Crows Nest PM/ERP platform helps shops stay connected

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Crows Nest Inc. has launched a Project Management (PM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software platform solution, specifically developed for the woodworking industry. Customizable and configurable to individual businesses, Crows Nest creates whole shop connectivity for better management of scheduling, estimating, project tracking and more, according to the company.

Norm Fink, a consultant representative for Crows Nest, says the key benefit of the software is that it provides end-to-end, company-wide communication which can increase efficiency from the office to the shop floor.

“This software rectifies one of the biggest problems around which is overall communication. In today’s world, in any company of any size, everyone has a PC or many of them, but very rarely do you find there’s connectivity, a continuum of information from a single source that can be shared amongst everybody. Instead we have a bunch of islands of automation that exist in an organization, and that’s extremely disadvantageous,” Fink says.

Fink emphasizes that the software does not do the engineering itself, such as producing cutlists, but creates a functional flow of information in the areas of: capacity and task management, estimating, job costing, project milestone tracking, labor tracking, document management, project contact management, progress billing, work orders, change orders, purchasing tied with inventory, shipping and receiving, submittal processing, shop drawing tracking, revision management, and more.

It can be implemented in woodworking shops of all sizes. Fink also says one of its top benefits pertains to scheduling.

“We hear it every day. The woodworking projects are in such flux and constantly moving that they need the ability to let everyone know what changes are being made. It is a huge plus for them to figure out what their capacities are and their workloads in various areas throughout production. Then to see the operations visually in a Gantt chart is extremely important for staffing purposes and for meeting production needs,” he says.

“Even in the case of a smaller company with four to five employees, the scheduling tells them if they need to get some help for the week and they know that proactively not reactively. They can bring in the labor under better economic terms rather than under economic pressure.”

The platform can be integrated with accounting software such as QuickBooks and Sage, as well as with design and engineering software such as Cabinet Vision and Microvellum. Mobile app functionality is available as well.

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This article was originally published in the October 2020 issue.

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