Infor CloudSuite Distribution is developed to meet the needs of wholesale distributors that want to modernize their technology infrastructure to address the constantly shifting business landscape, growing competition and changing customer behaviors. The solution suite offers a full range of distribution-industry-specific functionality.
The solution is suitable for the needs of any distributor, regardless of size, geography, or micro-vertical focus and can be deployed with a subscription-based delivery.
Infor has simultaneously released of two versions of Infor CloudSuite for distribution; Infor CloudSuite Distribution is designed for small to midsize wholesale distributors in North America that are focused on distribution in all industries. Infor CloudSuite Distribution Enterprise is designed for larger wholesale distributors that operate internationally with many language and localization requirements, or operate a hybrid business environment that includes both distribution and manufacturing.
Doug from Ken-Tool
Employees number: 51-200 employees
Be prepared to pay for your monthly support three or four months in advance. They will not honor their current support contract until you pay for the next one in advance.
Jorge from Marway Power Solutions
Specialty: Aerospace & Defense
Not much to say. It powers and and works. Doesn't crash. Wouldn't call it entirely ground breaking.
Every module is pay to play. For the buy-in price you get an incredibly gimped system.
Infor Visual may be a really good system for larger companies. Stay away if you are under 300 people. There are much better options out there for you.
Edit from STEMCELL Technologies Inc.
Great product; user friendly and intuitive. VISUAL continues to make improvements, expand on the current functionality and add many enhancements from the recommendations and requests of the users. VISUAL is very easy to manage VISUAL from IT perspective, both data wise and connectivity wise; to perform maintenance, upgrades, updates, connections from middle-ware, data analysis and customizations.
INFOR and Synergy Resources both supply excellent service and support; all their employees are very well rounded, there is a high level of product knowledge and experience. The roadmap is always clearly defined and outlined; leaving no surprises for the future.
Over the past years we have found that the upgrades to higher versions were a tad unstable; in the sense of bugs which had to be iron out, for this reason we have always given the software upgrades at least a year out in the stream; prior to upgrading our own in-house versions.
I strongly believe that there needs to be much investigations and reviews of multiple software prior to making a commitment and purchase. There is no one software in the market that will meet ever requirement of a company, but if you choose the one that fits best and meets most of your companies needs and if the software is easily customizable then you are already a step ahead of the game. This is what we found with VISUAL Mfg.
Erik from Audiosears Corporation
Infor Visual Manufacturing has been a stable, reliable product for us for several years. It's continually updated and improved, with an ear towards the user community through Regional User Groups. Support is quick and responsive, and it's valuable to be able to communicate concerns and requests directly up to the Product Manager and Infor executives. The support site (inforxtreme.com) is useful for Knowledgebase searches and issue reporting.
As with any software you'll have some hiccups along the way and a learning curve if you haven't used a modern ERP or database, but vendor partners like Synergy will help train you and pilot the system, and any other process / technical needs such as data migration, custom code, add-ons, etc.
Infor can be slow to produce enhancements, and minor bugs can be typical (though most are cleared up fairly quickly). Software costs for add-ons can be prohibitive for smaller companies compared to low-cost vendors, but the wealth of resources available between users, vendor partners (such as Synergy Resources and Visual South) and Infor's support website make the $$ easier to justify.
Make sure Visual is right for you before committing, because any ERP will have its strengths and weaknesses based on your business processes. Visual fits very well with manufacturing, custom products in particular, but can work with many other workflows and industries. Users are typically knowledgeable and available online to answer questions, and are generally happy to reach out and give you more specific information.
As with any major software package, it behooves you to have at least one person onsite knowledgeable to manage and maintain the installation, report and address issues and updates, consolidate support requests and facilitate basic user training. Knowledge of SQL and VB, as well as familiarity with ERP systems is a big plus, as well as server hardware and Windows client / server architecture. There are also cloud-based solutions available (Infor CloudSuite) whereas Visual is mainly an onsite client / server application, which may be an option depending on your needs.
Don from Fluortek, Inc.
Specialty: Medical Products
Frankly, I have tried to find an ERP solution with a more modern interface (preferably browser-based). After a detailed search, even considering a customizable open-source approach, we simply found Infor VISUAL to work best for our business.
I would really like to see more development done to make this browser-based.
Look at whatever you want. However, if you need both a manufacturing and quality solution with the flexibility of macros and third party add-ons, I highly doubt that you could do any better than VISUAL.
Jeff from Instrument Technology, Inc.
VISUAL ERP is just as the name implies, whatever critical bit of information that you need at any moment is concisely displayed for your review. The very heart of the metaphor is the Manufacturing Window. With one glace a user can see the precise state of any work order that is in progress. I am particularly fond of the Material Planning Window. One screen, one part with all supply & demand shown in chronological order. It doesn't get any simpler than that.
