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M.I.D.S.T.T.  User Documentation

Manufacturing, Inventory, Documentation, Safety, Training

  1. Introduction
  2. Terms
  3. Edit Your Own Help Files
  4. Barcodes (optional)
  5. General Screen and Controls Useage 
  6. Initial Setup 
    To be completed before moving to operational
  1. Settings
  2. Contacts
  3. Warehouses
  4. Locations
  5. Companies
  6. Items
  7. Formulas / Recipes / BOM
  1. Operational Function Screens
  1. Purchase Orders & Receiving (PO)
  2. Manufacturing Orders / Job Shop
  3. Sales Order & Shipping
  1. Maintenance (Inventory,  Lots, etc)
  1. Inventory
  2. Lots
  1. Reports


Introduction

MIDST is a complete operations solution for manufacturing companies - MIDST can handle everything from creating POs   to allowing customers to order online - and all the manufacturing,  inventory, safety, training, documentation , and hundreds of options in-between.  

MIDST is completely developed in the ListForms system which means anyone can use it and moderately knowledgeable non-programmers can extend it by adding their own screens or modifying existing one.  Since EVERY ‘client company’  has complete access to their own database and the tools to make that easy, more sophisticated associates can add complete new systems or radically alter the existing one.

With ListForms and MIDST, you always own and have access to your own data which can be access via database application and even programs such as MS Excel.  


Terms :

PO, MO, SO, TO  : Purchase order , manufacturing order, sale (or ship) order, transfer order

container : a mechanism for holding other items or containers.  Can be pallets, totes, boxes, etc.

batch : new material created at the same time, same item, same lot, and a defined quantity.

intermediates : product that is manufactured for use in yet another internal manufacturing process


Edit Your Own Help Fileshelp2.jpg

Summary : MIDST provides help files, which can usually be reached by pressing the “Help” button in the upper right part of the screen.  MIDST, or more accurate ListForms, allows users to edit their own help files.


Barcodes

Barcode Printing

In order to accommodate the maximum number of user situations , we have created a free Google spreadsheet program that actually prints the labels. Google spreadsheets are free and online, requiring no external program to be loaded, work with just about any office printer,  and , if your printer is "unusual" you can easily change the online spreadsheet to work with virtually any printer.

First Time - 2 Minutes Setup

1) If you don't have a Google account (often called a gmail account) , create one and logon.

2) Click on this link : https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ifM4Nw0iuTlfkiGW87yDiH6cL9NhNfnztaVmVtEHIaY/edit?usp=sharing

and the "shared" version of the barcode spreadsheet will be displayed.   Save you version by selecting "File" and "Make a copy..."  .

You may call it any name you would like.  Select the "3 Column Barcode" tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet.

3) Copy the url (web address) of the newly saved spreadsheet  ( this is YOUR copy of the spreadsheet - and you can share with whomever you like) .

3) With the spreadsheet open, also open MIDSTT.

4) Go to MIDSTT "Settings" page (reached from main page) and copy the URL of the spreadsheet into the field called

"URL (web link) to YOUR copy of Google Sheet Barcode Printing spreadsheet". Then set both the "nextlot", and "lastlot" to 10,001, and 10,000.

5) Submit and save the changes to "Setting", then go back to the main page and select the Admin, 'Database Access'.

6) Note the Server, Port, and database name from "Server Information" to the spreadsheet. And the Username and password from "Read-Only Credentials"

7) Go to the MIDSTT NonSeqential tab on the spreadsheet and copy the vales from above into the corresponding fields on the spreadsheet.

8) Close the spreadsheet.

To print labels - in 30 seconds or less

1) From the MIDSTT main page, select "Print Barcode Labels"

2) The "Location labels" option will print the labels for the location already entered into MIDSTT.

3) Unlike Location Labels, Lot Labels are actual printed BEFORE the lot exists, and are actually scanned into MIDSTT at the time or receipt or manufacture in order to create the lot. Because of that, MIDSTT remembers the number of the last lot label you printed and and the new print run starts from there. In other words, all you have to know is how many new labels you want to print.

4) After selecting the Locations or Lots selection and entering the quantity of labels, if printing lot labels, then press submit.

5) The next screen provides the hot link to the the spreadsheet and labels

6) The '3 Columns Barcode ' tab will show the created barcodes.

7) With the labels (Office supply 30 labels per sheet, 2.625 wide by 1 inch) in your printer  

      Highlight the labels you want to print,  

      Press "ctrl P" , or "Print" from the spreadsheet File Menu.

      Select options "Selection",  "No grdlines", "Actual Size" and "Portrait"

      Press the "Print" button and the labels will print.  

Barcode Reading

Barcodes are a great way to ensure accuracy and reduce labor cost of data collection - but they are almost always "optional" . ACCURATE typing yields the same result as a barcode scan. Labels , with or without the barcodes, are NOT optional , at least not optional on inventory items.

