Monday, April 28, 2014

Realtrac ERP Software Development Team - General Release

Greetings all,

Realtrac ERP Software Development Team
REALTRAC Development Team
It's been a busy time here at Realtrac Headquarters. Since the last blog we've officially released the Realtrac 10 product. As I'm sure many of our customers themselves experience, when you work on a product or a job for a long time, and then send it out the door, it's a lot like sending your kid out the door for their very first day of school. Lots of emotions, but it's also the first step of a long journey.

As you can imagine, work has not let up for the team. We're now converting existing customers from 9 to 10, along with doing new installations. It's great talking with both new and existing customers to learn about their businesses and learn how they use Realtrac. Without sounding too self-serving, allow me a momentary anecdote. Our development team has worked together for a long time and we've developed many products to convey important business critical information to users in a simple and meaningful way. When tasked with writing a successor to the very successful Realtrac 9 product, we wanted to not only match it's features, but improve upon them.

The Realtrac 9 product provided a workstation centric real time view in to your shop floor. In real time, a user could scan the list and see which work stations were being run, along with the jobs and employees running the stations.

In 10, we've replicated this interface, but also provide another view of the same data - a view that is employee based rather than focusing on Work Stations. Now, you can not only answer the question "What is happening on my Inspection work station?" but you can also ask "What job is my employee Rob Liefeld on right now?". In our new Employee Status window, we provide a pile of information with some simple color codes. In the sample screen capture below, the color of the employee's name tells us if they are currently logged in, on break, or not currently logged in to a job. The color of the cell with the Job and Operation information tells you how the operation is doing compared to the estimate. If the lower cell is green, we're still within our estimated time for the operation. Yellow indicates we're within +/- 10% of our estimate, and a red cell indicates that we've gone over 110% of our estimated time for that operation.

Realtrac ERP System Status Window
Employee Status Window
We've already had one customer tell us that by bringing this information to the front, in real time, they have already begun digging in to jobs before they've shipped to try to correct issues with the job. Operations running late means your company is losing money, and it risks you may ship the product late. Instead of trying to correct these problems in a job review after the job has shipped and is closed, our user is now catching these in real time and has already seen an increase in productivity! Real exciting news to hear for a group of developers who, months ago, were just hoping that these ideas would catch on!

In addition to installs, conversions, answering questions, documenting, building FAQs and the like, we continue to work on exciting new products and features. As I've mentioned previously, we've got our new mobile apps that are currently going through the testing phase with Apple in preparation for our official listing in the App Store. We've got both a Shop Floor style app, "Remote Start" (used by shop floor employees for logging in and out of work sessions, logging piece and scrap counts and the like) and our training app, "Power Train" to help users learn about our product.

Our Remote Start users that have been testing the product (on live manufacturing floors) love it and have already made it part of their regular workflows. They have asked us to allow them to continue using the product even after our testing period. They have changed their workflow and been more productive and don't want to stop.

We're working hard to bulk up our online training and self service resources. We've already prepared a series of videos designed for users converting from our 9 product to the 10. This set of 7 videos, all very short but focused, have been instrumental in helping our customers convert from 9 to 10, often in a single day. Additionally, we have many other videos (and a good number of new ones in the hopper) designed to orient both new and existing customers to some of the cool new features in Realtrac, and to act as introductions to the underlying business system that's the bedrock of the Realtrac ERP system.

All existing videos, and future videos are available in the Power Train application. The app keeps track of your progress, letting you know which videos you've watched, and the training videos look great on an iPad next to your computer. Watching the videos on the iPad while following along on your screen allows you not just to see someone demonstrate a concept, but actually try it yourself.

We're also debating internally about what features to add to the product next. We've taken a pulse of our customers, both directly via discussion panels and through our experienced sales team. We currently have a set of features we're prioritizing and scoping out. While we have a pretty good idea what we're going to do (or, at least we have a known basket of possibilities we're going to pick and choose from) make sure to keep in touch with your Realtrac sales rep and give them details about your business and what features you need to succeed. Our sales team is the development team's direct pipeline to our customers and one we rely on heavily. We want to add features that are going to help our customers grow and prosper.

Well, thanks for checking in here with the Realtrac development team. I'm off to work on some cool new features!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Machine Shop Grows While Maintaining Control - Realtrac ERP Software

East Side Machine relies on Realtrac and QuickBooks for shop and job management.

Customer Profile:

East Side Machine, located in Webster, NY, has been providing CNC turning, milling and other precision machining services since 1984, serving primarily the mass transit, medical, aerospace and motion control industries. Working from customer supplied engineered drawings, the job shop produces each part according to specifications. Today, with over 30 shop employees, East Side has built a reputation for high quality and on-time delivery, resulting in numerous repeat orders and highly satisfied customers.

"Realtrac has been a significant part of the reason we have been able to grow. I would recommend the system for small and medium size job shops to help get better control and for Real-Time management of jobs."
-Paul Derleth, President

Business Challenge:

In 1993, East Side had grown to an 18 employee ship and realized that is manual methods of managing the shop were no longer adequate if growth were to continue without sacrificing quality and customer service. ERP software was needed to assist in: tracking jobs, managing deliveries and providing accurate job costing. It was also beginning to become apparent that manual bookkeeping and accounting procedures could no longer provide the accurate and timely financial control that was necessary for a growing company.

"Realtrac and QuickBooks have helped our company become more efficient and profitable. The customer support that we have received over the years for both products has been excellent"
-Paul Derleth, President

Solution Overview:

East Side Machine evaluated several ERP software products before selecting a system. Realtrac was chosen because of its versatility in offering various options, its ability to track jobs in Real-Time and its purchasing and inventory features, especially designed for job shops. Realtrac's ease of use and quick implementation was also a major factor.

