Frequently Asked Questions

What you should know when buying an ERP Solution

Is the system built on and does it support the latest technology?

Questica ETO - We use an open database technology and support the latest operating system. Our ETO software uses Microsoft Office, Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft .NET and SAP Crystal Reports. All of these technologies are familiar, heavily supported and considered to be innovative. By using this modern technology, new features that become available from Microsoft can regularly be added in annual upgrades.

Customer Benefit - Clients need the assurance that the software has been developed on a platform and database that is popular and likely to be supported for many years. Software providers, locked in with old technology, cannot evolve their products because of this limitation. Microsoft technologies, used by Questica, are long lived, well supported and widely used. Current MS technologies are more likely to be supported on future versions of both MS Server and MS Desktop Operating Systems, providing more longevity for the system.

Is the user interface graphical and easy to follow?

Questica ETO - Our logical user interface is modern and easy to follow. Workflow screens and fields are arranged in a sequential fashion similar to the business flow through typical ETO organizations. All administration items are logically arranged and reporting is available contextually and in a centralized location. Our ETO software uses the 'ribbon' method for our main menu, and all the other departmental menus (BOM, Sales, etc), allowing easier access to the various areas within the application.

Customer Benefit - Users are more effective when the work flow is logical and easy to follow. The logical presentation of screens and fields lends itself to a simple and easy to follow user experience. It is easier to understand, and it flows from the natural workflow of ETO organizations. It is therefore easier to learn, and will drastically reduce user training time.

Are screen grids adjustable and feature rich?

Questica ETO - Our screens are user adjustable and feature rich. Questica ETO has two different styles of grids. Both styles have many great features, allowing dynamic sorting, filtering, grouping, re-arranging, hiding of columns, resizing, and user persistence of the configured layout on a screen by screen basis.

Customer Benefit - Engineering and Purchasing, in particular need to show and sort screen data constantly. Adjustable grids allow great flexibility and drastically improve the user experience. The ability to resize allows full utilization of screen real-estate and grouping large screens of data helps users to arrange data in a meaningful fashion. Hiding and rearranging columns allows users to maximize their screen real-estate in a manner that makes sense to them.

Does the system provide a project AND a job structure?

Questica ETO - We provides a top level project and job structure. This allows typical orders (projects), which need to contain many tasks (jobs) to be properly arranged, grouped and tracked. Our ETO software also allows jobs to be arranged hierarchically to allow greater resolution in tracking of costs. Rollup reporting provides costing at all levels within the hierarchy.

Customer Benefit - All ETO orders must be structured for effective management and reporting. Most ETO orders are for complex machinery that need to be divided up into smaller easier to manage sections. Questica ETO does this via Projects, Job hierarchies and even to the Assembly level. This provides greater flexibility in all areas including but not limited to estimating, design, manufacturing, procurement, and costing.

Does the ERP system allow for a structured Bill of Materials?

Questica ETO - We provide a separate Engineering screen to manage entire Projects and individual jobs Questica ETO displays a structured Bill of Materials (BOM) hierarchy, rather than a flat BOM, in a flexible Graphical User Interface (GUI) screen. By displaying the BOM visually designers have greater flexibility to break down assemblies and work in a logical manner. Changes to an assembly quantity or parts within the assembly are more easily managed given a visual structured BOM.

Customer Benefit - ETO firms cannot use flat (a simple list of parts) BOM systems. They must have a structured BOM. Structured BOMs allow designers and engineers to logically break up complex machinery into a series of nested subassemblies. It provides a much quicker and organized means of finding the materials and modifying requirements for changes. Visualization of the machine's BOM structure is also critical to design and change management.

Is there true CAD Integration?

Questica ETO - We provide true integrated 3D CAD linking of part information. As registered software partners with firms such as Autodesk and SolidWorks, we are able to embed our controls in their systems allowing designers easy part entry and synchronization. Our ETO software solution offers your design team outstanding flexibility, power and versatility in creating, modifying and controlling the flow of information to and from Purchasing. Questica ETO integrates your BOM with the most popular 3D CAD packages such as Autodesk Inventor® 3D CAD, AutoCAD and SolidWorks, eliminating the need to re-key design data into the business system.

Customer Benefit - It is very important that designers are able to move BOM information from their CAD package to the business system without double entry or conflict with previous information in the system. The ideal system needs to allow the designer to enter the BOM information in one location and have it easily moved between the CAD program and the business system. It also must be able to highlight conflicts in the data if they exist. Such a system reduces designer concerns and speeds up the engineering process.

Is there a separate screen for all Purchasing activities?

