Deemed to be the most important enhancement in Javelin 2020.1 is the introduction of ‘contract review’. This addition takes functionality from the non-conformance report introduced in the previous release, and develops it further. Using a new ‘type’ called ‘contract’, user-defined templates specifically for the contract review process can be created. These templates contain the actions required to be completed, and can assign tasks to individual users or groups. A contract review can be created from a sales order, or can be created in advance and linked to a sales order once it has been raised.

There are options available in ‘customising’ which can enforce or warn that a valid contract review should be either assigned or completed before being able to change the status of a sales order from tentative to active. There is also a customer profile option that forces all sales orders to be created as tentative.

‘Document view’ has been revamped, making it easier to set up and use. ERP sales manager Deon Price says it is now possible to drag and drop document file paths: “Documents can also be assigned to specific printers. And when setting up document view, the drive letter is no longer required, as UNCs can now be used. All common applications associated with opening a document are now chosen automatically, replacing the need to make the association manually.”

A new works order operation type has been created for material to be issued for subsequent operations after the first one. This can be specified against a work centre, enabling the default to be set to ‘key op’.

The overall traceability function has also been updated, with trace buttons being added to a number of screens. Trace buttons are similar to the MAP button, but will show the trace tree from or to the selected item.

In ‘purchasing’, a newly developed SQL view combines purchase order lines and purchase order cancellations, making it easier to create purchase order prints that show changes to an order, instead of ‘print as new.’

Improvements to purchase order approval have been made by separating ‘supplier approval’ and ‘purchase order approval’.

“This means that authorisation for changes on purchase orders is only triggered when the PO value changes, and the supplier approval check is only triggered for date changes,” explains Price. “In addition, a new ‘outstanding value option’ allows PO authorisation to use the outstanding value, rather than total PO value.”

A newly added enquiry compares the bills of materials of two parts, displaying the difference, making BOM comparisons more visual and easier. Different issues of the same part can be compared. Also, ‘BOM enquiry and reports’ now defaults to two levels.

‘Advanced scheduling’ has been further developed following customer requests. A newly introduced option prevents cells from switching between jobs. Essentially, this means that when an operation starts in a cell, it will run until it is finished, before moving the operator on to another one. There is also an option to choose between prioritising the reduction of overall or individual lateness. And instead of setting the priority on work orders, the priority can also be set using product group or responsibility codes. The system will now consider both the due and acknowledged dates on purchase orders for subcontract operations.

The ‘advanced planning board’ can now define the sequence in which work centres are shown, while the height of the lines can be resized to optimise the lines displayed; and this setting will be retained in future sessions.

Finally, updates to the ‘release notes’ function mean that stock issued to a single sales order line will now be on the same release note. Javelin 2020.1 also provides the ability to generate a new release note if multiple ones are not required.