Features and Benefits



Primary Benefits

  • Efficiency - Visual Shop maximizes the use of your available resources. It will streamline your operation and give you the information to measure how you are doing.
  • Quality- Visual Shop helps you maintain and guarantee a high level of performance. The system provides you with detailed processing instructions, an audit trail on what the opertors do, and a complete history of all changes.
  • Customer Service - Visual Shop helps you better service your customers. It gives them the information they want and need! Visual Net our customer portal allows your customer to view their account via the web.

General Benefits

  • Reliability - With over 350 installations operating for several years, you can count on Visual Shop.
  • Speed - Visual Shop uses Microsoft SQL Server. This Corporate level database maintains its speed. We have customers that enter over 700 orders a day. The NASDAQ uses this database for trading. They do about 5,000 transactions per second.
  • Increased efficiencies - With Visual Shop, information is never entered twice. No need to double entry. You can do more with less.
  • Repeatability - On repeat jobs, the computer knows the process instructions, pictures, pricing, and all the information necessary to create the shop order, certs, invoice, shipper, etc..
  • Information Availability - Everyone works off the same information. There is only one database that everyone uses and all entries are real time.
  • Information Quality - You can take the information now stored in the heads of several key employees and transfer into Visual Shop. This includes: Detailed part processing instructions with part pictures, specific certification requirements, pricing information, unique customer information. Essentially you can store all the knowledge you have gathered over the years into Visual Shop where it can be retrieved when required.
  • Improved communications - For example: Accounting can put a customer on credit hold. When an order is received, Visual Shop can flag that order as "Do not allow entry". Instead of post it notes, you can use Visual Shop notes. For example: You just promised a customer a shipment tomorrow. Using the notes feature, you can send a note to the 3rd shift supervisor to run the job and send a note to the shipper to make sure it gets on the truck.
  • Historical information - With Visual Shop, everything is stored at the detail level. Nothing is deleted. Therefore, if you type it in, you can get it out. Look up how many times in the past 5 years you ran a particular part. No problem with Visual Shop.
  • Formatted Information - With over 150 reports to choose from consisting of: backlog reports, due date reports, turnaround reports, shipping reports, sales reports, A/R reports, shipped not billed reports, costing reports, equipment utilization, and much more... You have the ability to see how your shop is performing, find out which customers make you money, respond to customers quickly with accurate information, and stay on top of your business.
  • Design Philosophy - Visual Shop is based on the ideas of its' customers. It is the sum total of our customer's ideas. Customers that are in the same business as you. It is continuously evolving as new features are being added. We probably have what you want and probably have features you never thought of.
  • Support and Upgrades - CSI stands behind Visual Shop. We are there when you need us.



