ICEweb has nearly 100 Control, Instrumentation, Fire & Gas, Safety Instrumented Systems core pages and a total of more than 300 pages - It Really is Cool Engineering - By Engineers for Engineers it must be just about the World's first choice for Technical Information.

Supplier Resources and Useful Tools

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Finally! A Document Control Solution for OEM's, Fabricators and Suppliers of Process Control Equipment - A Couple of Questions for YOU!!

Have you worked hours on a project document submission for an engineering company only to have it rejected?
Are you getting lost in piles of excel sheets trying to track and maintain all the documentation for a key project?
DocBoss can help as it eliminates the manual work required when managing and submitting documents to Engineering Companies.

DocBoss: The First Resource for PROGRESSIVE COMPANIES

Minimize your Manual Workload on Project Documentation (See the Great Videos on just what this Progressive Software can do by clicking on this Link)
- Submitals (Outbound) - DocBoss creates, and tracks all of your document submittals. Once original documents have been uploaded to the system, they are queued for submission to your customer. DocBoss will append cover pages to every document, containing the document specific information, and using the project specific cover page format. DocBoss creates a transmittal summary document which lists the detail of every document included in the submission package, and provides a CSV file which includes enough data for the customer to upload the file directly into their system.
- Transmittals (Inbound) - Documents returned from the customer are uploaded immediately to DocBoss as ZIP file or an individual PDF. The system will automatically connect each document to the correct register entry. Approved documents are automatically identified, and moved into storage until required for record books, or digital media output. Unapproved documents are queued for additional processing. The user will review the comments from the customer, and identify the required workflow process. Documents are immediately directed into various queues for review by the appropriate personnel.
- Record Books - Record books are often required as part of a document package and can be extremely time consuming to create. There are often situations where, after compiling these books, the customer identifies mistakes, and the Vendor must redo the Record Book! DocBoss makes those issues disappear. The user designates which documents are to be included in each record book as well as their order and grouping. DocBoss creates the Record Book with one click.
- Quotation Tools - When you are preparing a large equipment bid, it is useful to identify the volume of work required to execute the document approval process. DocBoss has a full quote generation component, allowing you to define exactly the document supply included in your proposal. Beyond any labor cost recovery, it provides an excellent mechanism to avoid misunderstandings post award. Quotes in DocBoss account for document management fees (based on the number of documents being managed, the number of printed pages being requested, the number and size of record books required), as well as the initial manufacturer charges (price to create the source document). The presentation of this data has been massaged over time, and represents the cleanest presentation of fees available for documentation. DocBoss includes a full document register with specific references to every required document and document code.
- Internal Workflow - Efficient handling of unapproved documents is important to ensure rapid turnaround.
- Web Based Software - The application is hosted in the cloud and there is no software to install or manage. You simply point your web browser to our site, log in to the account provided and you are online with all of the document management processes you need. Of special interest to your customers, DocBoss allows you to provide web access to your customers.
- Document Register - A complete overview of your project is available in the document status window. At any time, a copy of the full document register, including all of the transmittal history for every document can be supplied to the customer. As a supervisor, the interface also allows you to identify potential issues in the supply of the project.
- Document Library - While many documents are generated in the course of manufacturing, there are always more general documents required. These include instruction manuals and procedures controlled in the organization. In DocBoss, documents that are NOT unique for the project are called Published Documents and are managed in the document library.
- Integration - As part of the standard package, DocBoss supports CSV uploads for your order information. Order data (models and tags) is required to accurately build the document register, and specific document references. Also included is an enterprise connector option that allows users to synchronize directly to your business system.


Databook Engine - Databooks are often a requirement of your document submission package and can be extremely time consuming to create, especially when there are corrections and you need to re-do the whole book. Databook Engine is a cloud-based solution that takes your approved documents and easily generates the final books required for submittal. Once complete a single PDF of your record book is available, complete with bookmarks, hyperlinks, a table of contents, and the appropriate layout for every unique customer.

Email and Work Management for Businesses and Teams - This useful software prioritizes workload right within your email, you can see a full transaction history and also integrate with other business processes. All data is organized around the record. A record is similar to an old, paper based, accordion style file folder, and as you may expect, each tab of a record contains a specific data subset. This means that you can now easily track down all emails and documents related to any transaction and find out why an order was held up or not delivered ... the ‘history’ is all in one place.

