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Bar Code Data Collection for Sage 50 Accounts & Sage 50 Manufacturing?

Let’s consider technology trends today affecting Sage 50 Manufacturing users before we address bar code data collection specifically. 

Industry Trend – Remote working 

It is increasingly acknowledged that companies benefit from real-time data accessible from anywhere and collaboration across mobile devices.  

Sage 50 Manufacturing users 

Sage 50 Manufacturing must be installed on your on-premise server and your Sage 50C Accounts must also be installed to your server if you use Sage 50 Manufacturing.  Therefore, seamless, real time offsite Sage data collaboration is not possible.  Azure hosting is incredibly expensive due to the technical architecture of Sage 50 applications. 

Industry Trend – Remain competitive 

As technology continues to evolvebusinesses that evolve with it will gain a competitive edge in their fields. In addition, cloud-based software is quicker to deploy and cheaper to maintain that on-premise software.  

Sage 50 Manufacturing users 

Whilst businesses that only use Sage 50C Accounts can use secure Sage cloud hosting – this is not the case for those businesses that use Sage 50 Manufacturing which is a legacy software without technical upgrade since 2013.  Sage Manufacturing needs to be installed on your on-premise server. 

Industry Trend – Save Money 

Increasingly businesses in the UK are moving from desktop and on-premises applications to cloud-based tools. 

Businesses who have deployed a cloud solution (Software as a Service) no longepurchase upgrades. then pay for the professional services required to install them.  These businesses pay a monthly software, hosting and support inclusive sum that includes new releases to include MTD compliance. 

A recent survey suggested that 88% of UK businesses have adopted technology to support some if not all their activities.  This figure includes businesses using Office 365 SaaS and its apps like Share Point and Teams in addition to businesses who are moving their accounting, operational and CRM solutions to a single database cloud ERP like Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS. 

Sage 50 Manufacturing users 

Whilst Sage 50C subscription will provide you with regular accounts updates and annual upgrades you must take the appropriate action to ensure Sage Manufacturing remains compatible by ensuring the relevant service pack is applied.  This will often involve the chargeable services of your Sage business partner and often means that upgrades are not installed thus affecting the return on investment of your Sage 50C subscription costs. 

 

Industry Trend – Bespoke 

Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Business Central does not require ‘bespoke’ interfacing programming to provide industry specific requirements.  The capabilities of modern computing like D365BC means that much more can be achieved with the standard solution.  Additional functionality if required, can be fulfilled by using extensions which extends the core capabilities within the programme rather than relying on maintaining a successful interface between that and an Access programme, for example. 

Moreover, Microsoft hosts AppSource whose purpose is to provide a directory of rigorously tested purpose driven extensions, enabling businesses affordable and timely access to pre-existing extension apps that benefit from updates and new functionality release as part of their subscription terms. 

 

Sage 50 Manufacturing users 

Will have historically commissioned largely Access based programmes that must be kept compatible with the appropriate Sage application. 

These bespoke programmes will have required capital expenditure, taken time to be ready and if future enhancements are required outside of basic compatibility with Sage then these too, will be chargeable. 

If you have commissioned industry specific 3rd party software that writes information into Sage, then please read on. 

There are concerns for Sage 50 users who deploy a bespoke solution to enhance the performance of Sage 50 Accounts and Sage Manufacturing.   

The Technical Stuff

To write information to Sage 50 Accounts, developers need to use SDO (Service Data Objects). 

At the present time – only 32-bit software is made available by Sage UK for SDO.  This is already considered as backwards compatibility 

https://ask.sage.co.uk/scripts/ask.cfg/php.exe/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=32017 

 This has not historically been a problem. 

But in the light of Microsoft’s intention to retire 32-bit software(definitely by the time code named Polaris likely to be Windows 20 is launched if not before) and the lack of announcement from Sage UK that they are going enable 64-bit software for their SDO what do Sage 50 and bespoke solutions users take as a course of action? 

There must be a course of action clearly, unless Sage UK change their SDO provisions regarding relying on anything 32-bit for the long term, integrated business solutions that rely on Sage 50 will become not only vulnerable but ultimately totally redundant and unusable. 

 

Industry Trend Bar Code Data Collection/Shop Floor Data Collection 

The most popular requirement by far from our customers is to deploy bar code data collection.   

Reasons to deploy bar code data collection include: 

  • Improve Stock Control 
  • Save Labour Costs 
  • Streamline Production 
  • Meet your industry compliance regulations 
  • Increase Productivity 
  • Improve traceability 

 

Sage 50 Manufacturing Users 

Due to the lack of roadmap for Sage Manufacturing and the risks of relying on 32-bit technology to write data to Sage, Qi no longer recommends business investment in new Bar Code Data collection enhancements. (We do of course continue to support and enhance pre-existing bespoke solutions) 

To assist our customers who require bar code data collection for the first time and who are still using Sage Manufacturing, we provide access to QiOperation Times on a rental basisuntil the future of Sage Manufacturing becomes clearer (and only Sage UK can provide this clarity) and/or the migration to Dynamics 365 Business Central for example, has been planned.  

 

Thought for the Day 

If you have an immediate need for shop floor data collection, then please contact Qi.  We can share with you the detail of QiOperation Times and what it delivers and discuss the cost of implementation and rental.  If you want to understand more regarding what your journey from Sage 50 Manufacturing might entail and how to make the move to modern computing and away from legacy softwarethen just let us know.   

We can give you an insight into timeframes, costs and benefits.   

Qi is not a ‘hard sell’ organisation (ask our customers).  We treat those who enquire with us as we, as a business would expect to be treated.