In my current and relatively new position, I’ve had to get to grips with a number of new systems – not only the ‘ins and outs’ of SYSPRO and K3 SYSPRO products, such as DataSwitch, but also with the internal systems required to manage my day-to-day workload. In this blog I’ll share with you some of the tools, sources, and insights I have gained during my first six months within the SYSPRO community.
With the festive season just past, it got me thinking about a friend and colleague who in my opinion encapsulates the very essence of a human firecracker! I’m referring to Trudy Deuchar, Group Business Operations & Information Manager for the Jasco group of companies, who over the last two years has played a pivotal role in completely modernizing, and indeed revolutionizing Jasco’s information systems.
Many organizations, regardless of industry sector or geographical location, find themselves in a comfort zone when it comes to managing their inventory. A high percentage continue to use Material Requirements Planning (MRP), and some even use spreadsheets for their planning, despite having expensive systems in place. The problem is that MRP was developed at a time when businesses could use static demand forecasts over an extended time period to allow for long production runs. In the modern world, long runs are rare and demand can be highly variable.
People often assume that ERP systems are only for larger companies. But, consider this – if you run a small or medium sized business, do you lie awake at night worrying about the following things:
- Is there a way to improve our inefficient processes?
- Can we grow without growing pains?
- Will the business remain viable or successful in the long term?
In a recent conversation we were discussing how secure our ERP system was, considering all the wonderful levels we had in place such as Role-based, Operator and Group Security; including restricted access at company, programs, feature and field level, not to mention electronic signatures, encrypted passwords and workflow controls.
Regardless of what business you happen to be in, the end of the year is a natural time to reflect on what’s happened in our lives, our organisations and around the world. Although the global manufacturing sector has shown erratic and generally slow performance this year, the economic powerhouses of the US and China managed to register slight improvements in manufacturing activity in October. However, many other economies around the world suffered further contraction or flat growth across their manufacturing industries.
Three syllables which currently polarize opinion wherever you look and whoever you talk to: Windows 8.
I won’t bore you with yet another opinion on whether Windows 8 is going to make or break Microsoft, whether the versions on sale are going to confuse consumers or whether Apple is going to become the all-conquering tech giant off the back of this. What I will share with you is what I’m looking forward to seeing and using in the new Operating System (OS), and how this will affect my personal and professional life for the better.
During my 13 years at SYSPRO I have been involved in a range of software development projects, but have never tried my hand at implementation. Over the past few months I have been fortunate enough to work with the iPlan team on the SYSPRO implementation at the Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) in Kitwe, Zambia.