Coming Soon - Proposium is a solution that creates professional and more polished proposals; important in an industry with larger bid requirements. By pulling data directly from your current quote system, a complete and formal proposal is generated.

Coming Soon - Ingredient - Instant descriptions for complex model numbers - Model numbers for process control equipment are often a long jumble of letters and numbers. Every position in the model numbers has a set of acceptable characters, each representing a different value. Creating descriptions for these model numbers (one line per segment) is laborious and error prone. Not with Ingredient!


Bid / Quotation Preparation

How to Prepare a Successful Bid - Sloppy or incomplete proposals will be automatically tossed out of the running. Closely study the specifications of the request for proposal or invitation to bid before responding, ensure your document meets all of the requirements and take pains to provide the number of copies of your proposal requested. When it comes to determining your bid price, include the cost of materials, labor, overhead, packaging and transportation. Also, be prepared to support your quote with facts and figures if the client requests a cost analysis - from bankrate.com

The following are from the IT Toolbox
Preparing a Bid/No Bid Matrix - Craig Borysowich - The purpose of this task is to evaluate the important factors relating to the opportunity and make a bid decision.
Deliverable: Proposal Bid/No-Bid Analysis - Craig Borysowich - The Bid/No-Bid Analysis documents the criteria used to determine the bid decision.
Project Size and Complexity Form - Craig Borysowich
Deliverable: Proposal Win Strategy - Craig Borysowich - The Win Strategy documents the approach and strategy to put the Company in a winning position with the customer. It addresses requirements, costs, proposal appearance and presentation style, and proposal themes.

Pricing, Quotations, and Terms - Proper pricing, complete and accurate quotations, choosing the terms of the sale, and selecting the payment method are four critical elements in selling a product or service overseas. Of the four, pricing can be the most problematic, even for an experienced exporter - from unzco


Business Process Management

Five Ways Best in Class Companies are Improving Customer Satisfaction - On Demand Webinar -So you want your business to be customer centric? All it takes is a good customer relationship management (CRM) system and an active social media presence, right? Wrong! Join us for a 60-minute webcast and learn why it’s critical to focus your efforts on the back office—where products are built, services are provisioned, quality is managed, and costs are reduced. You’ll hear about five proven enterprise resource planning (ERP) techniques that can help you; Deliver more value to customers, Empower your people and increase collaboration, Strengthen your customers’ loyalty and earn more business. Don’t miss this discussion as we will debunk myths and share tips you can use to transform your customer experience. You have to register to access.
How To Achieve a Great and Profitable Customer Experience - Read this first of four reports based on a global survey of executives on customer experience management, as well as interviews of SAP customers and industry influencers and analysts - from Bloomberg and Slideshare.net.
BPM Institute - Many BPM papers and other articles can be found on this website
Business Process Management (BPM) Definition and Solutions - Mark Cooper and Paul Patterson - Business Process Management (BPM) topics covering definition, objectives, systems and solutions - from CIO.


Document Control

Risky Business - Mark Goodwin, in a recent article on E&P Magazine’s website on Effective Document Control being the key to Capital Project success, stated the following. “Fifteen years ago, only 10% of large oil and gas projects ran more than 50% over budget; in 2011 this figure had doubled to 20%, according to a Schlumberger Business Consulting report. One reason for this is a failure to put in place adequate document control practices.” This article describes how document control is about the processes and that it is not to be confused with document management, which is the mechanics of creating, reviewing, storing, and publishing documents. It addresses the fact that successful document control processes can allocate risk and control the project’s value chain, help develop multi-contractual packages, integrate the requirements of the project management and engineering teams, ensure regulatory compliance, and create an auditable record of what was sent, to whom, when, for what purpose, and in what context.

What do you do? - Many years ago, near the end of a job interview, the interviewer asked me “How many people I had worked for?” I wondered for a moment if he was serious before calmly answering, “Two”. Seeing the puzzled look on his face, I proceeded to explain that one of the ‘two people’ I worked for knew exactly what I did and the other did not. Since neither of these two people received complaints from any of our clients about the work I did, both individuals supported me 100%. He smiled, wrote down my response, and offered me the job. Although the job was not for a Document Controller position, the DC role is often misunderstood and some Document Controllers might sometimes feel they work for one of these people. Some managers do not know exactly what a Document Control Specialist does and perhaps consider the role to be 99% clerical work. What a put down!.

