ERP Shop Management and Accounting Software - Henning Software's Articles

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Following is a selection of articles which include information about:

  • ERP Shop Management software
  • Companies and their experiences selecting and using ERP software
  • Ways to increase profitability and competitiveness through the use of ERP software
  • Operational and management considerations involving ERP software

(April/May 2021) CNC West
VMP, Inc. and Henning Software enjoy a mutually rewarding 21 year relationship. We chose Henning because it was a system designed for manufacturing," details Bob.

(February 2020) My Town NEO
Since the days of DOS, husband and wife team Richard and Billie Henning have been working to provide software solutions for area companies. Henning Software Inc. was officially established in 1990 when computers still ran on MS-DOS systems and computer automation of business functions was still new.

(September 2019) Production Machining
From accounting and order tracking to scheduling and inventory management, this workholding equipment supplier is only beginning to realize the full benefits of its ERP system.

(March 2019) Modern Applications News
Touch Scheduling Board Replaces Those Old Magnetic Boards Found in Many Shops.

(May 2018) International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS)
Terry and Molly Keene started a high-tech machine shop by accident in 1978, and now they can’t imagine doing anything else. The married couple has co-owned Tek Manufacturing, Inc., in Spokane Valley, Wash., for four decades and credit IMTS as being an integral part of growing their company from a small dream to a big success.

(August 2017) Production Machining
Wasted time away from workcenters is what the people at Henning Software had in mind when they introduced the iVET Mobile Application. This mobile app is tied directly to the company’s popular Visual EstiTrack ERP Shop Management Software

(December 2016) Advanced Manufacturing

Modernizing the smaller shop with the latest digital tools available from enterprise resource planning (ERP) software developers.

(June 2016) Modern Machine Shop

Littlestar Plastics - They had to change its magnetic scheduling boards multiple times per day, so it switched to Henning's Touch Scheduling Board for flexible, instantaneous scheduling.

(April 2016) CNC West
Millipart Inc. - Shop Management Software Keeps Company on Track. 

(August 2015) Production Machining

After successfully creating job estimating software, Henning Software realized it would need to keep
expanding their software offerings into a fully developed ERP system in order to grow in the market.

(December 2014) Production Machining
Family Business Finds ERP Software Tailored to its Needs - When Jim Roberts and the rest of the management team at Roberts Automatic Products decided that they had to purchase an ERP software system for their growing company, it was anything but an easy decision. 

(October 2012) Production Machining
Application Designed for the Shop Floor - Henning Software’s Visual EstiTrack Shop Kiosk application is an add-on to the company’s Visual EstiTrack ERP product.

(February 2012) Production Machining
Mobile App Gives Users Access to ERP System - Henning Software’s iVET app is designed to give users direct mobile access to their Visual EstiTrack ERP system.

(November 2011) Production Machining
Profiting with Shop Management Software - Once all employees can see how process changes can benefit them, implementation becomes easier and efficiency soars.

(July 2011) PMPA
Henning Industrial Software Inc. will be receiving the Technical Member Participation Award this year in recognition of its outstanding record of contributions and participation. (PDF)

(May 2011) CNC-WEST 
The New Management Team at a Successful Screw Machine Job Shop Uses Visual EstiTrack to Totally Integrate Internal Systems from Quoting to Delivery. (PDF)

(April 2011) Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS) 
HUDSON, Ohio – Billie Henning, Vice President of Henning Industrial Software in Hudson, was elected Chairperson to the 2013 tradeshow Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS) held in Columbus, Ohio at the Convention Center every other year.

(January 2011) Production Machining
From programming to setup to production, this Ohio job shop plans everything it does around untended machining. The company has been refining the process for more than a decade and has become very good at it.

(December 2010) Manufacturing Engineering
Rich Henning describes how shop management tools speed up Job-Shop performance and productivity in the December 2010 issue of Manufacturing Engineering.

(IMTS 2010) International Manufacturing Technology Show
This year at IMTS 2010 Henning Industrial Software will feature the new Visual EstiTrack - Executive Dashboard ™, an executive monitoring tool designed to instantly provide company executives summarized ERP data focusing on the "big picture" and relevant key business metrics and trends in an easy-to-use, organized and pleasing graphical user interface.

