Pronto Xi Business Intelligence Series | Part 2 – Views

Part 2: Pronto Hierarchy Views, An Essential Analysis Tool

Pronto Xi ERP software has evolved over the last four releases through its integrated IBM Cognos Analytics Reporting solution, and with that evolution there has been improvements to several areas of the software that provide power tools for reconciliation and data analysis. The use of Views is one of these developments; allowing users to review information at the detailed reporting level in Pronto directly, prior to it even being passed to Cognos.

The hierarchy, as we saw in Part 1, is a way of grouping data into structures that make sense for different business users. Putting the data into a structure and developing a hierarchy is one side of this story; the other is getting data out of the ERP that is easy to digest and most importantly in a usable format. Pronto Xi uses views to bring life to the developed hierarchies that allows a user to drill into the hierarchy and reconcile every element required.

What is a view? A view is a data grid within Pronto Xi that allows the user to look at the reporting hierarchy and drill into the elements required. The example below shows our mining company being split by activity that includes drill down availability to any element of the hierarchy from the GL code;

Figure 1 - Pronto Xi ERP View Data Grid displaying breakdown of divisional activities
Figure 1 – Pronto Xi ERP View Data Grid displaying breakdown of divisional activities
Figure 2 - Pronto Xi ERP View Data Grid - Drill Down by Divisional Activity
Figure 2 – Pronto Xi ERP View Data Grid – Drill Down by Divisional Activity
Figure 3 - Pronto Xi ERP View Data Grid - Drill Down by Column Data
Figure 3 – Pronto Xi ERP View Data Grid – Drill Down by Column Data

Users can reconcile to a significant level of detail and scrutinize reports directly from the ERP software where all transactions and subledgers are immediately available. If a report is being developed, or information in the report needs to be clarified/investigated, a user can directly audit the information from the view screen.

Views can be set up with any array of date parameters as defined by the user, and can be created quickly through an understandable and user friendly interface. Examples of dated reports include rolling 6-month analysis, actual vs. budget for period, quarter or year-to-date, current year vs. prior years. Once the hierarchy is developed, the views allow a user to select which data is relevant to the analytical process and create an interactive view.

Figure 4 - Pronto Xi ERP View Design Options
Figure 4 – Pronto Xi ERP View Design Options

Once a view is developed, drilling from the reporting structure into transactional level data, or into the master data in Pronto Xi for verification and reconciliation is possible. Data can be cut into slices as per the designed views. Take the below example of the Fuel for Hauling department. The GL account can be drilled in to for review of all transactions or budgets for the month or year;

Figure 5 - Pronto Xi ERP View Data Grid - Transactional details by Time Period
Figure 5 – Pronto Xi ERP View Data Grid – Transactional details by Time Period
Figure 6 - Pronto Xi ERP View Data Grid - Transactional details by GL Account
Figure 6 – Pronto Xi ERP View Data Grid – Transactional details by GL Account

Pronto has an array of default views that can be used as a starting point for the development of views. With relatively little training and a few hours of effort, it is possible to add a completely new and efficient methodology for analyzing and reconciling accounts. Views can be applied to any module and allow for significant improvements in the report reconciliation process.

To read all parts of the Pronto Xi Business Intelligence blog series, follow the links below:

Part 3: Business Intelligence Reports – Coming Soon!
Part 4: KPIs – Coming Soon!
Part 5: Office Embedded BI – Coming Soon!
Part 6: BI from Anywhere, Mobility – Coming Soon!

Pronto Xi ERP software provides a complete Business Intelligence Suite using IBM Cognos Analytics as its foundation. Pronto Xi’s BI content catalog includes a full range of out-of-the-box operational reports, KPIs, and business dashboards that are immediately ready for use. For more information view the Business Intelligence Overview.


Pronto Xi Tip | Get to know Pronto Xi Function Keys – plus free printable template!

Pronto Xi ERP Software Function Key Template Download

With the pressure of heavy workloads, even the smallest of shortcuts can relieve stress by helping to complete job duties at a quicker pace. In this tip, we will review Pronto Xi ERP Software’s function keys that provide access to common tasks through the convenience of keyboard shortcuts.

Please note that this tip applies to function keys as found in both Pronto Xi’s Thin Client and new Web-based Client. Any function differences or availability are noted against each topic.

Locating and Using Function Keys

The function keys that are discussed below are located across the top row of a standard keyboard layout. In some instances, you may need to hold down an additional key (e.g. Fn + F1) to select the option should your keyboard assign multiple functions to these keys. As keyboard layouts vary, please refer to your PC manual.

Pronto Xi ERP Software Function Key Template

Function Keys in Pronto Xi

The table below describes the use of each function key and includes usage tips where applicable.