Is this the Latest Doc? - Integrity of our documents is important for many reasons. Reviews and updates might make changes to a specification for example that might correct an otherwise erroneous set of instructions, calibration or other data. It is therefore important that people who use the documents we control have access to the most current version before using the document. For those projects where the people using the project documents we control can easily access them electronically, there are solutions available today. 

Protecting Integrity - Microsoft released Word for Windows in 1989 at about $500 a copy and the product has quickly become a desktop standard for many computer users as their offline tool of choice for writing documents. Many companies have invested in MS Word and other products for publishing manuals and brochures. Many of these products have made their way to our desktops since that time and Document Controllers became proficient users of them. All of these applications allow us and our business partners to create electronic documents but we often find reason to make a printed copy of many of the documents we create or receive. While we can digitize most documents for use online today, there will be a time when we will see the majority of publications in digital form, never to make it to paper copy.

Grinding to a Halt - Many Document Controllers use solutions that have evolved over time and people continue to use them because they are adept with Excel, Word, Adobe and other good tools. When is the time to stop, assess the situation and move on to using a different approach for reasons that include over work, lost documents, unknown status and processes that need too much manual work? At some point and, perhaps in the middle of a large project your company could take on, yesterday’s solution might ‘grind to a halt’. We can nurse these ‘solutions’ along for years but eventually we will affect the progress of the project team when our familiar system fails us and we cannot easily provide status on a document or find it after we issued it for review. We can’t plan around these situations but we all have seen them before. Today, everybody on the project team has access to a computer and wants to know the status of documents they need to use. Yesterday’s systems cannot provide timely enough information for these people and lack of timely information will hurt us.

Using Paper Docs? - There is a growing trend towards digitization of information being a major contributor to reduced demand for paper. In a Pulp & Paper International magazine survey of young adults, only half believe paper is still necessary. This article addresses the move from paper to electronic versions of documents.

New to Document Control? - The entry of new people to the Document Controller profession was the topic of recent discussion in the LinkedIn Document Control Specialist group. Comments focused on the level of training and experience one should have before their peers consider them a true Document Controller. The overwhelming comment was that some managers view “Document Control” as a clerical function that anyone can do with little training. Document Control specialists who weighed in on the discussions assert that it takes several years on the job to become proficient.

Ride Herd on your Documents - Many project documents are more numerous and some new projects are ready to give your Document Controllers a rough ride. The processes and procedures many Document Controllers use to stay on top of the raging torrent of paper and electronic documents are sometimes not enough. Having the right tools to do the job, like the well experienced and equipped bull-buster, can save the day. 

Outside the Box - It is important to recognize that certain processes are mandatory to provide effective document control. The document control practice is best done through tools do not need to be ‘tweaked’ in order to handle the next job, perhaps one larger than a company has taken on before, to deliver document control services. The Document Control professionals can then apply their skills to controlling documents and other aspects of the project where their skills are needed. The need not spend their valuable time being the desktop application mechanic to ensure continued functionality of tools that allow them to make those excursions outside the box.

Vendor Document Management is Different and Different is OK! - In the normal development of an organization, as the number of files grow, administrators create structure and rules to handle files – naming protocols, storage locations, file groupings, folder creation rules, revision handling etc. As more documents clog the system, the rules intensify. More time is required to train users, police compliance, fight for buy-in, and fix mistakes. More users start wanting access to various files, which sets off another round for training, policing and mistakes. Eventually, the system becomes unsupportable. The rules take too much time away from users, and administrators start to lose the compliance battle as users start taking work offline. When we consider vendor documentation on capital projects, even the most robust document management systems face new challenges.

Building the Vendor Document Register - We believe there is a very easy and consistent way to create vendor document registers. While DocBoss automates this process for our customers, it is a straightforward method you can use independently.

5 Questions to Ask Your Document Control System - As a supplier you rely heavily on your project document process to keep organized and on top of critical projects and timelines. What if you could be spending less time manually creating, tracking and submitting documents and more time on writing proposals writing proposals, designing and managing projects – instead of managing paperwork?? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself about your current system that will help you identify if you could benefit from a better process.

