FAQ for RF-Plus & Visual ERP

Q. How does RF Plus for Visual ERP work differ from AMTS (BTS)?

A. RF Plus™ differs from AMTS in three major ways. First it is a truly real-time system that transacts and validates directly with Visual Manufacturing. Secondly it is adaptive and can easily incorporate your processes and business logic. And finally, the handheld screens provide a much higher level of information to the user. Adding greater utility for the end user translates into a more rapid acceptance of our system. This ensures the anticipated productivity gains are seen early and are maintained.

Q. Does RF Plus for Visual Manufacturing run on SQL Base?

A. No. We made a conscious decision to develop RF Plus™ for the more robust multi user environments provided by SQL Server and Oracle databases.

Q. What sort of ROI can I expect from an inventory control system?

A. Typically payback for RF Plus is within a year. Inventory inaccuracy costs warehouses in terms of: - Increased travel time - overbuying of stock - product obsolescence - lower fill rate - carrying costs We use the rule of 5 to gauge the cost having inaccurate inventory. For example if your last inventory count was out $1M, then it is costing you annually $200K.

Q. What barcoding hardware does RF Plus support?

A. Any mobile computer hardware that can run a Telnet VT 220 session and has a screen size that is at least 10 lines x 20 or Windows Mobile Client 6.1 that supports ¼ VGA screen size

Q. What are the system requirements necessary to run RF Plus?

A. -Visual Manufacturing v 6.5.4 or higher 

-Application Server = Intel Dual Core Processor, 1 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB HD

-Windows 2008 R2 Server 

-SQL Server 2008 R2 or Oracle 10

-TCP/IP Network

-IE 11.0, latest version of Chrome

-Wireless Network 802.11b/g/n

-RF Data Collection Terminals with Windows CE 6.0 or Windows Mobile 6.1

-Barcode Printer(s) with Ethernet port

Q. How long does a typical project take?

A. Typical is three months from start to finish. However we recently finished one project in less than 2 weeks and that was a limited installation involving just the inventory count module. Avoid installing around holiday seasons, vacation periods, and hunting/fishing seasons

Q. What resources are needed on my side to make this installation a success?

A. Your team should consist of a cross section of staff taken from: IT network, Production, Material Management, Warehousing, and Shipping. Also assign a project manager whose function will be to coordinate these resources and liase with us. From a time standpoint each client’s requirements will be different. Ultimately the project is a collaborative effort so be prepared to test the application thoroughly and provide the users with lots of training.

Q. How much customization of RF Plus is required for my project?

A. With over 70 installations of RF Plus for Visual ERP, our product is now at a point where the majority of Visual users can use it ‘out of the box’. Typically customers order a few enhancements which is discovered during the sales process or the engineering review that takes place at the start of your project. In this manner we reduce the time to go live, costs, and risk associated with your project. 

Q. What’s the warranty on the RF Plus system?

A. One year from date of go live.

Q. Why do I need an annual maintenance and upgrade service contract?

A. Maintenance: Entitles you to support We maintain a record of your configuration and customisations with a VPN connection for rapid response Ensure compatibility with the latest version of Visual Ensure compatibility as you upgrade your IT infrastructure

Q. What’s the project process for RF Plus?

A. The 12 week process is as follows: a. Business Requirements Definition. Study of processes, gap analysis, and documentation 1 to 2 weeks b. creation of use cases and scenarios 1 week c. configuring the system and deliver customizations* 2-6 weeks d. testing of prototype at Pi offices with your data 3 weeks e. installation of prototype at client offices, use case testing and tuning 2 weeks f. training of end users 1 week g. go live with Pi on-site *where customizations are required they are scheduled for delivery based on the rollout schedule.

Q. Where Do I Start?

A. Here’s a quick checklist:

- label your warehouse slot/bin locations

- turn on locations in Visual

- install a wireless LAN

- make sure incoming product is labelled and scannable

- use part alias feature in Visual to match up supplier part# with your part #

-make sure all your units of measurement are consistent

- make sure your project manager is experienced with barcoding

Q. What brands of barcode equipment do you recommend?

A. We always recommend brand name products from these manufacturers: Symbol, Intermec, Psion, and Zebra Technologies. They are widely supported, have local services centers across Canada and the U.S., and offer the best support programs.

Q. How do I rollout?

A. There are a couple of options:

Big Bang: If you and your team is replacing an existing barcoding system then be aggressive and implement across the board as needed.

Phased:If you’re new to barcoding implement one major function at a time. Start with inventory counts which has low operational impact and can be done with a minimal of downtime to the business. Challenge around the phased approach is that it’s hard to finish off the project – sometimes feels a lot longer than it is. The key is having a strong project manager. Whichever way you go, remember to celebrate the go live with tshirts, pizza lunches – anything to make it feel special.