FUNCTIONDESCRIPTION
Pronto Xi Function Key ESC - Cancel
Cancel
Cancels the current task, for example, to exit a function to return to the tree menu.
Application tips:
  • Use ESC to discard any unsaved changes in a Pronto Xi screen. Pronto Xi will prompt to confirm the information will be lost.
  • Use ESC from the main dashboard to log out of Pronto Xi. If no other screens are open, Pronto Xi will prompt to confirm logoff.
Help
Displays the context sensitive help for the current executed function (as displayed on the navigation bar in the Web Client or bottom right corner of status bar in the Pronto Xi Thin Client) with additional field level help if available. Where field level help is available, this is called before the function help.
Application tips:
  • Press the F1 key twice to open the function help and bypass field level help.
Pronto Xi Function Key F2 - Lookup
Lookup
Displays field lookup tables. When F2 is available on a field, a magnifying glass is displayed. Alternatively, you can display the lookup table by using the mouse to double-click on the field or click on the magnifying glass.
Pronto Xi Function Key F3 - Hotkey
Hot Key
Programmable by a System Administrator, the Hot Key can provide shortcuts to a company’s most used Pronto Xi functions. Selecting F3 will display a menu of all available Hot Key options, further select the required option by typing the underlined character in the option name.
Application tips:
  • Define the most used functions in your organization and submit to your System Administrator for addition to the F3 Hot Key – for example, Customer Enquiry, Inventory Enquiry and Sales Order Entry are often added by Pronto Xi users.
Pronto Xi Function Key F4 - Auto Complete
Auto Complete
Auto complete allows you to effortlessly accept all field defaults with a single keystroke, rather than tabbing through fields and hitting enter.
Pronto Xi Function Key F5 - Report Manager
Report Manager
Opens the Report Manager utility which displays reports, confirmations and all items that have been printed under the current login.
Application Tip:
  • Return to the Report Manager to easily reprint any previously printed document.
Pronto Xi Function Key F6 - Print Screen
Print Screen
Captures an image of the screen to the clipboard. The system image editor application for BMP files is opened on the PC. You can paste the image to any application where the Paste option is available.
NOTE: Print Screen (F6) is only available for Pronto Xi Thin Client and must be installed on the local PC.
Pronto Xi Function Key F7 - Screen Customizer
Screen Customizer
Access Pronto Xi Screen Customizer. The screen customizer is an application that allows customization of individual Pronto Xi screens and is a System Administration tool.
NOTE: Screen customizer (F7) is only available for Pronto Xi Thin Client and must be installed on the local PC.
Pronto Xi Function Key F8 - Exit All
Exit All
Exits all functions and log out/exit Pronto Xi.
Pronto Xi Function Key F9 - Session Information
Session Information
Displays detailed information about the active task. Session information includes such detail as Pronto Xi version, program name, date/time, user login information and more.
Application tip:
  • Session information can be critical when obtaining support. Session Information provides a powerful resource to assist support team members in pinpointing use and status information.
Pronto Xi Function Key F10 - Favourites
Favourites
Displays the Favourites menu where you can manage your personalized listing menu listing.
Pronto Xi Function Key F11 - Shortcuts
Shortcuts
A shortcut to a list of functions that are accessed in Pronto Xi.
  • Use the lookup to see the complete list and filter for what you are looking for.
  • New! Pronto Xi’s Web Client allows you to open a function by entering the module and function code directly into the Shortcut field.

Pronto Xi’s function keys provide added convenience in completing tasks. Getting familiar may save you a few keystrokes and hopefully some additional time in your day.

If you haven’t committed the function keys to memory, don’t forget to download our printable template for easy reference!

Pronto Xi ERP Software Function Key Template

Pronto Xi Business Intelligence Series | Part I – Hierarchies

BI Blog Series Part 2 Now Released!
Read the Next Part in the Series: Part 2: Pronto Hierarchy Views, An Essential Analysis Tool now. Click here to view.

Part 1: Hierarchies, any Structure for any Users

Hierarchies can be used to group together ranges of accounts, supplier types or territories into meaningful structures to present to a target audience. Hierarchies are also used to separate coding requirements for transactions from reporting requirements. In this blog, we will review the advantages of using hierarchies in Pronto Xi analytics reporting.

The General Ledger although great for capturing transaction details, does not provide the flexibility required to easily create a formatted management report. For example, a mining company may have departments classified into Drill, Blast, Load and Haul with a range of GL accounts for these departments (see Figure 1). These would be represented as the 3rd through 6th digits in the GL code – 1100 representing Drill, 1200 representing Blast, 1300 representing Load and 1400 representing Haul. The format of the GL code is effective at capturing the information as a fuel issue or a labour charge against a piece of equipment, but it does not lend itself to ease of reporting.

