If your business manufactures and you currently use Sage 50 or Sage 200 manufacturing, you’re probably assessing your options after Sage has announced an end-of-support date for the software. Support for Sage 50 and Sage 200 Manufacturing will end on 30th September 2021, with businesses using the software no longer receiving updates or support.
The manufacturing suites are being retired because quite simply, they have not had significant development over the years and there are now better alternatives out there. Third party Sage partners have developed robust software solutions for industry specific challenges, such as those faced by manufacturing. With better software out there which integrates seamlessly with Sage, it makes no sense for Sage to waste time and money on continuing with their own manufacturing modules.
Sage 50 and Sage 200 Manufacturing won’t stop working, however it would be highly prudent to replace the suite with a more future-proof alternative. Continuing to run software which is no longer supported by the software provider is a dangerous game if something goes wrong, so replacing it with supported software is highly advisable. Below we’ll take a look at the alternatives for both Sage 50 and Sage 200.
Manufacturing for Sage 50
With Sage 50 Manufacturing nearing its end-of-support, Sage has announced Cim50 Manufacturing as their suggested replacement. With a combined 100+ years of experience in the manufacturing industry, the software provider has developed a suite of modules perfectly tailored to the industry.
The Cim50 Manufacturing suite is modular, meaning manufacturers can take as little or as much as they need. Some manufacturers may simply need some advanced stock control whilst others may have complex manufacturing processes and need a full suite of software. The modules available within the Cim50 Manufacturing Suite are;
- Stock Control.
- Bill of Materials.
- Works Orders.
- Shop Floor Data Capture.
Businesses can utilise traceability, amend sales order despatches and purchase order receipts and quarantine stock. Supplier and despatch performance can be monitored and with an additional 20 analysis codes, stock reporting capabilities are improved.
Bill of Materials
The module captures all costs of materials, labour and machine overheads in a multi-level bill of materials. It provides an ongoing cost history in detail which offers full visibility of all costs, and ensures profitability is maintained.
Works orders can be created manually or automatically from sales orders. The module looks at components required in order to schedule production. The module can also raise purchase orders for component parts so they are only being ordered when required, reducing stock holding and improving cash flow.
The module is key to ensuring there is sufficient stock and resource to meet production deadlines. The module reads from works orders, sales orders, sales forecasts and stock to assess total demand. Thye module will suggest works and sales orders to ensure production is kept on track.
Allows quotations to be created for manufactured items, including non-stock items. Works orders, sales orders and purchase orders can be raised directly from within the quote. A detailed profit & loss gives full visibility of costs, revenue and expected profit. Multiple price breaks can be defined, with automatic cost calculation for pricing break quantities.
Shop Floor Data Capture
Works with stock control, works orders and bill of materials in real-time on the shop floor. Stock transactions and transfers can be actioned on handheld devices, and quarantine inspections can be carried out against stock. The module provides a live view of the manufacturing process.
Manufacturing for Sage 200
Suffering the same fate as Sage 50 Manufacturing, Sage 200 Manufacturing will no longer be supported by Sage. Instead, Sage Manufacturing in Sage 200 will be offered as a selection of additional modules by software developer Sicon. Sicon have been developing high quality and innovative modules for Sage for over 20 years, and have provided particularly popular modules for the manufacturing and construction industries.
Similarly to Cim50 Manufacturing, Sicon’s manufacturing suite consists of a number of modules which can be taken individually or as a full suite. The Sicon Manufacturing modules sit directly within the Sage menu as a full integrated solution. The modules are as follows;
- Works Order Planning.
- Material Planning.
- Capacity Planning.
- Shop Floor Data Capture.
- Barcoding & Warehousing.
Works Order Processing
Either manually or from a sales order, works order planning references the Bill of Materials to assess all component parts required. It then creates a work order with a schedule for production and completion. If a works order contains parts which require sub-assembly, a sub-works order is also created.
Material planning looks at total current demand and makes inventory recommendations. It will look at all future works orders, sales orders, purchase orders and current stock position. From this it can suggest and create purchase orders for component parts, or move purchase orders forward or back based on demand.