QuickBooks Pro accounting software was installed in 1995 upon recommendation of East Side's accountant because it integrated smoothly with Realtrac, was extremely user friendly and offered great customer support.

Business Benefits:

Realtrac helped East Side get the job shop software up and running very quickly and the benefits were realized almost immediately. Processing of customer orders were expedited and the status of current jobs became available in Real-Time. Machine bottlenecks could be predicted ahead of time allowing the company to better manage delivery schedules. Realtrac's Real-Time job costing feature became an important aid in predicting profitability and managing the purchasing of material and outside services became more efficient.

Implementation of Realtrac also aided greatly in East Side obtaining its ISO 9000 certification. The process plans, inspection results, employee job transactions, material purchases and all the activity from time of order to the actual delivery is accurately tracked.

According to Pat Latona, East Side's Office Manager, "the integration of Realtrac with QuickBooks has saved me a ton of time." Customer invoices are now generated and emailed or printed in Realtrac and automatically posted to QuickBooks, eliminating any duplicated entries. The control for the company's accounts receivables has greatly improved and with QuickBooks, the preparation of general ledger trial balances and other reports has been simplified.

Realtrac and QuickBooks financial software work together to help simplify your business management. QuickBooks financial software helps you get it done faster, with a new home page, simplified customer and vendor centers and sophisticated business planning tools.

For more information visit:

Intuit QuickBooks / Realtrac Success Story

Monday, April 7, 2014

REALTRAC ERP Software: New Owner, New Direction.

Embracing Change Creates Real Results in Real Time, Real Quick.

What’s the best business decision you ever made? Sometimes as a small business owner, we can get too set in our ways and become very blurred in the way we view expansion. Despite my kicking and screaming on many occasions, I knew that we had to make some enormous strides in the way we operated our business in the growing world of technology. So, 24 years ago, the best decision I made was that I spent 6-percent of that year’s sales and 100-percent of its profits and drove my company into the 21st century.
Fast forward to 2014.  Because of that decision: I now have an 8-thousand-percent increase in profits and four more companies in my portfolio. So, instead of having to spend all of my hours managing my companies, I spend the majority of my time determining what I want to do next. By embracing change, this is how I did it…

In 1989, I made the decision to purchase a ERP system to help guide my business. At the time, my company was a 10-person manufacturing supplier for the automotive industry. After much research, I chose the Realtrac Performance ERP System. I reached out to Realtrac and learned the power of the job shop software from sales representative, Don Colley. (Don is still with Realtrac today). The return on this investment was realized in just 90 days.
To stay in business, a business must make profits. The Realtrac ERP System helped guide us to increased revenue with higher profits. Realtrac improved our operational efficiency, reduced costs and increased productivity.  It showed us where our opportunities for growth existed. Efficiency comes from doing more of what’s most profitable in your business and less of what’s least profitable. This analysis of our company was enlightening and gave us greater clarity in our direction.

Every customer is demanding. They all want a “Quality product, On time, Every time”. I run my companies with this being the premise.   We are built upon truth, integrity and honesty.  We take great pride in our quality. Realtrac is a fast, real time system that developed our true employee and machine costing which in turn allowed us to estimate and quote more effectively and efficiently.
With the machine loading software, we were able to track and manage jobs flowing through our shop, which made us more operationally sound. It also gave us the confidence to win more sales, buy more equipment and hire more staff. Our company continued on this path and over the past 24 years the only thing that has not changed in our company was our software system, Realtrac. This is a testament to its performance.   It stood the test of time.  But companies need to stay fresh and move forward as new technologies, equipment and opportunities emerge.

The manufacturing ERP software was built in the early 1980s by a machine shop owner.  It then went to the open market.  I wanted the software back in the hands of a machine shop owner, so it could adapt to the changes of the industry by using current business trends. I reached out to the owner to buy the company.  Finally in 2012, I got the opportunity to make it mine.

I believe Realtrac is the main reason for our success. The decision to buy the company was not to expand a business unit.  It was to share what it has done for us.  Realtrac was bought out of passion, desire and knowing it was good - but that it could be great. I have set out to make that happen.
Moving the company to Michigan and hiring the best programmers was the first step. Secondly, we formed a steering committee comprised of key personnel, who were current users from within our manufacturing group and many of Realtrac’s current customers. This group established our short term goal: To make the software even faster, even more powerful and built upon excellent business practices. “Easy is quick, quick is profitable”!

With an underlying message of, “creating a platform that allows you to run your software instead of allowing it to run you”, our team has created a completely integrated, state-of-the-art manufacturing ERP system.  It will allow companies a quick and easy transition while reducing the stress related to your daily business
Realtrac 10 is “Real Quick, in Real Time, with Real Profits”. It will assist your entire operation, from management to inventories to implementation.  It will also play a significant role in improving your business efficiencies by reducing your costs and optimizing your business’s performance.

This sophisticated ERP system has greater functionality and flexibility while maintaining its speed and ease of use. As one of our Beta Site customers so eloquently stated, “This is awesome, we are very excited to fully implement this next generation of Realtrac software.” I am so proud to launch our new and improved machine shop ERP software and firmly believe that with REALTRAC at the helm, your company will soar to new heights.
Take your business to the checkered flag and WIN the business race, like I did. To learn more about Realtrac, call us today at (734) 793-3811. We will assist you in identifying your key requirements and challenges and then align Realtrac ERP solutions to give you the horsepower needed to WIN your business race!

View Our Promo video here.

Bob Sakuta
Owner of Realtrac and the Delta family of companies.