Fortunately barcode printing and scanning is now available on any budget. As the 'Barcode Printing' section showed, barcodes are now as cheap as office mailing label stock.   Barcode scanning MAY be as cheap as free and , depending on the situation, can range to many hundreds of dollars.

Barcode reading can take three different routes -

 1) Barcode scanning using a smartphone or tablet. Scanning is as simple as pushing a button but has limited reading range range (8 to 12 inches).

 

 2) Scanning using a Bluetooth scanner.  A scanner is "paired" to the browser device (PC, smartphone, tablet)  and then just pull the trigger to scan.  These devices can be $50 or less for short range scanners , under two feet,  to many hundred dollars for long range scanners.

 3) Using an "all-in-one" barcode scanner  AND browser device.  This combines a permanently linked browser device and scanner. These can range from under a thousand to several thousand dollars.

This section will cover the first case, using a smartphone to scan barcodes.  This approach uses software on a smartphone or tablet  (at the time of this writing, iPhone's barcode scanning did not work within a browser and cannot be recommended).

Software scanners on a smartphone use the on board camera. To activate, typically, the user only has to select a text field on the web page , or any place the keyboard normally pops up. On the on-screen keyboard is typically a special key with a bar code symbol on it. To scan the barcode the camera is pointed at, all you have to do is press the barcode button.

There are free products available , we have had good luck with "Tec-it" which costs about $3.99 per phone. (note : easier NOT to install the Demo version of Tec-it first) .  It is easily available on "Google Play".   We do NOT recommend the reffe version and suggest you NOT install it as it makes installing the $3.99 version more difficult to install.


tec-it.png


General Screen and Controls Useage

Typical Screen Operations  

https://youtu.be/UYUXfiTYMMQ

A  ListForms screen typically consists of three parts :

  1. The header, which include the log on the left and the “Home” button on the right (Home button takes you back to the next logical function)









  2. THe “Submit” button which is always pressed AFTER the data on the screen looks correct. It sends, or attempts to send the data on the screen to the proper database location

  1. The body, which includes all the “controls” such as textboxes, dropdown boxes, buttons, hyperlinks,etc. and where the real work is completed.

Typical screen ‘controls’ and useage

The various text boxes, buttons, images, labels, etc that appear on a ListForms screen are called “controls”.  Here are the typical “controls”

button : an area on the screen that, when pressed, causes an action to occur.   THe button may have an image for its background  or text.

    or  

labels : text that is displayed on the screen but cannot be changed by the user

textbox : a box area on the screen that allows the user to type in text or numbers


hyperlinks : hyperlink are text, characterized by blue underlined text, that when clicked links to another location.

dropbox : a dropbox has a list of options from which the user may choose.  THe ListForms dropbox allows the user to press the “down arrow” and get a list of ALL the items in the list   - or to type in any text and only the the items in the list that contain what the user type remain in the list. The typed in letters do NOT have to be the first letters of the text.


A dropbox forces the user to ONLY select one of the items already in the lists.  THe list can be accessed by pressing the arrow on the right side of the box OR ...

...by typing part of the text in a row you are looking for will cause only matching rows to be displayed.

combobox : a combobox is  like a dropdown box but the combobox allows the user to add a new item to the list. THis is done by pressing the “+” ( plus sign) on the right side of the box.

date field : clicking on the inside of a date  field makes a calendar popup and the user can then select the date

radio button :  ‘radio buttons’ are typically one or more choices where only one of the choices is possible at a time.   - for instance ‘yes’ OR ‘no,  or ‘a’ OR ‘b’  OR ‘c’.  THe choice , being activated by pressing the empty circle by the choice, causes all other choices NOT to be selected.

checkbox : A checkbox allows the user to simultaneously select as many options as presented - or none at all


MIDST Main Page

For most users, the MIDST main page looks something like this.


Settings

Summary : Settings is the core information for all MIDST operations.  It is the first page that need to be complete. 

debugTF :  Default is ‘F’.  If set to ‘T’  (true) then additional information messages will be displayed

ourcompany : the name of your company

title, first last  : Mr. ,Mrs,  Dr., Dave Miller  212 Suburban Drive , etc   title of the main contact for the business

logo : the url of a logo to use on pages and printouts

sessionnum : set to 0 at startup.  THis is used internerally.

poprefix, moprefix, soprefix, toprefix,lotprefix , containerprefix : zero or more alpha-numberic  characters are place on the front of the nextorder

nextorder,nextlot, nextcontact, nextcompany, nextcontainer : recommend setting to 10,000 at startup.  It is used , and incremented, to for PO, MO, SO, lot, etc

googleimagekey :

Your Google Drive account can be used to provide images to ListForms - with a little setup.  They will NOT work by simply using the link provided by Google Drive.

