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Sage 200 Manufacturing End-of-Support (Hello Sicon Manufacturing)

Sage 200 (Sage 200cloud) is a popular ERP system amongst manufacturers, with its Sage Manufacturing module catering to the unique challenges manufacturers face. In 2020 however, Sage announced they would be retiring the module and withdrawing it from sale effective 01 November 2020. The software entered a period of extended support on 01 January 2021, and technical support will continue in line with their customers support agreements.

What’s replacing the Sage 200 Manufacturing module?

The Sicon Manufacturing Suite has replaced sage 200 Manufacturing. Sicon is a software company developing high quality and innovative modules for Sage for over two decades. Sage decided to offer Sicon’s Manufacturing Suite as their chosen solution because it’s easier to use and already sits within the Sage menu. The Sicon Manufacturing Suite will also be continually updated and enhanced, which unfortunately hadn’t happened with the Sage 200 Manufacturing Module.

What is Sicon Manufacturing for Sage 200?

The Sicon Manufacturing Suite is a set of modules available for Sage 200, designed to streamline the manufacturing process of both high volume repeat production or one-off projects. It integrates with core Sage 200 modules such as Bill Of Materials (BOM), Stock, Sales Order Processing (SOP) and Purchase Order Processing (POP). The following features are available as part of the Sicon Manufacturing suite;

    Works Order Processing.
    Material Planning.
    Capacity Planning.
    Projects.
    Shop Floor Data Capture.
    Job Costing.
    Barcode & Warehousing.

Works Order Processing

When a user creates a sales order, the Works Order Processing module references the Sage BOM to obtain the parts required to fulfil the order. It then makes a works order for the job, with a list of necessary materials and a start date for production. If the works order contains component parts that require sub-assembly, a sub-works order is also created. Once the works order is created, Material Planning then takes over to assess stock levels of the components necessary to fulfil the works order.

Material Planning

Material Planning will look at all current and future works orders and sales orders to assess the total current demand. It also looks at the current stock position, open purchase orders of parts due, minimum stock levels and minimum order quantities from suppliers. It does this using Sicon Future Stock Movements. Once it has taken all of these things into account, it can identify enough materials to fulfil demand.

Material Planning will offer suggested purchase orders that should be created and sent to suppliers if there isn’t enough. It will also identify existing purchase orders which the company could move forward to fulfil demand. Alternatively, it may suggest moving purchase orders back due to lack of demand. In some instances, material planning may offer cancelling works orders or sales orders ultimately. Material Planning handles the parts required to fulfil works orders.

Capacity Planning

Capacity Planning is taking care of the necessary resource. It looks at various factors, including employees, teams, work patterns, overdue works orders, and even holidays. Users can also input timesheets. It also looks at the machine resources needed to complete the works order. Once it has done this, it can provide a rough-cut capacity plan at the labour and machine level.

Projects

The Projects module within Sicon Manufacturing sits across the entire process. Sicon Manufacturing suite is integrated with the Sage Sales Order Management (SOP), Purchase Order Management (POP), Purchase Ledger, Stock, Works Order Processing (WOP) and Time Recording. Projects and jobs can be manually created or raised automatically from sales orders. Lines on purchase orders may link to a specific job, and stock can also be related to projects, showing as committed stock not to be used elsewhere.

The Projects module also allows multiple works ordered to be linked, creating complex jobs which stock can be better allocated to by Material Planning. Users can also plan labour requirements on a built-in scheduler. Because of the Projects modules integration with other core Sage modules, the amount of data input reduces. The Projects module gives one clear view of what stage a project is at, how long it will take to complete, its cost and its profitability.

Shop Floor Data Capture

In addition to Capacity Planning, a Shop Floor Data Capture (SFDC) module is also available (at additional cost). The module allows manufacturers to collect actual data from the factory floor to obtain an accurate view of their operations. It can help identify parts of the process which are slowing down production or reducing profitability.

Job Costing

Job Costing also allows hours to be booked directly to specific works orders. SFDC is available by purchasing the Sicon WAP Timesheet/T&A Module.

Barcode & Warehousing

Sicon Manufacturing also offers a barcode and warehousing module to increase the accuracy and traceability of both component parts and finished products. It can receive incoming purchase orders, pick and despatch sales orders, pick stock for works orders, write off stock, complete stocktakes and more. The module can also run on any Android mobile device.

Although Sage’s Manufacturing module has served them well, the lack of development has meant Sicon’s Manufacturing Suite has taken the lead as a superior product. With Sicon a long-running and trusted Sage software partner, it makes sense that Sage would choose Sicons software as their recommended manufacturing solution. The Sicon software is now bought from Sage itself rather than having to purchase separately from Sicon.

Can I migrate or upgrade from Sage 200 Manufacturing to Sicon Manufacturing?

Because both manufacturing suites have the Sage BOM at their core, moving from one to the other is relatively straightforward. There is less data to transfer because your components and their costs are already sat in the BOM. If you’re thinking about your first Sage solution, Sicon Manufacturing can be part of your planned deployment.

Sage is encouraging businesses to move to Sicon Manufacturing by offering a 25% discount off RRP for the first year of subscription. Sage is offering this until 30 June 2021. If you’re currently using Sage 200 Manufacturing, the question of whether to move to Sicon warrants a genuine and timely review. Not only will support for Sage Manufacturing end in the future, but you might also miss out on innovative new features developed for Sicon Manufacturing.

If you’re using Sage 200 Manufacturing, it’s likely an essential part of your business. Finding out it’s being retired with a shelf-life on support could be an unnerving prospect, but Eventura can help. As Sage Partners for over ten years, we have helped countless businesses implement, maintain and develop their Sage solutions. If you would like to speak with one of our Sage experts to discuss a current or future Sage project, you can request a free callback here.

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