(November 2009) Executive Dashboard Helps Drive the Business
Doing more with less is the order of the day. Quickly understanding how a business is doing on a daily (even hourly) basis is key to decision making.

Hudson Software Craftmanship User Group (HUDSONSC)
Rich Henning from Henning Software and Steve Smith of Nimble Software Professionals have joined forces to bring to the community the Hudson Software Craftmanship User Group (HUDSONSC). We are a non-profit association of people dedicated to improving their skills as software craftsmen primarily focusing around Microsoft's .NET development technologies. All meetings are open to the public. Meetings are the third Wednesday of every month 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm at Henning Software Inc, 102 First Street, Suite 211, Hudson.

Henning Industrial Software, Inc. Showroom 
When it comes to shop management software, it's all about the right fit! If you've outgrown your current system, Visual EstiTrack's comprehensive features and options can be tailored to your specific needs.

(March 2007) Three Divisions Under One Shop Management Program 
Instead of buying multiple software packages to perform the distinctly different functions of its three separate divisions, Mt. Vernon Machine & Tool Inc. (Mt. Vernon, Ohio) selected just one package.

(July 2006) Choosing ERP Vendors And Consultants: It’s All About The Right Fit 
Looking to upgrade your company’s ERP and IT systems? It’s all about the right fit between your company and the vendor you select. You will be working with the people you choose for months or even years.

(August 2005) Manufacturing Pays The Bills but Shipping Keeps the Customers 
Many shops rely on enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to help them run operations more efficiently and profitably. But sophisticated customers that practice supply-chain management are continually increasing their range of demands. And the changes often have more to do with the work that doesn't pay: things like shipping and packaging.Can your ERP system keep up?

(November 2003) Lean-enabled ERP - Henning Software Inc.
The old equation of part cost plus profit equals selling price is no longer accurate. Rather, a fixed or decreasing price less part cost yields profit. If manufacturers want to increase profits under this equation, controlling cost is key.

(November 2003) Cost Accounting - Balancing Profit and Loss - Henning Software Inc.
Owners of small job shops often puzzle over the fact that one month's financials look good, while high expenses and low profitability appear the next month. These unexpected fluctuations are the usual result of improper application of labor and burden absorption concepts.

(July 2003) New Reconciliation Capabilities On Software - Henning Software Inc.
A new monthly reconciliation process in Visual Books ensures job shops and manufacturers alike of proper alignment of costs-of-goods to sales, to correctly represent true monthly profitability, the company says. The resulting tighter integration between Visual Books and Visual EstiTrack adds a feature said to be valuable.

(May 2003) 2003 Guide To Metalworking On The Internet - Wireless Technology Enhances Data Collection
Wireless devices allow shop personnel to communicate with the Internet and other computer networks without being physically attached by cables. This freedom makes shopfloor data collection more efficient.

(April 2003) Monthly Inventory/Cost of Goods (COG) Adjustment Procedure
HUDSON, Ohio – A new monthly reconciliation process in Visual Books ensures job shops and manufacturers alike, of proper alignment of costs-of-goods to sales, to correctly represent true monthly profitability. The resulting tighter integration between Visual Books and Visual EstiTrack from Henning Industrial Software adds a valuable feature not often present in shop management systems.

(December, 2002)- "Modern Machine Shop" Magazine, December Issue
Cutting Edge Manufacturing Corp. (Phoenix, Arizona), a design fabrication firm, began operating in 1998. With two mechanical engineers, the small shop accepts not only contract jobs, but, according to owner Robert Scalara, the shop will "take anything—from an idea needing design work, to production jobs or reverse engineering from a part." In fact, the shop recently began making and marketing its own product, a utility/pocket knife called the Superknife.

(August  2001)- "Manufacturing Engineering" Magazine, August Issue
Precision Plus, Inc. (Elkhorn, WI) article by David Krause, Vice President: 
"Build, Deliver, and Above All, Communicate". David discusses survival issues, and the importance of software flexibility and its ability to integrate new technology. With the shop software upgrade, enhancements now embrace cell phones and Palm Pilots.