  1. Create a Drive folder and share it as “Public on the Web”,  anyone can view.
  2. Record the link to the folder -something like this
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BztQMyFQCoSZZnNGdkxRaGh2TkE&usp=sharing
  3. Record the key which is between  “?id=” and “&usp”, in this case  
       
    0BztQMyFQCoSZZnNGdkxRaGh2TkE
    NOTE : THIS KEY MAY ALSO BE  STORED IN “settings” table, “googleimagekey” column
  4. Replace  “[[key]]” with the key from step 3, and replace [[imagename]] with image name   “http://googledrive.com/host/[[key]]/[[imagename]]l
  5. In this case the complete url would be : http://googledrive.com/host/0BztQMyFQCoSZZnNGdkxRaGh2TkE/add2.png
  6. Use that URL as the image

This link can be used in straight HTML or via customHTML via  formBuilder


Contacts

Summary :  Contacts is where every “persons” (our company , vendors, customers, etc)  information is stored

If new, ‘New’ - else to edit select a ‘Existing’.  If you select ‘New’  a new id will be automatically created.

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Storage :

Warehouses

Summary : MIDST storage consists of warehouses  which are then divided into locations.  Containers/Pallets are also storage assigned to a warehouse -location  , but are ‘dynamically created and destroyed”  as used .  MIDST Warehouses are “logical” warehouses  that may or may not line up with real physical warehouses.  In general you will want at least one “receiving , shipping, manufacturing, and storage warehouse.  If you have areas that require different temperatures, humidity, etc - then each of those should also be separate warehouses.

Warehouses : to edit a warehouse, select it from teh list  and to create a new one , press the “+” key to the right.  We recommend that this be limited to no more than 2 characters long - and any more description be put in e the “description” field.

Type : select the type storage .  The choice in this field are adjustable.

Security : Unless you have specific security requirements leave this as ‘None’.   The choice in this field are adjustable.

Status : Allows for certain entire warehouses to be put on hold, etc.

Locations

Summary : Locations are further division of space within a warehouse.  

Warehouse :  Select the warehouse the location will be in.

Location : If this is an existing location, select the down arrow  - if a new location, select the ‘+’.   We recommend this be no more than 4 characters long

Status :  Good, Hold, Other  - Default to  ‘Good’

Security : Not currently used.

Temperature : Select the temperature that best describes location

Type  :Bin = normal storage for floor or racks,  Bulk is tanks and other large storage , Pickface  is a location that generally holds less than a pallet and is refilled a little at a time.   Default to  Bin

Max Weight - how much weight can the location hold


Companies

Summary :


Purchase Orders

Purchase


Manufacturing Orders / Job Shop

Summary : This screen uses recipes created in “Formulas” screen to take raw materials and convert them into finished product (or intermediates)  or a Manufacturing Order (mo).  This created material is called a ‘batch’, defined by item, lot and quantity.   The quantities used in a recipe are recommendations - not absolute.

New or Existing : If this is an existing MO , select the down arrow  - if a new MO, select the ‘+’ , and a new MO number will be automatically created.

Order : Select the MO  if existing, the system will create a new one if ‘new’.  IF you are creating a new MO and have a new MO number from another system you may enter it here.

Select the recipe : this is the recipe, formula, work order, etc created in the Formula screens. and it will be used to instruct on items to pick and produce.

Previously Processed Items On Manufacturing Order :   IF this is an existing order - any previously completed work will show up here

===============


Repeated Groups   *** NOTE the ‘Type’ decides which fields will be displayed.  ****

Type : Ingredient - an item going in to the batch. Process - non-inventoried items such as labor, machinery, etc.  Products - inventory being produced.

******

Type=’Ingredient    

Description and Unit of Measure : Displays the ingredients

Request Qty : the recommeded TOTAl qunatity of this item to be used for this recipe

Quantity : WH : Loc : Pallet : Lot >> Select inventory *  -:   displays the list of available inventory , sorted with the oldest (and recommended lots) first.  Select the row desired.


Actual Qty : is how much form the above row to use in the recipe.

Copy:  If the quantity needed is not available in the row selected - press copy and select additonal rows as needed.

****

Type - ‘Process’

Same as above BUT a process has no inventory so the ‘Quantity : WH : Loc : Pallet : Lot >> Select inventory *  ’  will be empty.

*****

Type - ‘Product’

Since this is CREATION of new inventory , Quantity : WH : Loc : Pallet : Lot >> Select inventory * will be blank.    

New Lot# : since this is a new lot we are producing we need to enter a new lot #.

Actual qty : How much did we produced.

Warehouse: which warehouse will this be initially stored in

Location : which locations will this inventory initially be stored in

Pallet : any pallet this is stored on

***********************

Status Open  / Close : Close when completely done with the order.  After once marked as Close the order will no longer be available for editing.