As part of an ongoing ERP selection project at one of our Engineer to Order clients, we had a chance to take a close look at Global Shop’s ERP system. Global Shop Solutions has over 3000 customers the majority of which are located in the United States. It is one of the largest privately held ERP companies in North America. The company is located in Texas and is in its 2nd generation of family ownership.
The ERP software application appears to be a good fit for an engineer to order manufacturer that wants a large breadth of functionality without choking on complicated technology. The system was developed in ASP.net and standardized on Pervasive SQL. Global Shop chose Pervasive SQL because of an opportunity to control the full cycle of development which enables their customers to work with Global Shop as a one stop shop.
From a general usability standpoint, Global Shop has a clean user interface and some nice features including an integrated messaging system, a calendar system, and tasks. Screens can be completely customized with the GAB screen designer while still allowing upgrades that maintain compatibility. Interestingly, there is an active Global Shop user community continually developing GAB based functionality that can be incorporated by any owner of Global Shop.
A very nice feature of Global Shop is their document management system which allows storage of links to files located on a file server, SharePoint, etc. Documents can also be stored directly in Global Shop’s database, which allows for check in or check out, security, etc. Documents can be hooked in through the application to allow common documents to be accessed from sales orders, projects, work orders, etc.
Global Shop did a nice job with their CRM system. Put together in a clean logical fashion, it provides the basics necessary to track the life cycle of deals and customer relationships. Their 360 degree view of the customer is well done. Their email interceptor allows outlook users to drop their emails right into the CRM record of a customer. All screens associated with the customer can be accessed right from within CRM. A web-enabled customer portal gives customers the ability to access sales orders, accounts receivable status, work order status, etc.
One of the strengths of Global Shop is their support of the quote, design, and order process. Labor, material, and overhead costs are built up with easy to use estimate sheets. For more complicated endeavors, Global Shop supports integrated project management to capture all of the indirect costs, task dependencies, and more. Once designs are finalized, quotes can be released and then converted directly to sales orders. Sales contracts and release schedules are also supported.
Material planning and scheduling provide good value. A common problem within the Engineer to Order business model is how to manage long lead time items while designs are still in progress. Global Shop has specific functionality to support this. Material Requirements Planning is real-time providing a simple and intuitive approach to identifying and facilitating purchasing needs. Global Shop includes an Advanced Planning and Scheduling system that supports forward and backward finite and infinite capacity modes and has a “what-if” capability to determine schedule impacts before implementing schedule changes.
Global Shop’s plant floor screens are designed with a touch screen and paperless approach in mind. They enable real time reporting of materials consumption, production receipts, labor, etc. The work center queues show the next job or operation to be worked on by operator. The screens are simple and straight forward to use.
A problem some of our ETO customers have is that they take an order for one finished SKU but because of the size of the units, they may actually be comprised of two or more stand alone assemblies that are put together in the field. Global Shop has a “Sales Bill of Material” that allows sales to take the order as one unit but then shipping can ship as separate units.
Ultra Consultants assists many Engineer to Order clients in ERP selection projects. Global Shop is a viable alternative to be considered by an Engineer to Order manufacturing company evaluating an upgrade of their business systems.