DEAR Systems: The Best New Features for Q2
Have you checked out the latest updates from DEAR? Between March and July of 2022, DEAR systems announced some really big releases – so let’s take a look at some of the key areas that will enhance your operations.
Buffer inventory for ecommerce
This is a really cool new feature as it was available directly in the Shopify platforms, amongst other ecommerce channels, but it was not previously available through the control of the DEAR integration. With this release you can now push your stock levels to your ecommerce platforms, but you can also assign a buffer to those as well. Rather than hit zero stock and be unable to sell, you can assign a specific unit or percentage which allows you to go over your assigned stock volume. This will allow you to create backorders but control the scale of backorders you accumulate and create pre-orders.
MES application for iOS
The MES (manufacturing execution system) application is how you essentially process production orders on your tablet or phone. When it first came out, it was only available on Android devices, but this release means that businesses who are typically iOS users don’t have to purchase additional Android devices to use the application. The MES allows users to scan barcodes using their device camera to capture barcodes, batch and serial numbers, etc, removing the need for dedicated SKU scanners.
WMS (Warehouse Management System) – Picking for kitting
This feature allows you to manage your assembly BOM (bill of materials). If you have an assembly BOM with auto assembly in the backend of DEAR, you can now pick those raw materials within your system and configure that using the WMS. This means you don’t have a split process of creating and completing the assembly within the DEAR system and going into the WMS for the final pick. This process didn’t make sense for a lot of users but with this new feature, you’re completely in control. You can also use the WMS on Android and iOS devices.
Display calculation for MRP Demand Report
MRP stands for Material Requirements Planner. MRP essentially allows you to plan your demand within your DEAR system backend – what supply you need to fulfil considering things like sales and stock levels, helping you create a demand plan of what you need to order, and by when. This new release allows users to see where the demand came from. Previously, DEAR would produce a report for you, showing which products you had and the demand for the products in numbers – but it didn’t allow you to clearly see where the demand had come from. Using the ‘Show Demand Details’ option, you can make the demand numbers clickable and see all the entities of where that demand is coming from giving you more visibility on stock and requirements.
Creating stock adjustment from availability report
This is a positive change as previously, the only way to make a stock adjustment in DEAR was by going into the inventory module and selecting ‘Stock Adjustment’ to bring in stock or use a write-off to take stock out of the system. From the Inventory Availability screen, this new feature in the DEAR inventory app allows you to create a stock adjustment directly in the backend without going from that screen to your Stock Adjustment and creating it separately. You can do this in one place, saving time and reducing the clicks you need to complete the process.
Create purchase orders directly from sales orders for out of stock products
This feature allows users to create purchase orders directly from sales orders. Previously, if you had a backorder, for example, you would need to use a feature like the Reorder Backorder Report or the Reorder report. Now, when you put a sale into the system and select authorise, you’ll be given another option called ‘Create Purchase Order’. This means you don’t have to go back in the system to Back Order or Split Order. Simply create the PO and the DEAR app will create your Purchase Order for the stock that you need to fulfil your sale. An additional benefit of this feature is that it will link the two – you’ll see you have a Related Orders tan and you’ll be able to view the Purchase Order there directly within the sale.
Pre-set templates for input of sale order data
This is quite a niche feature but a good time saver for users to have which allows you to access pre-set layouts or templated for sales orders. This can be really useful if you have recurring customers who purchase the same products, if you offer a set package that comes with these specific items – or any other details that you’d want to have fixed on that sales order. Simply add your sales order to the system and save the pre-set so it’s there for you to select from a drop-down option.
Show only orders with shortage on Production Shortage Report
With the production module on DEAR systems, you get access to a few reports but DEAR have released a new report for production shortage. This new feature creates a report with all the items that you’re short on – but by selecting an option you can view only the orders that you have demand for these items on, which improves your stock allocation process better.
Manually enter costs of non-zero products during stock adjustment
Previously on stock adjustments if you were trying to create a non-zero stock adjustment, you would have to put a cost against it. Following a lot of feedback of this being time consuming, DEAR have changed this feature so when you pull a product over, it will either add in the latest purchase cost or a fixed purchase cost – this saves the hassle of going off and finding data in different places.
Clone make-to-order Production BOM
The made to order production BOM feature is one of the most complicated things to use in DEAR as it requires a lot of set-up and knowledge when it comes to inputting your data into the system. In summary, this feature is designed for customised products where you’ll have different elements that will change, for example a chair that comes in four different colours and has different back options. This new change allows you to clone your made to order BOMs – although you still cannot import these. If you have a new product that you’re offering that’s like another SKU but a little different and you need to make some changes, you can clone the BOM, saving you so much time.
Picks started on DEAR web portal can be completed via WMS app
One of the downsides of the WMS app was that there was a disconnect between the DEAR systems web portal and the WMS itself, so if you were to go to the pick section in DEAR and add some products to that section and save, when opening the WMS app, those changes would not have carried across. An order picker would have to pick from the sales list and define what they wanted to pick – this new change connects the two so you can choose what items the order picker needs to collect, specific to the batch, serial number of expiry date. You even use auto pick and save this so when the order picker opens the WMS, they can see what actions have been done and it simplifies the process for them as to what they need to do.
WMS Stock Lookup feature
Previously in the WMS, there was no way to look up stock so you were unable to scan a product and see how many units were available – this would only be visible within the DEAR web portal. Now there is a Stock Lookup feature within the WMS where you can scan a barcode and receive data from the system such as units, batch numbers and expiry dates.
Scheduler and Calculation Description for MRP
This feature allows you view a Gantt chart within the MRP with a full schedule with blocked out times like lead times which allows you to plan more accurately when you need to buy stock and when it’s needed for. This one is a little more complicated to use, but we will soon have some further guidance on this feature!
Time tracking for picking and packing operations in WMS applications
You can now track times against the WMS module, like picking and packing. You can review a report on how long these processes take to monitor efficiencies in the warehouse. This can help you understand if stock is well laid out in the warehouse, the picking system and process, etc.
Attach files to production operations via MES app
This change allows you to attach files within the MES app itself – so when you’re working within the app, you can take pictures and attach documents for other internal teams to view. This is beneficial for businesses who have customer service teams, as an example.
Why use DEAR?
One of the biggest benefits of DEAR systems for businesses is that feature changes aren’t random – they use feedback from the community to make changes that really make a difference to operational processes. Through their support request forum, you can raise any feature requests you want to see in the system and the team at DEAR systems will take these into consideration. Some users in the community also let each other know about feature requests they’ve made, so these users can boost votes for the change. Search ‘DEAR Inventory Users Group’ to join the group on Facebook!