(April 2001)- Four Firms, One Software System
Quality Metal Products (Niles, MI) is a holding company that owns three other businesses. When searching for a new software system, high on its list of priorities was that the software could be used by all. The four companies are located in the same building. They employ 18 people whose efforts are shared between the different corporations.

(March/April, 2001)- Getting a Handle on Operational Data
A few years ago fitting manufacturer Tylok International, Inc. (Euclid, Ohio) was in the midst of computer system confusion. Tylok was running three separate networks with three different operating systems. The company was having a lot of problems doing this and decided it was time to change.

(March 2001)- Software Keeps Jobs On Track (MMS Online article)
Smith Machine Works of (Wichita, Kansas) With the shop management software installed on the company’s network, the information is available to anyone in the shop who needs it. Smith Machine says information now moves around the shop more readily, and jobs also move onto the shop schedule faster and easier.

(May, 2000) One software product to manage 4 different companies
Quality Metal Products (Niles, MI) wanted new software to work with all their companies."It's so much easier if everybody's on the same system" explains Tiffany Albright, Operations Manager. High on the company’s list of criteria for its software search was management’s hope that each subsidiary could use the same system.

(May, 2000) Software Helps Young PMPA Member
Kalkaska Screw Products (Kalkaska, MI) is a 30 employee custom manufacturer. Formerly a division of a larger company, the business became an independent after a buyout in January 1996. Although the purchase left the new management with a full shop and work force, information management systems were not part of the acquisition.

(December 1999) Scalable Software - A Good Fit for Cut to Length Specialists
Jett Cutting Service (Bedford Park, Ill.) is one of the largest cut-to-length processors in the country, both in terms of the number of precision machines operating in the shop and the variety of services it offers.

(September 1999) Shop System Offers Multiple Data Terminal Options
Visual EstiTrack users can now choose from two keypad terminal formats for shop floor network data collection activities. Combined with the software's bar code scanner capabilities, keypad terminal user interfaces greatly simplify computer input and interaction on the plant floor.

(July 1999) Gradual software implementation allows users to find comfort zone -- an interview with John Cullip, President, Cullip Tool & Die, Elkhart, IN
Big shops may have the financial resources and personnel to change the way they do business almost overnight when they make changes in their information systems. When John Cullip, the shop's second generation co-owner, decided the growing business required a more up-to-date approach, he also decided the best way to go about making the change would be gradually.

(May 1999) Introducing… Visual WebTrack™- Your web-based customer service solution
Implementing Internet technology to enhance customer service puts users of Visual EstiTrack™ from Henning Industrial Software on the cutting edge of customer service. The new Visual WebTrack™ is an Intelligent Web Server (IWS) that lets Visual EstiTrack™ users become infinitely more responsive to the needs of both their customers and their field sales force. The intelligent server simplifies providing job status reports over a secured web site and makes it easy for clients of Visual EstiTrack™ users to place or modify orders and releases via the Internet.

(May 1999) New Fab Shop Uses Visual Estitrack™ to start business as efficient as possible, Precision Cut Industries, Hanover, PA
Rod Gross took a gamble last year when he left an established position as a purchasing manager to start his own business, Precision Cut Industries (PCI). In spite of that risk, Gross is now the president of a successful new fabrication shop, in part because he hedged his bets by heavily researching purchases, aligning himself with potent business allies, and implementing both common sense and cutting edge technology to make his business as efficient as possible.

(April 1999) Software Helps Shop Bridge Transition - Original article written by Matt Owens, Plant Manager, Arkco Machine Products, Inc., Arkadelphia, Ark.
Death leaves a huge void in a family, throwing traditional roles into turmoil and forcing the survivors to learn new skills in order to carry on. This truism is even more certain when a death occurs among the ownership of a small, family run business, where the owners and managers typically perform multiple mission-critical functions for the company.