Questica ETO - We provide a separate Procurement Screen which lists all the parts needed by Engineering, the Shop and Parts and Service. This allows your purchasing staff to consolidate purchases and reserve inventory for all projects and jobs. Designers are not required to make procurement decisions. All BOM information is simply released to the central purchasing screen which allows flexible grouping, sorting, buying by part category, preferred suppliers, and issuing and tracking RFQs by job and project.

Customer Benefit - Procurement should not be a burden on Engineering. Designers should specify what should be bought but Purchasing should decide where and who to buy it from. Purchasing needs to have all purchase requests from Engineering, the Shop, Parts and Service visible on one summary screen. From this screen they can issue RFQ's, Purchase orders and reserve inventory. If this is available a large organization can run efficiently with just one purchasing agent. Many companies have reported they can double their business without any additional purchasing staff.

Is there a separate screen for Expediting purchase orders?

Questica ETO - Questica ETO provides a separate expediting screen which allows Procurement to keep track of all items that have been ordered but not yet received. In addition to tracking POs that haven't been received, this area of Questica ETO also allows users to track supplier performance, identify delays before they become serious, and ensure that all required items are appropriately received by their promised delivery date.

Customer Benefit - Placing orders is only half of the Purchasing job. They need to assure that the materials are received on time. They need a central screen that displays all information on open purchase orders with the ability to identify potential delivery problems. Easy tracking of materials on order is critical to Purchasing in expediting open orders.

Does the system allow you to link documents to the Project and Job?

Questica ETO - Questica ETO allows users to link of all documents related to a job or project. Users can return to any project or job any time in the future and find and open all documents related to that contract. Our ETO software solution also allows document and drawing links to the item master for each part.

Customer Benefit - ETO firms need to access all the information about a project in one central file. This includes; estimates, quotations, costing, change orders, quality documents, product photos, and anything of importance to Management. Quick access to this information is invaluable for Project Managers, parts and service support and for creating estimates for similar jobs in the future.

Is there a separate Report Center?

Questica ETO - Questica ETO features a single location where all reports (over 200 provided with the system) are easily accessed. These reports are also found at logical places within the program. The Report Center is organized in a departmental hierarchy, allowing users to run many reports quickly and find the reports they are looking for in a one stop shop.

Customer Benefit - Rapid access to all reports is essential for timely management. Managers need a system which allows them to quickly find and run all of the reports they require without having to learn how to navigate the system. A central Report Center makes this possible.

Does the system provide searching capability of historical data?

Questica ETO - Our ETO software provides templates and search wizards to find historical data. Questica ETO recognizes that all engineer-to-order companies design and build complex machinery to specification criteria. These criteria and specifications can be tracked on a machine by machine basis using a fully customizable templates feature. Searching templates is very powerful and allows clients to identify prior designs that may match similar traits of current work. The reuse of prior designs is particularly important to estimators.

Customer Benefit - Access to historical data is essential to ETO firms who need past project information for new estimates. The ability to find previous job information assists Estimating in quoting on new jobs. Access to material and labor costs, shop information on construction experience and project results is important to many departments. Engineering needs to access previous designed BOMs to reduce the effort for new jobs. Manufacturing can use past job commentaries to highlight production opportunities and Management can uses past history to reduce the risk in setting selling prices and target margins.

Am I able to easily track my Non-Conformance errors?

Questica ETO - Questica ETO includes a quality Non-Conformance system. Questica ETO's Non-Conformance system allows users to raise non conformances from several different areas within the system, and allows users to track various causes of problems such as defective parts, drawing or design errors, and manufacturing errors. Non-Conformances are attached to Jobs, and allow tracking of costs. Coupled with powerful searches and powerful reporting, our ETO software solution provides the ability to identify the causes of Non-Conformances and allows users to prevent them from occurring on similar future projects.

Customer Benefit – Engineer-to-order manufacturers are constantly faced with Non-Conformances and need a simple system to deal with the complexity of this process. In the end, knowing how to avoid certain errors in the future will affect your company's bottom line and improve product quality.

Can email notifications be sent to users not currently on the system?

Questica ETO - Questica ETO provides a self-subscribing email notifications feature. This allows users to subscribe themselves to a host of notifications of important changes. Questica ETO's notification system utilizes MS email allowing non-Questica SE users to receive notifications, even remotely without requiring them to be on the system to receive the notice.

Customer Benefit - Proactive Management notification is a critical requirement of project control. Non system users such as upper management need to be able to receive important notifications without actively having to log onto the system. They need to be able to receive these notifications remotely via blackberry or any other mobile email device.

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