Pronto Xi ERP Software with Built-in IBM Cognos
Figure 1 – Pronto Xi ERP General Ledger Account List for Example Mining Company

In its simplest form, a Hierarchy is created as a standalone structure where a GL account can be added to any level of the hierarchy. In our example, a hierarchy can be created where Mining Costs are split by Drill, Blast, Load and Haul. Each of these elements of the GL account are allocated to the categories and a financial report is created where all the costs associated with the GL codes can be rolled up neatly into each category;

Pronto Xi ERP Account Hierarchy Structure
Figure 2 – Pronto Xi ERP Account Hierarchy Structure

A financial report would look like Figure 3 based on this categorization;

Pronto Xi ERP Financial Report Categorized by Hierarchy
Figure 3 – Pronto Xi ERP Financial Report Categorized by Hierarchy

The most flexible element of hierarchies is that they can be applied to any report. If the detail of the mining activity is too granular for an executive team, then data can be summarized into a higher-level report in a different hierarchy. Any module in Pronto Xi can have up to 99 hierarchies each, so there can be 99 different ways to clarify GL data.

Pronto allows the user to see the hierarchy once it is built in a graphical format;

Pronto Xi ERP Graphical Display of Hierarchies
Figure 4 – Pronto Xi ERP Graphical Display of Hierarchies

An example of a more condensed mining summary;

Figure 5 – Pronto Xi ERP Drilled-Down Financial Report

Hierarchies can be used far beyond GL reporting, by classifying project, inventory, suppliers or customers in any way required by the user group. With up to 99 options available for each module, this leaves considerable room for report definition.

A significant benefit of hierarchies is that no matter what the underlying data looks like, it can grouped in a consistent manner allowing companies with multiple operations that may have different supplier codes, general ledger structures or warehouses to conform to a consistent and aligned format for reporting – without changing the underlying data.

To read all parts of the Pronto Xi Business Intelligence blog series, follow the links below:

Part 3: Business Intelligence Reports – Coming Soon!
Part 4: KPIs – Coming Soon!
Part 5: Office Embedded BI – Coming Soon!
Part 6: BI from Anywhere, Mobility – Coming Soon!

Pronto Xi ERP software provides a complete Business Intelligence Suite using IBM Cognos Analytics as its foundation. Pronto Xi’s BI content catalog includes a full range of out-of-the-box operational reports, KPIs, and business dashboards that are immediately ready for use. For more information view the Business Intelligence Overview.


WEBCAST: Accelerating Mine Performance for Increased ROI

Discover how to get the most ‘bang for your buck’ from your ERP software investment to deliver the ROI results that your shareholders demand.

Maximizing investment benefit is critical for mining organizations that report shareholder value. Mining ERP is not a luxury, nor is it strictly for mines that are in their production phase. A tightly implemented business solution can allow you to gain control and drive ROI to your mining company throughout its lifecycle – from exploration to production – to help the bottom line.

Join us as we investigate how to recognize rapid shareholder value through ERP business software that fits the complexities of your mining environment.

Accelerating Mine Performance with ERP Software

Live Webcast Event
Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Time: 11:00AM – 12:00PM ET
Pronto Xi Mining Webcast

In this session you will:

  • Learn how to strategically align your mining ERP software in the pre-implementation, implementation and post-implementation stages for maximum ROI benefit.
  • Investigate methods to achieve the most rapid ROI by capitalizing on mining best practices.
  • Discover how an implementation early in the mining lifecycle can derive increased business value.
  • Gather critical insight into compulsory ERP features that mining companies cannot do without.

Take one hour to learn how to maximize your investment in critical ERP software.
Register for this complimentary live webcast today.

For more information about Mining ERP Software or our upcoming webcast, contact us for more details.


Pronto Xi Business Intelligence Series | Introduction

BI Blog Series Parts 1 & 2 Now Released!
Read the Next Part in the Series: Hierarchies, any Structure for any Users now. Click here to view.

