How To Use This Guide

Who Should Read This Guide

Anyone considering using an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system to streamline processes within their organization can benefit from reading this guide. From the owners of the company to the employees on the floor, there is information in here for everyone. Even consultants looking for solutions for their customers can find this guide useful.

How To Use This Guide

What do you do if someone gives you a small cardboard box and walks away? You open the box to find hundreds of funny-shaped little cardboard pieces. You pour them out onto a table and you notice that each piece is colored on one side and plain cardboard on the other side. Instantly, you realize this is a jigsaw puzzle, and that it is your job to put the puzzle together.

Knowing what jigsaw puzzles are, and knowing that, fundamentally, the pieces need to go together to form a single finished picture does not help you in getting started. You could start by finding all of the outer pieces, since you at least know that they should be straight on one edge. But once you get that finished, what next? You could flounder with fitting each piece, one at a time, to every available place until you start to get the right pieces into the right places. However, this process would take so long that you would most likely give up in frustration and just forget about the whole project.

But, what if you had a picture of what the finished puzzle should look like? Knowing how to put puzzles together, and knowing what your goal is, you could start to group pieces together based on similar color schemes according to the final result, and work on sections at a time. Knowing how to put the groups together will certainly speed up the process and alleviate most of the frustration involved with building the puzzle.

This Getting Started Guide is designed to do just that – help you to put the pieces together so that you can begin using ProfitFab and reach the final goal of having an ERP program that your business can use to gain control over your operations. After all, you already know that ProfitFab is an ERP program, and you assume that you will be able to connect Quotes to Orders and Purchases to Jobs. With that in mind, our approach in this Getting Started Guide is to start at the top and work our way down to the every day functions of the program. This guide will provide the steps to follow to put the pieces together. By following the steps outlined below, you should be able to start using ProfitFab within hours to create real quotes, orders, jobs, and invoices for real customers.

Step 1 – Start at the Beginning

In the View from 10,000 feet, we cover the features of the program to give you a clear and concise picture about what you can expect from ProfitFab. This section is for everyone who will use the program plus the people at the top of the organization that need to know what to expect from the program, but will not necessarily be using the program.

In the View from 1000 feet, we cover a general overview of the program and introduce the flow of the program. We cover topics in enough detail that anyone reading it should be able to functionally describe the program. All personnel who use the program should read this section.

In the View from the Ground, we cover major aspects of the program. We focus on the day-to-day operations of running the program. This section demonstrates a hypothetical shop that has been using ProfitFab for day-to-day tasks. It includes sample screenshots, Tips, and Alternative Methods for accomplishing the tasks.

When going through the View from the ground, launch the program with the demo data by using the short cut that was installed on your desktop during installation of the program.

Step 2

After familiarizing yourself with the program, the next step is to start using it for real. During installation, a shortcut will be placed on your desktop that will run the program with a blank set of data files. Run this program and enter the Company Name and Registration Code that was sent to you by our staff. Use the Entering Initial Information section of this guide as a reference to enter your information. Entering some of the startup information can seem tedious, but keep in mind that you only have to enter it once and it is there forever.

Step 3

Once you have entered your startup data, assign employees to specific tasks based on their job position within your organization and have them begin using the program. Have them read through the relevant sections of this guide to familiarize themselves with the program. Then take some real customer purchase orders and make Part Definitions for them. Create orders, jobs, and print Route Sheets. Create quotes and email them to your customers.

Documentation Typeface Conventions

Italics Indicates what to type at the keyboard such as Type This
SMALL CAPS Indicates keystrokes to enter at the keyboard, such as ENTER or ESC
Boldface Indicates commands or options from a pull down menu or text in a dialog window
[Brackets] Indicates buttons on screens within the program that you click with your left mouse button, such as [Ok] or [Cancel]

Icons used in this Guide

Important time saving information.

Alternate Path
ProfitFab has many options to get the job done. Alternate Paths offers ideas on how tasks can be approached from different directions. The alternate paths given should not be understood as the “Only” path to take.

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