A keystone of ALERE , the Manager module supplies the building blocks upon which the rest of the package draws.
This is where companies are created. The attributes that can be assigned to them allow you to have customers, suppliers or even a company that you can sell to and buy from, thus eliminating the need to enter company information twice. It also makes it possible to turn a credit memo into a payable with one keystroke!
A favorite of every owner or manager is the Executive Advisor! Since ALERE is a true real-time system, up to the last keystroke financial and profitability information is available every time. Every time you hit the Refresh button!
An ERP system cannot live without dozens of codes for everything, ALERE keeps them in one easy to maintain and remember location!
This is where managing your banking takes place, including bank reconciliation, checking accounts and transactions. It includes some exclusive functions like handling a returned check by recreating an invoice or payable with its original date to keep your aging reports accurate!
Payment terms, with rules allowing them to be designed for the ultimate in flexibility, reside here. Have as many as you want for customer and suppliers!
Email automation rules can provide notifications and alerts for your clients, suppliers and staff. For example, this allows you to up your customer service game by automatically confiming their order, letting them know it has shipped, and thanking them for their payment!
The Manager module also supports an order approval process! Create approval rules for any or all of the sales and order types in ALERE. Up to four different sign-offs required and the staff automatically notified their authorization is required.
The entire sales process from quoting all the way through receiving payment is handled in one module. This process is supported by automated email notifcations for a wide range of activities such as order confirmations, shipping notifcations, payment receipts, etc.
Customizable apps can be used by mobile devices to display images of products, check stock levels, and place orders!
The Sales Module does approach processing an order a bit differently than you may be used to. Instead of starting by choosing what type of order you want to process from a menu (quote, sales order, invoice, consignment, price contract, return order, credit memo, blanket order, and recurring order) you simply open the order screen and set the order type. This saves a lot of clicking back and forth among menu choices.
Looking for a choice other than accepting or cancelling an order? ALERE has pending orders which save without releasing. This means the order can be held for further information, permission, review, or just to give someone time to get back to you without having to enter the order all over again! More choices are better, especially when they don't cost you anything. Not even a keystroke!
Speaking of flexibility, each line on a sales order can be either a sale, a drop ship, a return or a credit. This permits one order to handle multiple sales functions instead of having to create several separate orders.
Need an order configurator? One automatically pops up with any item that has choices and options!
The process of releasing an order is very flexible providing independent control over shipping, invoicing, taxes, and even reversing a shipment!
To ease the burden of finding things, each order shows all related activity such as source & release documents, shipments & returns, payments & refunds, and every general ledger posting is documented.
Purchases handles the entire process from obtaining quotes, generating purchase orders, and all the way through receiving shipments and printing payment checks. All supported by email automation.
Like the Sales module, you simply open the purchases screen and select the order type from among quotes, purchase orders, payables, return orders, blanket orders, or recurring orders.
The same holds true for being able to save pending orders and each line on a purchase order can be a purchase, a return or a credit.
Purchase requisitions allows requests for items or supplies to be entered without actually knowing their part numbers. The items on a purchase requisition are then reviewed, actual part numbers assigned, and then released to purchase orders.
Partial orders can be received without being released to payables and the receipt items can be reversed if done in a timely manner.
Payables that are eligible for payment discounts can be sorted to make sure the discounts are taken and invoices may be offset against debit memos. Both of which improve your efficiency!
To save you time processing payments, ALERE supports mass approval of payments and the printing of checks.
Suppliers have their own screen where supplier part numbers and your equivalent part numbers can be stored. This allows purchase orders to be created and received using either the supplier part number or yours.
Each order shows all related activity such as source & release documents, shipments & returns, payments & refunds, and every general ledger posting is documented.
Managing inventory can be a complex task and ALERE Inventory comes with the tools to equip you to more than meet those challenges.
Whether you use average, standard, LIFO or FIFO inventory valuations, you are supported.
If you have inventory, you can take advantage of ALERE's location, store & bin support along with transfer orders to move stock among different geographical locations. Physical inventories are easily done using bar code scanners to keep those counts accurate.
Traceability is an ALERE speciality. That means we can provide extensive lot, serial and even trait tracking to meet the most stringent industry requirements.
Images, extensive descriptions & specifications, and CAD links support each item. This provides great support for your company web site!
Customer and supplier part numbers can be cross referenced to your own internal part number. Cross referenced part numbers can be used to enter sales orders or process purchase orders.
Faced with unit of measure challenges? ALERE can receive in one UOM, stock in another, then issue in a third.
Companies that have a high volume of orders to ship or to receive will appreciate the ability to mass receive or mass ship orders.
An "As of Inventory Balance" report can calculate inventory values based on the average cost for any date requested, a specific warehouse location, and focus on a range of items, product class or even an item type.
Understanding inventory activity is a key part of managing it. See the activity of individual parts along with the reasons.
Past and anticipated inventory movement can be reviewed with drill down to the source documents.
ALERE is a real time system and it starts with the General Ledger. Any activity that affects the general ledger immediately generates a journal entry and is posted to the GL. That means your financial information is as up-to-date as your last keystroke. It also means that period closings are automated so you will never again have to endure tedious month end closings!
The fundamental building block of accounting is a Chart of Accounts. It defines how you manage your business. It is an almost universal truth that troubled companies with a poorly constructed COA have problems with good financial management.
