Infor Visual ERP Delivery Partner


Infor Services Partner


Is your Visual ERP Inventory as Important as a bottle of “Big Head Red”?

My husband, Gary, is an engineer and also- a wine lover. I have watched as these two traits have now been combined with his tracking of our wine inventory. For those of you not from Canada, did you know that that Niagara region has 88 wineries and many of them have award winning wines? Gary’s favourite is “Big Head” in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This wine, I must admit, is very good. Almost like gold. Well at least in our house.

Gary’s wine “inventory” has everything you need. There are locations, type (red, white), quantity, year, size of the bottle, winery, if it is from a unique series and then whether it is special. Special is his secret code for slightly more expensive and extra tasty. Gee – looking at the list, the special wines include Big Head and Trius.

Now just imagine putting this into Visual ERP. Let’s check the list of fields:

  • Location – Tick – Visual has that- plus Warehouses. But we don’t have that much wine. We only have 1 “warehouse”. Here is our list of locations:
LT Left Top Cabinet
LB Left Bottom Cabinet
RT Right Top Cabinet
RB Right Bottom Cabinet
DR Dining Room
FD Refrigerator

               Did I mention, my husband is an engineer? He is very precise.

  • Winery – That would be our vendor. We could even set this up as a Preferred Vendor.
  • Colour – This could be our Product Code in Visual ERP. Options: Red or White. Can’t say we have any pink but it is an option with White Zinfandel.
  • Type – We have Cabernet Sauvignon, Gamay, Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay (my favourite), ice wine and the list goes on. I would use Visual ERP’s commodity codes to track this.
  • Year – If we implemented part traceability, we could use this as one of the characteristics. Then if we got really fancy, we could set up an expiry date. We wouldn’t want the wine to go bad. That would be a shame.
  • Size – We could have units of measure. For example, BTL750.  BTL for bottle.  Or BTL1500.  The 750 or 1500 represent the number of millilitres.  I avoid using a generic term like BTL for a unit of measure since bottles can come in so many sizes. Just to avoid confusion.
  • Series – might be contained in the part description or we could use one of the 10 user defined fields.
  • The “Special” field – we could classify this based on price or set up a customizable user defined field to contain either Y for Special or N for everyday wine.

The fun thing about the wine inventory is seeing him track the inventory. Again, imagine this happening in Visual. 

  • We receive a shipment from our wine club. This could have had a Purchase Order in Visual and then a PO receipt into the desired locations.   
  • The wine is moved from one of the 4 cabinet locations to the dining room. We could do a Transfer between Warehouse Locations. If he wanted to plan it, then Interbranch Transfer Order might be required.
  • If we were going to cook with it, there would be a work order. The wine would be “issued” to the work order or recipe. We could define this based on a different unit of measure.  Then Visual’s unit of measure conversion table would be used to determine how much of the bottle is used.  The problem with the work orders is that there seems to be a loss somewhere. The recipe calls for a cup, but you know what? The entire bottle seems to disappear. Wonder, if we need to have a scrap factor on our work orders?
  • When we consume our order, we might even have a customer order. Who is “buying” the wine – Gary, Kim or maybe our friends and family? We might want to track so that we can predict our future requirements. 
  • And periodically, there is a cycle count. Sometimes inventory is lost. It might have to do with a time when he is too busy to track the movement. We might even be able to use Adjustment reasons in Visual ERP to classify them.  Can you imagine some of the reasons?  ACCIDENTLY_DRANK, BAD_QUALITY or the catch all NO_IDEA.

Of course, this is a little tongue in cheek but I do admire his dedication on keeping the inventory straight. I love when I see Visual ERP users who have the same focus on accurate inventory. They realize the importance. On the other hand, you know what it is like if you go to find the inventory and it’s not there. This can cause a lot of scrambling, possibly extra costs, late deliveries and maybe unhappy customers. I think Gary understands this concept. He wouldn’t want me to go get a glass of Chardonnay and find it is not in the Refrigerator location. Talk about an unhappy customer.

I hope Gary can inspire others to track their inventory with his tenacity.