text for non-inventory items. If inventory items have a preferred supplier or alternative suppliers, they must be ordered from one of those entities. Orders are placed in Shipments. It is possible to set different parameters for these, such as different shipping addresses and drop ship details. Due to the multi-currency nature of BME, Purchase Orders may be placed in any currency. These will relate back to the base currency of the system for accounting purposes. When a Purchase Order is created and executed, it may be utilised in the accounting area to create the matching entry for the invoice received from the Vendor. This allows a cross check to ensure the Vendor invoice matches the costs reflected in the Purchase Order. The Purchase Order layout also has custom control over its presentation.
BME has an extremely comprehensive stock control system. This, integrated with our BME Warehouse Module, ensures you have all the tools to manage storage environments, stock quantities, assemblies and your bill of materials (BOM) to create your finished goods. A Gantt chart is provided to indicate the assembly or manufacturing timeline for an item. Unlimited images may be stored against the SKU, which may be useful for internal staff or for instance, to insert into a quotation for the customer, along with a comprehensive textual product description. The stock manager may set minimum levels, at which level, a flag is raised to instigate the purchase process for replenishment, or the manufacturing process to fulfil the minimum requirements. You can control the minimum amount you are allowed to purchase and the minimum quantity by which you wish to sell the item. You may set preferred suppliers and lead times. SKUs can be allocated permitted storage locations, based on many parameters, such as required temperature range, physical size, weight or perhaps hazard. Your stock can be made available to sell on a particular date or made selectable for use on a Sales Order or a Job. You may even set an expiry date for the SKU. Additional “promotional” goods may be attached to any SKU, to encourage the upselling of additional services or even if you were selling a flashlight, the promotional items may be batteries or a bulb. You may want to ensure that a particular device or piece of equipment, such as an air conditioning unit, is sold with a service contract. When adding an item of stock to a Quotation or Sales Order, the promotional goods will automatically be added as a line item. These can be deleted if not required. There are comprehensive selling discount levels and pricing tiers, along with the ability to provide individual pricing at the customer level. Utilization of the stock may be by FIFO, LIFO, LCF (lowest cost first) or even manually selected. You can control where it is permissible for your stock to be shipped to (blacklist) and a grey list, which may flag additional paperwork is required to ship to that destination. BME manages serialised items and items from lots or batches, to ensure they are allocated according to company policies. Stock may be managed by geographical location, so that you cannot allocate stock from a distant location, to a local order. As with most areas of BME, there is a dashboard, which may be configured on a user level, to contain custom lists and charts displaying user designated data from the stock module. The Stock module can also link to the Warehouse module, where you can find the exact location of your inventory. Assemblies (BOM’s) can also be built within BME either RTB or Pre-Built. Jobs/Work Orders can be created, scheduled and assigned to resources to complete the production process.
The Warehouse Management System is extremely comprehensive and allows your stock / inventory to be stored across multiple warehouses, aisles and bays. Each of these definable entities may have parameters associated with them, such as maximum weight, maximum size, temperature limits or even the type of inventory which may be stored within them. BME supports multiple warehouses at multiple geographic locations and inventory may be divided into areas of use, such as by company or division within the organisation. As an example, if a single product is stored in multiple warehouses with a great geographical disparity, you may wish to permit users only to have access to allocate inventory from their locality, or from one designated warehouse location.
Keeping track of your staff and the inherent mass of data which must be managed on their behalf, presents many organisations with considerable challenges. BME has a HR module, where you can keep track of this data. It will manage vacation times, qualifications, health issues which an employer needs to be aware of, disciplinary matters, performance reviews, roles and communications and other pertinent items.
Invoicing is simple in BME, with the information from the Sale Order being automatically transferred to the invoice at the push of a button. Blank invoices may be created directly from the customer if you need to bypass the Sales Order. Jobs and quotations are also a source for invoice creation. Invoices can be sent directly to the customer by email as a PDF. Customer statements are easily produced from the customer part of the Financials area. Payments can be made from the customer, which may help to indicate the status of the customer account. Invoices can be modified right up until they are posted to the ledgers. Invoices can be monitored through the Invoice Dashboard, which is the default landing page. Multi-currency invoicing is also supported, based on the exchange rate from the system base currency.
A full featured Resource Scheduler is also part of the BME system. Resources are created within resource categories, such as sales staff, admin staff, engineers, vehicles, meeting rooms, projectors, etc. Multiple resources from any resource category may be scheduled on any appointments. Scheduler checks to ensure the resource is available before allowing the resource to be added to a schedule. It will NOT allow conflicting schedules to occur. At a glance, it is possible to view the disposition of any resource within the company, thus making the most efficient use of time and saving money. This not a calendar, such as Outlook, or Google Calendar, but a company centric scheduling tool. Viewing multiple calendars for staff can be difficult and time consuming. Also, there may be other events on the individual calendars which are not specifically relevant for the company. When used in conjunction with the Jobs module, it allows jobs to be drag and dropped onto the scheduler resource timeline, allocating that resource to the job. If the resource does not have the skill set as determined by the job, it will not allow you to use that resource. It is also possible to just have a Jobs view, so you can see the status of your workshops, assembly areas or your machinery assets.
Document management is a powerful and extremely useful feature in BME. It is available in most areas of the system. You may drag and drop documents into the loader or select from a file location. All document types are supported. Many can be previewed if they are supported by a modern web browser, such as various types of images, and PDFs. During the upload process, you may add a document description, a version number and also a set of textual tags, which may assist in any future search for that document. Documents may be viewed in several ways, (providing you have the rights to view it) including a conventional folder view, a list view and a tag view. A search my be employed my simply browsing through the folders, switching to a list view and using the filters at the top of the columns and by switching to tag view, to search by tags which you may have added to the file when uploading it.
The Project Management module is an integrated comprehensive project planning environment, incorporating several management methodologies, including Modular, Waterfall and Agile (Kanban). Many companies do not use just one method of managing a project, so we have provided multiple options. One in particular is for those very informal projects which require the processing of Sales Orders and their associated Jobs. We have called this methodology “Modular” and gives a tremendous amount of flexibility to the project process.
It is also possible for BME to be integrated with other accounting systems, such as QuickBooks or Xero. In fact any other system which provides an API should be able to be able to be integrated in order to provide seamless interaction.