Taking a deep dive into Pronto Xi’s Business Intelligence Offering

ERP has typically been a reliable tool for the accumulation of transaction and master data, but extracting and analyzing data has often presented challenges. As ERP systems have failed in providing robust, reliable and efficient reporting tools, the Business Intelligence offers provided by the market place has expanded significantly. Since the release of Pronto Dimensions ERP Software (Release 700), Pronto has been partnered with IBM to provide an out of the box, and completely integrated Business Intelligence tool in IBM Cognos Analytics. The availability of such a powerful reporting tool, through an integrated and real time relationship with the ERP has provided significant improvements to the way in which users can extract information in meaningful formats from Pronto Xi. The longevity of an ERP lies purely in its ability to continually provide value to the business’ stakeholders. There is room to develop even the most refined ERP when analyzing the systems functionality against the capability. It is highly likely that all readers of this blog series will find at least one topic below that their BI solution is not currently addressing. The focus of these posts is to bring attention to the capability that Pronto and Cognos can offer when used effectively together. While functionality has developed considerably over the last 8 years, the general knowledge of the ERP users has not advanced as quickly as the product. There are several areas of focus that can help any organization achieve a truly efficient and meaningful Business Intelligence solution, this blog aims to help understand those elements a little more, by identifying gaps that may exist in solutions and highlight features that portray what is possible with a best practice solution. In the coming weeks, the following blog topics related to Pronto Xi Business Intelligence will be covered in this series:
Part 3: Business Intelligence Reports
Part 4: KPIs
Part 5: Office Embedded BI
Part 6: BI from Anywhere, Mobility

Each topic will be discussed in a purposefully concise format to present the concept. If you are interested in further information through a more detailed overview or demonstration, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Partnership of Pronto Xi and IBM Cognos Analytics

Pronto and IBM Cognos have been released as a completely integrated solution. Reporting can be accessed through the reporting portal within the Pronto Xi client, as displayed in the web client example below;

There is a repository of existing reports developed by Pronto out of the box to allow users to transition from phase 6 reporting and into Cognos BI reporting. Like for Like replacements are available for most of the standard phase 6 reports. The parameter prompts have been replaced by web client friendly interfaces, and the output is interactive and designed for smooth interpretation.

 

One of the more efficient changes to this reporting is the addition of interactive drop downs within the report that allow for changes to the report to be made quickly, like for periods, showing the report in detail or summary mode or removing 0 movement accounts. This allows users to run a report and compare this against other periods or parameters quickly and without needing the user access the same report parameter page repeatedly.

Cognos reports are completely EXCEL and PDF compatible for ease of export to common media formats.

Many of the features of Cognos can be explored through product demonstrations or training. To understand more about the features of IBM Cognos and its relationship to Pronto Xi, please don’t hesitate to reach out to PSA for a more in depth session.

  Jarrad Sonnenberg Manager, Business Development & Advisory Jarrad is a Pronto Xi ERP software expert with over 10 years of experience in providing ERP implementation and support services to mining, distribution, field service and manufacturing industries.    

Pronto Xi ERP Tip | Setting the Default Order Type for Warehouse Transfer Accounts

When moving goods between warehouses in Pronto Xi ERP Software, a Sales Order must be created to record the movement of stock from one warehouse to another. The ORDER TYPE for this transaction is entered as: T – Transfer to provide tracking and control of goods.

When a warehouse transfer order is created, Pronto Xi will:

  • produce a delivery docket
  • record the departure between warehouses as two separate events
  • register the stock as In Transit while it is between warehouses
  • allow internal invoices to be created to maintain warehouse average costs as accurately as possible.

To ensure that the Transfer Order is entered correctly, this tip will provide instructions to ensure that orders created against Warehouse Accounts automatically default to ORDER TYPE ‘T’.

Set up the internal Customer Account for the warehouse location:

An internal customer account is created for warehouse locations. This account will be used when orders are created for movement of goods between warehouses.

  1. In Pronto Xi, navigate to: AR M001 Customer Maintenance.
  2. Create the account using the following field entries:
FIELD ENTRY NOTES
Customer (Account Code) Z + {destination warehouse code} This is the format utilized by DRP. It is worth adopting this standard should this module be implemented in the future.
Price Level I – Internal Ensures orders to this account do not post a sales value.
Warehouse {Destination warehouse code} 
Customer Type .. This is a special value that defaults the Order Type to Transfer when you create a manual sales order to this customer account.
Internal Customer Account Record for Warehouse Location in Pronto Xi ERP Software
PSA InformationCustomer Type Special Codes
If the Customer Type ‘..’ is not available for selection, it may need to be added to the Customer Type Code Table. Refer to function SYS M099, Type CT.

Entering Warehouse Transfer Orders:

When an order is processed for the internal customer account the Order Type will now automatically default to T – Transfer and reduce the possibility of user errors.

  1. In Pronto Xi, navigate to: SO M001 Sales Order Entry.
  2. In the Customer field, select the internal Customer Account for the warehouse location – as in our example Z1001.
  3. The Type field now automatically defaults to ‘T’ indicating a warehouse transfer order.
  4. Complete the transfer order transaction.
Warehouse Transfer order entry in Pronto Xi

Keep visiting PSA Insights for more Pronto Xi Software tips and feature updates. Our ERP consulting team will be posting further content to help gain additional value from your ERP implementation.