How Many Does it Take? - How do we determine how many Document Controllers it takes to staff a project. In some senses, this question does not have an empirical answer but it is common to see document control groups follow similar practices to Project Managers when they are trying to determine project resource requirements.

What Do You Do? - Many years ago, near the end of a job interview, the interviewer asked me “How many people I had worked for?” I wondered for a moment if he was serious before calmly answering, “Two”. Seeing the puzzled look on his face, I proceeded to explain that one of the ‘two people’ I worked for knew exactly what I did and the other did not. Since neither of these two people received complaints from any of our clients about the work I did, both individuals supported me 100%. He smiled, wrote down my response, and offered me the job. Although the job was not for a Document Controller position, the DC role is often misunderstood and some Document Controllers might sometimes feel they work for one of these people.


Enterprise Resource Planning

Enterprise Resource Planning - Get a full description of just what it is from Wikipeda.
ERP Definition and Solutions - Christopher Koch and Thomas Wailgum -  ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Topics - covering definition, objectives, systems and solutions - from CIO.  
Is On-Premise ERP Standardisation Holding your Business Back? - Today, every organisation needs to perform at its best if it’s to compete effectively. This is just as true for subsidiaries and divisions as it is for corporate HQ. Yet all too often, the move to standardise core systems such as ERP make it more difficult and costs increase when they should go down, reaction times slow when they should be accelerating and support becomes stretched just when you need it most. Fortunately there’s a better way. Subsidiaries of global enterprises all over the world are moving their ERP to the cloud.
SYSPRO is a fully-integrated business software solution that provides complete control over the planning and management of all facets of business including accounting, manufacturing and distribution operations in a variety of industries.
ERP Implementation - The Traps - Neville Turbit - ERP implementations are littered with tales of lost millions and withdrawals after implementation. Many of the most experienced IT organisations have failed. So what are the secrets? What are the traps? This question could produce at least a book, and probably a sequel. Here are a few things the Vendor is not going to tell you about. They are by no means the most important, but they are missed in many implementations - from Project Perfect.
Internal Controls, Fraud Detection and ERP - Recently the SEC adopted Section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act. This law requires each annual report of a company to contain; (a) A statement of management's responsibility for establishing and maintaining an adequate internal controls. (b) Management's assessment of the effectiveness of the company's internal control structure and procedures for financial reporting. (c) The company's auditor to attest to, and report on management's assessment of the effectiveness of the company's internal controls and procedures Sarbanes Oxley requires that internal controls be extensively documented and this is a significant exercise. This brief review will look at some issues that should be considered in setting up internal controls in an ERP environment - from Seradex.
Successful ERP Implementation the First Time - R. Michael Donovan - When ERP implementations fail to deliver, it’s usually because management hasn’t taken the time to structure the organization to take advantage of these systems.
10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Midmarket ERP Solution - The seas of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) are vast, and navigating the rocky waters of the current market is no simple task. The many midmarket ERP vendors all want your company’s business — in fact, Boston-based AMR Research calls it a “buyer’s market” — and they will try their best to dazzle you with spectacular product demos and enticing promises of a smooth-sailing deployment. Don’t be fooled. Midmarket ERP offerings may be scaled down to meet the requirements particular to midmarket companies, but that doesn’t change the inherently complex — and expensive — nature of enterprisewide technology that links together many disparate business processes. To make sure that you choose wisely when committing to an ERP solution, ask at least these 10 questions when researching vendors and their products - from Inside ERP.
Midmarket ERP Solutions Checklist - What to ask before you buy Enterprise Resource Planning software. Before you commit to any ERP system, you should first answer several questions about what your organization needs and wants to accomplish with its ERP strategy. The answers will help you determine which applications and what kind of functionality your organization requires from its ERP solution, as well as go a long way toward easing the implementation process - from Inside ERP.


