New Sage Line 500 interim release ideal for manufacturing companies

Johannesburg, 31 May 2005
Read time 4min 10sec

Softline Enterprise has shipped an updated set of components aimed at manufacturing companies, for Sage Line 500 v5.5, its flagship ERP solution.

The components are bundled in a set called Enhancement Release 1 (ER1), the first roll-out in a new strategy designed to enable vertical industries to benefit from focused updates as soon as they are ready.

According to Ashley Ellington, Director: Africa at Softline Enterprise, this new strategy means that though Softline Enterprise will continue to deliver major product releases, it will be able to ship valuable new functionality in the interim. "As the name suggests, these releases offer enhancements to an existing Sage Line 500 product, with minimal impact because it is not necessary to perform a major system upgrade."

While much of the functionality within Softline Enterprise's Sage Line 500 v5.5 ER1 is particularly beneficial for manufacturing businesses, there are benefits for other industry sectors offering enterprise-wide business information and management control.

"Sage Line 500 v5.5 ER1 contains enhancements to core elements of the software as well as four brand new modules providing an advanced manufacturing suite in the form of a production scheduling system; product management; works order-less production and a manufacturing extension pack," says Ellington.

The new production scheduling system helps manufacturing businesses manage the simultaneous planning of material, capacity and other constraints, while responding rapidly to changes. This out-of-the-box solution can be implemented quickly and cost-effectively.

The product management module is a powerful tool for controlling parts, from initial introduction, throughout their lifecycle to planned obsolescence. The system also provides audit data to support BS5750 and ISO 9000 accreditation.

It can also generate optimum phase-out/phase-in dates, helping to reduce inventory costs. The mass replace option enables changes across the product range to be implemented swiftly, while the re-build feature can recreate a bill of material quickly if a spare part needs to be made to an older version.

The new works order-less production is designed for environments where products are built to schedules rather than the traditional works order creation and release process. A function of this module is that as finished goods are shipped, the components that were used to create them are automatically depleted from stock.

It allows a user to specify the quantity of a product that is to be built, and then automatically explodes the bill of materials to calculate the components required. Shortages are identified and quantity adjustments can be made.

Works order-less production can be used as the main production recording facility or can run alongside Sage Line 500 Works Orders to support mixed-mode manufacturing processes.

Furthermore, Sage Line 500 v5.5 ER1 boasts an advanced manufacturing suite which includes enhanced works order documentation to print the works order including assembly details, components and routings; an aggregate bill of materials report which explodes a bill of materials to show component totals, where a common component is used in many sub-assemblies; a multi-location stock drill-down enquiry facility which enables a company-wide enquiry on the Sage Line 500 batch file, showing all batches of stock across all warehouses, as well as several other crucial manufacturing data tools.

Sage Line 500 v5.5 ER1 also provides benefits to clients who may not be in the manufacturing industry, with enhancements to the Sage Universal Client, Sage Paperless and Sage Business Intelligence.

Sage Universal Client v1.0 offers enhancements over the current Sage Line 500 Web Client with much of the functionality preciously only available in the standard Windows-based client. Further Enhancement Releases will close this functionality gap completely; the Web Client has been renamed to 'Universal Client' in recognition that it will, over time, become the deployment method of choice for most customers.

Sage Paperless v4.5 provides the ability to send Sage Line 500 reports to a wide variety of media other than just a printer - including e-mail, fax and .pdf document formats. The time-saving and efficiency benefits of this approach are clear; this Enhancement Release also provides improved usability, management and security.

Sage Business Intelligence v4.1 is key to making better-informed business decisions. Sage Business Intelligence (SageBI) was first introduces with Sage Line 500 v5.5 and incorporates standard reporting templates covering Sales Order Processing, General Ledger and Purchasing Order Processing. Based on feedback from customers, a number of enhancements have been made to allow easier reporting of Sage Line 500 data, particularly data associated with the General Ledger.

Softline Enterprise

Softline Enterprise is a leading supplier of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions, delivering performance and Web capability that is essential for success in today's competitive business environment. Addressing finance, distribution, manufacturing, services and e-business requirements, the product offering also supports and consolidates activity across expanding business needs. Available on a wide range of operating systems and compatible with a host of industry leading databases, it gives mid-range and larger organisations the reliability and scalability required to keep ahead of competitors.

Softline Enterprise products are supported through a network of accredited partners which bring together the individual product and service components to deliver a complete and tailored solution.

Softline Enterprise products include:

Line 500 - offering all the advantages of a traditional ERP solution, Line 500 provides tight financial control with full visibility of costs and powerful reporting tools. In addition, it includes an evaluation of market trends to assist customers to make informed strategic decisions. The product also manages cash flow through close budget control and efficient purchase requisitioning and supports international business with multi-language, multi-currency, multi-company features. It includes vertical solutions such as manufacturing and retail.

SalesLogix - an affordable, fully scaleable and powerful CRM solution that is easily customised for medium-sized and divisions of large corporate businesses. Sales Logix is designed to integrate seamlessly with other business software and back office applications, providing customers with a holistic view of each customer.


Softline is a leading provider of accounting, payroll and CRM software solutions to small, medium and large companies. Founded in 1988 by Ivan Epstein, Alan Osrin and Steven Cohen, Softline was established during the formative years of the software industry and listed on the JSE Securities Exchange South Africa in February 1997.

Softline expanded to establish a strong position within its area of focus in SA and Australia.

Focused on the development of accounting, payroll and CRM software solutions, Softline has been a market-leader for 16 years. The group has a broad range of products offering users a variety of software solutions to run their businesses efficiently. Softline's leading brands include Softline Accpac, Softline Enterprise, Softline Pastel (Accounting and Payroll) and Softline VIP. The combination of the group's product offerings, provide Softline customers with comprehensive, well-branded accounting, payroll and CRM software solutions.

In November 2003, Softline was acquired by Sage Group plc, an established FTSE 100 company. The group includes market-leading businesses throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia, supplying business software to the small, medium and large sized business community.

Softline has a solid track record of profitability and cash generation. The group delivers quality accounting, payroll and CRM software solutions that improve the efficiencies of businesses around the world.


The Sage Group plc is a leading supplier of accounting and business management software solutions and related services for small, medium and large enterprises. It comprises market-leading businesses throughout Europe, United Kingdom, North America, South Africa and Australia. The Sage group plc has over 4.5 million small-and mid-sized customers in 55 countries and 8 000 staff.

Editorial contacts
Watt Communications Samantha Watt (011) 425 6290
Softline Enterprise Ashley Ellington (011) 807 4147
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