The Distribution Modules of the R4 Enterprise System are designed to work seamlessly with the other modules and to help you manage your business. As a distributor, you need to focus on your customer's needs including on time delivery, order management, marketing, forecasting and the various other customer needs in this competitive environment. You need accurate and immediate information as to your inventory and your available to promise, in order to make those important and often critical decisions that keep your customers happy. You also need to keep track of quotes and to understand why your customers are buying or why they did not buy from you. The ability to accurately forecast your needs is key.
R4 Distribution Requirements Planning (DRP)
The R4 DRP module is designed for multiple warehouses, order fulfillment centers and distribution center environments. Information from inventory management, purchasing, order processing and demand forecasting, combine to produce an accurate and timely picture of all distribution requirements up and down the supply chain. DRP attempts to balance the inventories and meet needs at the various facilities by generating re-supply orders to purchase product from other facilities or manufacturing locations. The DRP module executes requirement plans, driven by inventory policies and transfers requirements through the MPS and MRP modules to the supplying locations. This results in the following benefits:
- Reduced inventory investment.
- Reduced purchasing costs.
- Increased Productivity.
- Improved customer service.
The R4 project accounting (aka project or job costing) module is a comprehensive business solution that is fully integrated with the financial and distribution modules. R4'sproject accounting software helps companies manage complex, multi-year projects profitably.
Companies can budget at the project level, manage project related assets, track and record cost in the most appropriate work breakdown structure. Summary and detailed reports provides the information to keep projects on target.
R4'sProject Accounting module gives you control over your projects; prototyping, product development cost tracking, monitoring of company owned delivery vehicles, construction in progress for projects, are some examples of how project accounting can assist a company in controlling costs.
The R4 purchasing module (PO) integrates with IM, AP, OP, MRP, DRP and WISE and is capable of converting requisitions from Drop Shipments, MRP, DRP into purchase orders. Requisitions generated from MRP/DRP plan executions place timely orders while maintaining low safety stock. In addition to regular PO's, blanket PO's are supported. The tight integration with IM allows recording of inventory values from purchases at Fob or landed prices.
Purchase orders interface to WISE as expected receipts. Receipts of product are done in WISE with the aid of RF devices and barcode labels and guided to warehouse locations based on put away plans. Also supported are container tracking (In transit) and receiving, and receipt reconciliation with vendor invoices. Drop shipping logic permits direct shipments from vendors to customers without creating virtual receipts.
At the heart of the R4 financial, distribution, manufacturing and planning modules is the inventory management (IM) module. Equipped with a robust item master, the IM module interfaces with all of the main modules in the ERP software, WISE and Web modules. In conjunction with WISE, the IM module, an integral part of the supply chain, supports multiple warehouse and distribution center operations. Inventories are entity-based, valued using multiple cost methods, tracked down to the lot or serial number level, can be used for simulation what-if testing, and has complete integration to other modules.
Item costs are carried for two purposes, inventory valuation by warehouse and to support manufacturing standards. Additionally, customer sales pricing begins at the item level by warehouse. A unique feature, which is now a part of the item master, is the ability to define item attributes, primarily used for item searches, has also been used by our customers to create the item number and automate the creation of the BOM structure and production operations.
Return Material Authorization
The R4 return material authorization module (RMA) is fully integrated with the OP module for purposes of accessing prices and costs from the original invoice line. The module records and monitors customer complaints by creating a log by a user defined claim code master. The RMA module works in concert with WISE to accept the returned merchandise to the warehouse. Product returns are controlled for proper disposal through action codes. While WISE handles the receipt, condition, reason, responsibility for return and disposal action, the RMA module deals with the settlement of the claim through the issuance of a credit or no credit to the customer's account. Effective reports and screen inquiries provide a set of tools for the customer service representative.
Accurate forecasting is the best way to keep your inventory in step with sales and minimize the twin problems of stock outs and overstocked conditions. Over stocked conditions tie up both money and storage space that could be used to improve the bottom line. Orders lost to stock outs many times are gone forever. The forecasting module is a tool that allows management to determine, with reasonable accuracy, what the projected sales of a product would be over a period of time.
The R4 demand forecasting module (DF) can be run in simulation or live mode, by item or groups of items. The forecast can be processed by batch, from a workbench, or uploaded from a spreadsheet. Forecasting uses an item's sales history, breaks it down by period, considers seasonality and trends in calculating projections forward to future periods. Future demand is projected forward with the use of exponential smoothing formulas; results can be broken down into smaller periods. After editing, the forecasts could be plugged (transferred) into DRP/MRP or MPS.