ALERE has a graphical approach that lets you see the COA, and all its relationships, as it is constructed on one screen! Alphanumeric multi-segment account numbers support the most detail oriented demands of the most complex organizations.
The document management backbone built into ALERE can be used to drill down on the COA to find that original invoice!
An easy-to-use budgeting process is built into the COA. For users requiring a more complex budgeting process, Excel can be used and compared against your COA in a number of very sophisticated ways.
Entering a journal entry is designed to be fast and flexible, and recurring and auto reversing entries can be created. You can even enter unbalanced pending entries that can be reviewed and released at a later date!
Since one installation of ALERE can manage many separate companies, there is a multiple company consolidation function where you can select from a list which companies to merge for the purposes of reporting.
In addition to the normal complement of financial reports you would expect in an accounting package, ALERE comes with some very advanced reporting capabilities. For example, any period/year can be compared to any other period/year. Since the system is date-based as opposed to period based, you can even have Income Statement reports that compare any range of dates to any other range of dates.
Investigate past business performance to gain insight and drive business planning with the Analytics Module!
Analytics is designed to make it easy for you to explore company data in a variety of key ways, then see it as elegant 3-D colored graphs.
Discover who your best customers are and how much they have contributed to your bottom line over the years. Conversely, discover which customers are costing you more money than they are contributing to your revenues.
Know who your best suppliers are and view that information to see your company’s purchasing trends. Use that data when negotiating purchasing discounts and terms.
Examine the movement of items in inventory. See how many were received and how many were issued over time. Know what items have the most value in inventory.
Track lot and serial numbered items to their source, current disposition in inventory, or to whom they were sold.
Develop individual general ledger accounts trends by weeks, months or even years! Use that information to see the direction of sales or expenses.
The data and charts can be output to your printer, to HTML to support web sites, directly to Microsoft Word, as an image or even to a clipboard.
Data archiving is a key part of big data so it comes as part of analytics. It allows you to periodically reduce the size of your company data by moving it to an archived company that remains fully functional.
Archiving data provides a dynamic environment that allows you to add additional data to an archived company as time passes. This is a key distinction that permits the full use of analytics and allows you to data mine years and years of valuable company records.
Does your company have commissioned sales? Use this module to track those sales that are eligible for commissions.
Both inside and outside sales representatives are supported.
You can define many and varied rules to use for calculating the commissions. For example, a rule can be defined for a single sales representative selling a single item to just one customer or a group of sales representatives selling a selection of products.
Rules can also be created to start and end based on dates. This may be useful if your intent is to promote a new product during its introduction phase or to push a soon-to-be obsolete product to draw down stocks in inventory.
Commissions that sales representatives earn can be reviewed and payables created for them.
Draws against commissions for sales representatives are processed then netted against the payable before the commissions check is printed.
The Multi-Currency Module allows companies that do business internationally a way to accept and place orders in different currencies other than their own.
Any number of currencies can be easily defined and used.
All transactions are done in relationship to the base currency of your choice. Each individual company has a default currency to use.
Currency exchange rates can be updated as often as once per day and are continuously tracked by date. Separate rates for selling and buying are supported to provide flexibility for your buying and selling functions.
History is tracked to provide an overview of how currency buy and sell rates change over time. Highs and lows for each currency are also tracked and readily available.
Trends for a currency can be analyzed using several different graphing methods with resolutions from one day through one year. Sell rates and buy rates can be viewed separately. The sell and buy rate data history can also be summarized to show average, high and low rates. Any range of dates can be used to filter the information.
Sales orders, invoices, purchase orders, and payables can all be processed using a foreign currency. Orders can be displayed and printed in the currency in which they were entered. Orders can be displayed in either the base currency at the time of their entry or the base amount according to current rates.
Aged Receivables and Aged Payables statements are available in your company's base currency or in the currency in which they were created. Payments can be accepted or made in either the foreign currency or the base currency.
Exchange rates are tracked and provide a summary of currency rate fluctuations. These fluctuations can occur in the time between when an invoice is written and when a payment is received. If they are significant the fluctuations could positively or negatively affect your profitability. Thus, knowing their magnitude allows you to decide if they should be accounted for in your general ledger postings.
The module provides support for sales order configuration during the sales order entry process when the BOM Module is not present.
ALERE supports sales order configuration in a unique way by making use of the “Modular” choices and “Variable” quantities that make up a product.
Engineering uses BOMs or bills of material, to establish a formal list of the raw materials and components that are used to manufacture a product.To reduce the huge number of BOMs required for a product with even a modest level of configuration, ALERE uses Modular bills, which have a list of choices instead of components, and Variable bills, which allow a quantity to be input.
Using Modular and Variable bills, products with hundreds or even thousands of permutations and requiring an equal number of bills can be defined with only one billl. The result is a significant reduction of engineering resources and increased bill accuracy.
Simply stated, it takes less time to engineer, products have better quality, and inventory is reduced.
Bill structures become the basis for sales order configuration. Engineer the bill and get a sales order configurator for free!
The configurations for items are created and maintained using Treevision. This allows all the features and options, and how they are related, to be viewed at a glance.
Modular choices within modular choices permit the construction of decision trees with dependency rules.
Common product configurations can be predefined with finished good part numbers to support build-to-stock or further speed order entry.
Ktting capabilities that included configuration and being able to build kits on the fly.
Data mine configuration information!