7 Standard ERP Tools to Automate Your Business

By John Nugent


Manufacturing ERP systems serve many purposes but at high level they are designed to measure, plan, manage, and automate your business with the goal of providing efficiencies. Every ERP system is different in its industry focus and functional capabilities but all ERP systems should provide tools for extending your use of the software without the need for custom coding as well as the ability to automate manual tasks. Within Visibility ERP we offer many tools to extend your use of the software and add automation to your business.

Top 7 ERP Tools To Automate Your Business: 

1) User Defined Fields: User defined fields or UDF's are a simple end user friendly tool for extending your use of the Visibility application. UDF's exist across ERP objects and allow the user to create their own fields to track on those ERP objects. Visibility allows unlimited UDF's. The format for these fields are defined by the user and could include a date picker, single select drop down, single line text, multi-line text, check box, yes/no, and more. All the selections can be configured by you as the user without needing any technical knowledge or skillset. The best part about user defined fields is that you can filter and report using UDF's as a parameter. 

2. Extension Tables: Extension tables enable Visibility customers to add their own database tables to the Visibility ERP application and have those tables populate on Visibility screens. This is done by creating the new table within SQL and then using the standard extension table toolset in the Visibility application to setup the extension table as an ERP object and link it to other tables within Visibility. The application enables users to setup metadata for the field and the primary benefit of extension tables is that these fields which are unique to your business can be populated on Visibility screens. Again, no custom coding experience is necessary. This can be simply configured using the standard tools Visibility ERP offers. 

3. Set Default Values for Fields When Records are Added: In Visibility ERP we enable users to set default values for fields on forms when records are added by their users. This is a simple tool with an enormous impact on the user experience as it helps ensure data accuracy and can reduce keystrokes for users. In the application this functionality is known as Form Field SQL override. 

4. Automate with Scheduling and Distribution Module: Visibility ERP has a standard module called Scheduling and Distribution. This module enables users to set up automated jobs to run on a schedule configured by the user. This could be sending invoices, running MRP, sending reports, or even sending shop floor travelers. The possibilities are endless.

5. Launch Action Items: Every ERP user has their favorite screens and reports. Not only does Visibility enable you to save these as tiles on your home portal page but you can also set the launch action items you want to access for any page in Visibility. Out of the box each screen in Visibility includes in the toolbar links to Actions and Reports and we provide a standard set of Actions and Reports the user can access with one click based on user feedback we've received. However, we enable users to change the Actions and Reports they want to see on any screen by offering a tool within the application where users can configure these options to their liking. The end result is a system configured to better meet your users' needs and increased efficiency for that user and your business. 

6. Workflows: Visibility ERP has a standard workflow module that provides automation opportunities for your business. Visibility workflow can automate approval processes, send email alerts, automatically send RFQ's, send invoices and customer statements to customers, send released purchase orders to suppliers, and more. Workflow is a rule that your business would like to enable that triggers automation. Our workflow module is fully integrated with our Scheduling and Distribution program to execute the actions and updates for your workflow process rules. Users can be assigned to a group who can take action on an approval. Variables can be implemented in the workflow as well. By way of example, a purchase requisition over $5,000 may need Approver level 1 to approve. If an approval is not done in a certain period of time, the approval can be routed to another Approver or Approver group as needed so that the purchase requisition can be actioned in a reasonable period of time. All prompts within workflow are user-configurable and setup by the user based on the logic needed. 

7. Text Redirection Downstream: Text redirection is one way users can set text on an ERP object and have that text populate downstream. For example, at the Customer level within your ERP you may have some printable or non-printable text you want routed downstream to populate on a sales order or work order or job traveler. This could be internal shipping notes such as "do not use packing peanuts with this customer per customer request." Visibility ERP enables users to create unlimited text boxes on an ERP object and then set Destinations where the user needs that text to be redirected downstream to another ERP object for that Customer, Sales Order, etc.


A lot of the functions detailed in this blog including text redirection are designed to help users "set it and forget it." We don't actually want the user to forget about what data they put into their ERP system but the point is that Visibility ERP offers these tools and many more to enable your users to automate what are now manual processes and optimize efficiency and data accuracy. If you are a Visibility Corporation customer who would like to take advantage of the functions above please reach out to your Account Manager. If you are a prospective customer who would like to discuss the ERP tools to automate your business listed above please email us at or call us at 978-269-6510 and a Visibility team member will assist you.


Topics: ERP Software

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