VISUAL is a dynamic and growing product. Infor is extremely receptive to current users input for product enhancements. The user base has actual & direct influence over what features are added in future releases. I doubt other products can make this same claim.
Synergy Resources are a collection of very experienced and talented consultants. Many are past users, many with roots to the origin of the VISUAL product. You can't go wrong following their advice.
VISUAL is a complete ERP, it is not easy for any company to fully utilize the depth & breadth of it's functions. Fortunately, you can generally pick & choose what feature to tackle at your own speed.
When selecting VISUAL as your next ERP, don't be single-minded in your determination to bend it to your will, to duplicate whatever processes you currently use. Be open to learn new tricks. Use VISUAL "out of the box", my guess is that will help improve your processes. This is advice from 20+ year user that has never had to use a single software customization, just VISUAL as delivered.
Val from Graphicast, Inc.
The software has evolved with changes in manufacturing methods and culture. Synergy is the most experienced of the VISUAL providers. VISUAL is the core of our business operations - all our procedures mesh with the product - so we have a very efficient use of this ERP. As we have been using this since 1999, we have a huge amount of process and financial data available to analyze. We do this with Synergy's SmartViews BI package. Very slick and easy to use.
Rev changes can be a little clunky. We generally stay a little behind the most recent rev levels to make sure everything is stable before we upgrade.
All ERP systems can do accounting and basic business functions. Most of them stumble on scheduling, which is really the heart of the system for a manufacturing job shop. VISUAL shines in this area, having several methods for scheduling based on the type of manufacturing operation you have. We use their EASY Lean DBR scheduling system which has been transformational for us - reduced WIP, shorter lead times, job visibility, quick info on shop loading, etc. Synergy Resources knows the scheduling modules inside out, so you will get expert advice on how to best utilize the methods best suited for you.
Melissa from EA Dion
Specialty: Other Industry
The product does a great job handling custom products in our made-to-order environment. Synergy Resources has excellent consultants who are readily accessible with strong knowledge of not only the product but its real world applications and best practices.
Like all off-the-shelf software solutions, it isn't always a perfect fit for what we think our business needs. We have, however, been able to utilize custom user-defined fields, macros, workflows, etc. to meet our needs. Sometimes, we have found changing our processes to fit the software was actually a better solution!
It is unlikely that you will find a perfect fit solution in standard off-the-shelf software. Look for the basics to make sure it's a good fit, and choose software with flexibility (such as exists with Visual's macros, workflow, user-defined fields, ODBC access, etc.) to get you the rest of the way.
Jeff from Instrument Technology, Inc.
Specialty: Medical Products
VISUAL is flexible enough to allow vastly different manufacturers to accurately model how they each conduct business. It takes care of all the background operations (inventory transactions, labor tickets, etc.) with ease and simplicity. It provides real time information directly to users so that informed decisions can be made at all levels of the company. It is intuitive to operate; it takes only hours (or minutes) to train new personnel on applications. The custom report writing options, which every company needs, are numerous, varied, and powerful.
Synergy Resources is eminently qualified to train, consult, and develop solutions for your staff. They are a truly professional organization and certainly the caliber of consultants that you would hope to work with.
New releases continue to be an issue for Infor. Experienced users typically wait 3 – 6 months before implementing a new version. The patches come quick enough; just give them time to appear before you take the leap to the next version.
I always caution prospects not to try to bend VISUAL to your will. If you are buying a new ERP, first look at how VISUAL operates; you may be better off doing things in a new way.
Get involved in your regional VISUAL User Group; there are many across North America and the world now. You will find a wealth of information from other users and the Channel Partners like Synergy Resources, as we have in New England.
Val from Graphicast, Inc.
Specialty: Metal Fabrication
VISUAL easily incorporates all aspects of our business: production, scheduling, engineering, sales, financials. After 15 years, it is central to our operations. We run a tight operation by using the vast amount of data we collect via VISUAL to guide all aspects of our company. Our vendor, Synergy Resources, has been with us through all the transitions, upgrades, and improvements, providing support and training.
Customized reporting within VISUAL is cumbersome for a non-software person. We went to a bolt-on report writer, Crystal Reports, to get by this. Recently, Synergy Resources developed a business intelligence system, SmartViews, which makes data analysis and report writing much more powerful.
Look at the scheduling modules, as these are the key to how useful the software is in running your business. All the other stuff, such as financials, is pretty straightforward. Scheduling is the real part that delineates how well an ERP system works for a manufacturer.