(April 1999) Ask before you buy shop software - Edited article by Matt Owens, Plant Manager, Arkco Machine Products, Inc., Arkadelphia, Ark.
The Fabricator Magazine -- It can be tempting to make rapid buying decisions. However, yielding to that temptation could lead to a costly mistake. Especially if the decision you are about to make concerns a technology investment for your company. Shop control software is no exception.

(March 1999) Versatility & Efficiency -- key to job shop growth
March 1999 CNC-West Magazine -- "Visual EstiTrack™ has increased our efficiency to the point where it will let us withstand the cycles of booms and cutbacks. We weren't forced to add as many people to our staff during our recent period of growth. We gained that efficiency through our new shop management software."

(January 1999) Australian Distributor Appointed by Software Developer
Henning Industrial Software has reached an agreement with N.C. Computer Systems Pty. Ltd. of Mulgrave, Australia to distribute and support Henning's products in Australia. Under the agreement, N.C. Computer Systems, an authorized TekSoft and Predator software distributor, will handle direct sales and marketing of Henning's software. In addition to sales, trade shows, seminars, and promotions, N.C. Computer Systems will provide on-site training and support for Henning's Australian customers.

(October 1998 Canadian Distributor Appointed By Software Developer
HUDSON, Ohio --- Henning Industrial Software has reached an agreement with Acrodea, Inc. of Richmond Hill, Ontario to distribute and support Henning's products in Canada.

(September 1998) Shop Management Software Allows For More Effective Operations
September 1998 Modern Machine Shop Magazine -- In 1997, Alger Manufacturing (Ontario, CA) gave itself a new shop management software package for its 40th Anniversary. The company's management team knew it would have to make some changes to accommodate the new system, but they also had some hard and fast parameters about ways in which their new software would have to fit into the plant's existing operations.

(September 1998) Software Demo Available on CD-ROM
Henning Industrial Software, Inc. now offers a CD-ROM demonstration of its flagship product, Visual EstiTrack™- a job estimating and total shop management software system for Windows 95/98 and Windows NT.

(September 1998) New Accounting Package: Timed for manufacturer's Y2K upgrades
September 1998 - HUDSON, Ohio — The Visual Books™ accounting system is a major addition to the Visual EstiTrack™ Shop Management software. It was introduced in Chicago at the International Manufacturing Technology Show. Available now, the 32-bit Windows based Visual Books software is offered as a fully integrated, optional module for Henning Industrial Software's Visual EstiTrack™.

(August 1997) Visual EstiTrack™ Version 3.0 Released for Windows 98 and Windows NT
Announcing the new release of our Job Estimating and Shop Management Software, Visual EstiTrack™ Version 3.0 for Windows 95/NT. This version has been enhanced with over 100 new customer requested features and many new optional add-ons, such as a graphically presented and managed "Shop Advisor" and "Drag and Drop Scheduling." The Visual Shop Management module now can be viewed by location displaying visually where your workcenters are located on the shop floor and the inventory location. Right-button mouse clicks display menus for both workcenters and inventory to request additional information, such as a Gantt chart or what inventory is at the specified location. The Sales Order module has been totally revamped, including managing delivery schedules for internal and external due dates.


(October, 2000) New Touch Screen Capability expands user Interface Options
A new enhancement to our product line, see our remote time entry system at work without the need of a keyboard or mouse.

NEW... Micro Estimating Interface 
Visual EstiTrack™ now directly interfaces to the Micro Estimating System's MSE (Machine Shop Estimating™) system. Job Estimates created in MSE can now be directly imported into Visual EstiTrack's quotation system.

Machine Shop Estimating™ (MSE) serves as a process planning and machine process layout system. It offers on-line supplier links, provides graphics and reports, and has seamless links to popular shop management programs and CAD/CAM systems.

With MSE, users can select from over 1,150 materials and 2 million speeds and feed combinations. MSE calculates machining times and total product costs according to company specific estimating procedures and shop equipment by simulating actual machine tool cycles.



Metal Fabricators - For over 35 years, Anco Precision has been metal fabricators with its screw machining shop

After successfully creating job estimating software, Henning Software realized it would need to keep expanding their software offerings into a fully developed ERP system in order to grow in the market.
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