Instrumentation and Control Sales Engineering, Training and Certification

Job Description of a Sales Engineer - - Sales engineers give technical sales presentations, answer technical questions from potential clients, provide technical and sales information to marketing, attend trade show conferences and analyze and compare product technical features. Sales engineers must often do a considerable amount of traveling. Sales engineers also meet via video teleconferencing. Sales engineers must find sales leads or evaluate the best sales leads from a list- from Ehow.
Sales Engineer Competencies - A typical range of competencies required - from Caliper
Project Sales Manager Competency Assessment - This is an excellent example which details what units are required along with the skills and experience profile - from mubeena.net.
Measurement Control & Automation Sales Professional Training and Certification - This program has been developed by the Measurement, Control & Automation Association in partnership with Catalyst Performance Learning.  CPCA members receive MCAA member rates.  This is an online based, self-paced program which permits candidates to learn at their own speed.  Monthly reinforcement webinars are included in the program.  The CPCA Board of Directors believes that a focused and impartial third party certification process for salespeople will benefit the control and automation industry.  The program involved MCAA member companies, recognized industry experts and professional sales training providers to assemble the educational programs that provide the required expertise to ensure an instrument and controls salesperson’s competency.  The four basic areas of expertise they identified are; Sales skills and process, basic technology knowledge, understanding of primary process industries and knowledge of primary industry applications.


Business Budgeting Tools

12 Best Tools for Budgeting - Tools you can use to build your annual budget. Planning for the future is an essential piece to the survival of your business. At the beginning of each year, you should have a sense of where money is going to come in from and where you're going to spend it. To this end, putting together an annual budget can help you determine whether you have enough money to fund operations, expand the business and generate income. The annual budget process can be an onerous task so here are 12 tools to keep it efficient - from inc.com
Best Practices for Planning and Budgeting - This white paper focuses on best practices that will enable companies to transform the planning cycle into an evolutionary process, bringing tangible and intangible returns for the organization and leadership back into the finance department. You can improve business management through the application and adherence of budgeting and planning best practices. Read on to learn the twelve best practices that have been adopted by leading companies - from PROPHIX.
Budgeting Best Practices - This article discusses techniques to increase the accuracy and utility of the budget through implementing budgeting best practices which will minimize the effort required from all participants. Specific recommendations are to plan and review at a higher level than is traditional, create a process efficient enough to be conducted quarterly, and ensure spending can be tracked against the budget - from Minotaur Financial.


Tracking Inventories

How to Track Inventory - - Keeping track of inventory is definitely not one of the most enjoyable parts of running a product business. It requires hard manual work (lifting, moving, counting), paperwork and a whole lot of time spent behind a computer. The good news is that once you finally do establish your inventory tracking system, your business will become much more efficient. You will be able to track trends in sales and returns, you'll know when is the ideal time to order or manufacture more products, and you will be able to put together your year-end financial statements and summaries more quickly - from EHow


Instrument and Control Tradeshows

For a list of Conferences and Tradeshows see ICEnews, Just scroll to the end of the latest newsletter.


Instrument, Measurement, Control and Automation Trade Organisations

The Measurement, Control & Automation Association is the national trade association representing leading manufacturers and distributors of instrumentation, systems and software used in industrial process control and factory automation around the world. Member companies include the leading multi-national companies together with a range of more niche-oriented providers. MCAA helps the management teams of process and factory automation product and solution providers run and grow successful businesses by offering timely, unique and highly specialized resources acquired from shared management benchmarks and strategies where proprietary company information is secure. MCAA serves members by delivering the reliable management data they need to succeed, by providing unique peer and customer networking/education opportunities and by offering a network of industry resources to help them solve their most critical business problems.
Canadian Process Control Association - The only trade association for the instrumentation and automation industry in Canada, the Canadian Process Control Association promotes the industry and its members to customers, academia and public bodies; provides a forum to exchange technical, industry and regulatory information; develops industry statistics; and, encourages professional and ethical behavior and quality standards among its members.


Quality Assurance and Quality Control

Quality Assurance vs Quality Control - Quality Assurance is process oriented and focuses on defect prevention; while quality control is product oriented and focuses on defect identification - from Diffen.
What are Quality Assurance (QA) System Standards? - Quality assurance standards (or QA for short) are a set of standards that have been chosen and implemented by businesses all around the world to show commitment to delivering quality products and services to customers - from QualityAssurance.com.au
Preventing Quality Problems - Quality assurance, in its broadest sense, is any action taken to prevent quality problems from occurring. In practice, this means devising systems for carrying out tasks which directly affect product quality. To implement systems for an organisation, you need to carry out three basic steps: first develop the system; second, document it (this takes the form of policies, procedures, and reference information); and third, inform, instruct, and train staff to use it - from HCI.