The module creates a rough-cut capacity plan at labour and machine level to complete works orders. It looks at things like employees, work patterns, holidays and overdue work hours. Time sheets can also be imported into capacity planning. Capacity planning also looks at machine labour required to complete a works order.
The projects module can link multiple works orders into large complex jobs which material and capacity planning can better service. Stock and resources can be committed to specific projects. It is integrated with Sage Sales Order Management, Purchase Order Management, Purchase Ledger, Stock, Works Order Processing and Time Recording, giving full visibility of what stage a project is at and it’s ultimate profitability.
Shop Floor Data Capture
The module allows manufacturers to collect real-time data from the factory floor, giving a real-time view of operations. Stock transfers and transactions can be actioned, and inspections on quarantined inventory can be carried out. The module allows manufacturers to identify pieces of the process which are slowing production down and fix them, improving productivity and efficiencies.
Barcode & Warehousing
The module can be run on handheld Android devices, making it perfect for increasing accuracy and traceability of component parts and finished products on the factory floor. Incoming purchase orders can be recited into stock locations, sales orders can be picked and despatched, stock can be picked to satisfy works orders, stock can be written off and stocktakes can be completed.
Kitting allows single level parts lists to be created consisting of all component parts required to manufacture a finished product. These lists can be created manually or can be automatically generated when a sales order or quote is created. Bill of materials can be complex and beyond manufacturers requirements, so kitting provides a less complex solution.
Sicon Manufacturing Vs Cim50
If you’re currently using Sage 50 or 200 manufacturing, you will ultimately need to find a new solution to future proof your operations. For Sage 50 users, this could be as simple as using Cim50 modules recommended by Sage, however a move to Sage 200 warrants consideration.
Although Cim50 and Sicon Manufacturing offer similar modules, the real benefits of choosing to manufacture in Sage 200 with Sicon Manufacturing are the benefits of Sage 200 itself. If your manufacturing business is experiencing or planning growth, continuing to use Sage 50 could result in your business requirements outgrowing your systems, which could cause significant problems further down the line.
Sage 200 could be the perfect solution to navigate the growing pains associated with expanding operations or increased volume, setting you up for years to come. Here are some of the common reasons why manufacturers migrate from Sage 50 to Sage 200;
- The need for more named and concurrent users due to workforce expansion.
- Role-based access and tiered access levels to improve usability and security.
- Advanced batch traceability & serial numbers, with stock accurately tracked across multiple warehouses and locations.
- Advanced reporting with additional built in and customisable reports.
- Better software performance & speed as a powerful on-premise and cloud hybrid.
- Advanced handling of foreign currencies and taxes for expansion into new markets.
- Complete control over financial periods, not restricted purely by date.
- The need for increased customisation to better handle complex & unique processes.
- A more powerful nominal ledger and multiple cost centres.
- Up to 20 analysis codes compared with just 3 in Sage 50.
- Excel reporting, allowing users to export data for deeper analysis in Excel.
It’s worth noting at this point that there are two versions of Sage 200; Sage 200 Standard and Sage 200 Professional. Standard is entirely cloud-based whilst Professional is an on-premise solution which is cloud connected. The Sicon Manufacturing Suite is only available for Sage 200 Professional, so if you’re considering moving to Sage 200 you would need to choose Sage 200 Professional. To learn more about the differences between Sage 200 Standard and Professional by reading this article.
If any of the above points resonate with your manufacturing business, it might be time to start thinking about a migration to Sage 200cloud Professional, and using Sicon Manufacturing as your chosen solution. Not only will Sicon Manufacturing handle all of your core manufacturing processes, but you’ll also reap all the benefits that Sage 200 Professional has to offer, future proofing your business long term.
If you’re considering a move from Sage 50 to Sage 200 we can help. The move needn’t be a hassle either, as we have the tools to migrate your existing Sage 50 data securely into Sage 200. We’ve helped countless manufacturing businesses migrate to new business systems and our team of experts can support you every step of the way. If you’d like to speak to one of our Sage migration experts, you can request a free call back here.