As a cycling fan, I am excited by the start of each new season particularly spring time as the “Spring Classics” get underway and everyone starts to look towards the summer blockbuster, the Tour de France. This is also the season in which I start to seriously ramp up my training as I look forward to the Tour de France stage (Annecy to Annecy-Semnoz) I will be riding on 7th July. With this in mind, I will share what I consider similarities in learning the necessary skills to power tailor and customize SYSPRO, and training for such a gruelling endurance event.
Technology by its very nature is revolutionary. It grows, morphs and progresses our society whether we intend it to or not.
The recent SYSPRO ERP implementation at Mopani Copper Mine in Kitwe, Zambia has been a sterling example of this revolution – from the scale of the implementation and required user training, to the uniqueness of the environment and the additional Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) requirements and resulting controls.
Whether you call them RFIs, RFPs, RFQs* or some other acronym, and whether you are a vendor or a customer, those three letters conjure up the same impression in many minds – pages and pages of detailed questions about a software product’s functionality, which takes weeks to create, days to respond, and weeks again to review.
After a decade of driving the same brand of car, I decided to make a change at the beginning of this year and bought something different. Functionally, the new car is great. It has cut my fuel bill in half, provides more interior space than my old car did, is a doddle to park, and has enough electronic features to keep me amused for hours. As a gadget-loving geek, working in the hi-tech software industry, I pride myself on being an early adopter who just “gets” new technology as it arrives. But this car may be just too much of a good thing. Even after two months of driving it on a daily basis, I find it difficult to use. There are just too many buttons and scrolling bars; too many ways to perform the same task, and too many features hidden behind elaborate menu steps…
While on vacation recently, I visited an interesting restaurant with a large group of relatives. At the table a few clearly marked buttons were provided to request waiters to bring more water, clear used utensils, bring the bill, etc. I had never seen this back home in Vancouver. What a great idea to improve efficiency!
I have a friend who works at a large home improvement retailer. He often tells me stories about customers who buy expensive and sophisticated tools, yet have no DIY experience or knowledge on how best to use them.
Often these customers come back a few days later, hoping to return the tools because they “are not working” when in fact, there is nothing wrong with them; they are just not being used properly. One customer, for example, returned an expensive “defective” chainsaw. The problem was that he never bothered to read the manual, which instructed mixing lubricant oil into the petrol. As a consequence the chainsaw’s motor was permanently damaged.
Childhood and adolescence, for example, are both important and often frenetic phases in life, where any and every change dramatically impacts our development and invariably teaches us a lesson or two.
Later in life, as our experience of change grows, we either accept it, coming to terms with the truth that ‘change is the only constant’, or waste precious resources fighting to remain set in our ways.