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.
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.
In a recent article by Paul Taylor in the Financial Times, he discusses the changing dynamics of the C-suite. He looks at the strong trend towards collaboration among roles as opposed to the multiple silos that we have seen in the past. Taylor talks to how CIOs, who have in the past focused primarily on IT, now need to be well-versed across a myriad of business responsibilities. In turn, the CEO and CFO need to understand IT and its role in the company.
Ten years ago, in 2002, a law was passed in the US Congress that has had a lasting effect on business. The law was Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and introduced sweeping changes to financial reporting. Other countries followed suit, and now wherever you go the regulatory requirements for governance and compliance reporting have continued to grow. This includes other areas of businesses as well, including: manufacturing, supply chain, product quality and safety.
The power failures caused by Hurricane Sandy in the USA made me think about all the things that can go wrong for a business, including the less obvious problems, when there is a power failure; and how important it is to be able to think and act quickly. In fact it reminded me specifically of a recent incident in SYSPRO and how some quick thinking solved what may have been a much bigger problem.
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.