  • Quotations - Multiple parts on a quote, multiple prices per part, volume breaks, e-mail / fax with auto signature.
  • Order Entry - On repeat parts, order with process instructions and part picture is generated automatically. Multiple received from / Ship to addresses. Part number not required, credit hold and over credit limit warning system, unlimited parts/serial numbers, dupe old orders, over 175 different shop order forms to choose from. Automatically scan in customers purchase orders.
  • Process Masters - Store all your process information in Visual Shop. Easy searches, and quick retrievals make finding a process for a job a snap. Automatic process lookup on repeat work. Process master are broken into steps, steps can be tracked around the shop.
  • Parts file - Store all the information about a customers part. Automatically do calculations on any part data entered. Design your own part entry window. Complete history of part changes. Store PDF documents with your parts.
  • Scheduling - Both continuous and batch schedules, point and click access of open orders. Maximize your equipment. Run like jobs together.
  • Tracking - Complete bar code, RFID, and touch screen tracking. Easily find jobs on the floor, make sure jobs run in the proper sequence, record data from the shop floor for cost report and equipment utilization. Allows instep and final inspection with rework capability. Can split jobs into multiple loads.
  • Shipping - Create shipping documents. Auto E-mail shipper notifications. Print shipping labels. Partial ship or ship complete. COD and credit Safeguards. Bill of laden. Full integration of UPS shipping.
  • Signature Pads - On pickup customer signs for work on an electronic signature pad.
  • Visual Truck - When dropping off work, customer signs an electronic tablet. P.Oís picked up are automatically digitally sent to the shop so the work can be entered before the truck arrives.
  • Proof of delivery - Proof of delivery document can be produced and E-mailed to show what shippers the customer signed for.
  • Pricing - Create specific pricing for parts. Create price tables to automatically price based on a number of factors. For example: Screw and washer pricing, material and hardness based pricing, and a lot more.
  • Invoicing - Automatically create invoices from shipped orders. Add additional charges / surcharges, special invoices by customer, and group multiples orders on an invoice by PO, shipper number, and more. Also break down price by each piece of equipment, group, or cost center.
  • Certifications - Create unique certs for each customer, process, or part. Can print or email with an electronic signature. Furnace chart can print on certification.
  • Digital Pictures - Shoot digital pictures of parts, process setups, and inspection detail and attach them to various places on an order and process master. Unlimited pictures per part.
  • A/R - Fully integrated accounts receivable module. Links with 18 popular GL Accounting packages. We have a special link with MAS90 / MAS200 products from Sage.
  • Security - Contains a complete operator security system that records all operator activity and limits what an operator can do.
  • Reporting - Over 150 reports on sales, production analysis, shipping, productivity, and more. Plus the ability to write your own reports.
  • Sales Analysis - Complete sales analysis system showing sales many different ways down to the equipment level.
  • Job costing - Ability to cost jobs based on production rates and then match them up against the invoices to determine profitability.
  • Purchase Orders and Inventory - Complete inventory system with items related to customer parts and general inventory items. Includes the ability to generate a purchase order.
  • Outside Purchasing - Automatically create purchase orders for customer jobs that you send out for processing.
  • Post It Notes - Interplant note system. Send messages to other people in your shop and check when they read them. Put notes on documents.
  • Automatic E-mail capabilities.
  • Lab Analysis - A complete lab analysis package
  • Corrective Action - Keep track of issues and how they were resolved.
  • Visual Net - Give your customers access to their data via the Internet.
  • Visual Archive - An automated filing system for Visual Shop. No more filing! No more paper! More info here
  • SSI Link - SSIís Superdata Link to Visual Shop. Superdata is a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system. Put it on a furnace or an automated line. It can collect data such as; time, temperature, voltage, flows, speed, etc. and link it to Visual Shop. You can store actual run data with an order, produce charts, and reports. You can even print the chart on the cert. More info here
  • Ability to Adapt - One of the most important features is Visual Shops ability to adapt itself to your business. To work the way you do. To meet your specific requirements. When you buy Visual Shop you have access to all the customizations done for all our customers. So CSI is able to set the software up based on work that was done for customers that are very similar to your business. With over 300 installations, CSI can provide your company with software that meets 90 to 100 percent of your companies specific requirements right out of the box.


  • Visual Shops design is based on years of INDUSTRY experience.
  • Designed to be customized. We have versions not only for heat treaters, platers, coaters, galvanizers but also for those that do specific types of work, for example: tool & die, fasteners, automotive, aerospace, military, large runs, small runs, induction, brazing, anodizing, painting, NDT, and much more. The software was designed to be customized. With all the customizations there is still only one set of source code. Features can be turned on and off. See "What makes it special" for more information.
  • Written and designed for Microsoft Windows.
  • Open system design to allow easy integration into other Windows products.
  • Microsoft SQL Server relational database located at Microsoft's Website This is Microsoft's top of the line database. Get at your information when you need it and in the form that you want it. Visit Microsoft to learn more about this database.
  • Uses Client/Server technology, Terminal Services, or CITRIX. Scalable from 1 PC to over 500 PCs. Buy what you need today and add more when you need it. Also operates under "Software as a Service" for easy delivery to the end user.
  • Visual Shop is written in Powerbuilder, the number one client server development tool on the market. With millions of users, Powerbuilder stays on the cutting edge. Sybase, the sixth largest software company in the world, owns Powerbuilder. Visit their web site for more information Powerbuilder is both .NET and Unicode compliant.
  • Write you own reports.
  • No forms! All printing is done on plain white paper with your logo automatically printing on top.
  • Superior support.
  • A commitment to keep the software current. To constantly upgrade it to take advantage of new technology as it becomes available.