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"Innovative Thinking" A Newsletter from Innovative IT Consulting In This Issue

January 2012

As we start the ball rolling in 2012, we will continue to sharpen our focus on Sage ERP X3 as the cornerstone of our practice, and emphasize the ERP practices and approaches that set the foundation for success.

In the expert's corner John Pellegrino continues his exploration into the X3 product configurator, a topic that has generated a lot of interest. As usual, there is a twist.

On the blog front, check out Paul's latest post on the Sage ERP Business Management Blog - on how thnking outside the box can help you achieve eXcellence in ERP!

Let's Get Together - Virtually! If you're one of the many X3 users and/or prospects that receive this newsletter, please join us on Linked In. Our ERP X3 users group is the De Facto Standard for learning more about the X3 system, and ask questions and network with your peers worldwide. Over 1,000 members strong and growing every day. Click LINKED IN ERP X3 GROUP to see what all the excitement is about.

By Paul Sita, Principal, Innovative IT Consulting, LLC. Paul can be reached at 631-549-1685 or psita@innovativeitc.com.

What's most important to satisfied users? In implementing X3 (or any other ERP system for that matter), everyone wants a successful implementation. But what factors are most important in the decision to select and implement an ERP system? Surveys conducted over time reveal the keys to success.

Functionality is king. There is no doubt about it. When it comes to SELECTING a particular ERP system, functionality is always the most significant factor. Not general functionality – but functionality specific to your industry, niche, type of operation. Either the system has that combination of functionality that is critical to your business or can be adapted to it – or it isn’t the right choice for you. And with every new generation of systems, users want MORE functionality, more choices, more options, more FLEXIBILITY.

Simplification. On the other hand, when it comes to the DECISION to implement a new ERP system, two factors stand out above all others - Simplification of business processes and easy access to information. Simplification of business processes is the single most often cited factor given for the decision to implement a new ERP system. Over time, as businesses and markets evolve, most systems do not evolve with them. This results in business processes with extra steps, complicated flow, manual decision making and a lack of scalability. At some point, company leadership or a project sponsor sees the need for a new system that more closely fits how they would like the business to run. Close behind simplifying business processes is the desire for easy access to information. In the mid-market we are still in the process of replacing ‘80s based legacy systems, many of which are “closed” in some way – and access to information is either impossible, difficult or requires a technician. The end result is that decisions are frequently made without information.

Functionality and Simplification. (Can these go together?) If we add these factors up, we can see a real disconnect. Users want more functionality, plus simpler business processes that fit their specific needs - along with easy access to information. We’ve heard this before. Let’s take something complex and make it simple. Think Apple – the Ipod, Ipad. . . . Making complex things simple is itself a complex task.

Set yourself up for success. If this is what you’re after, accept the fact that it will take time, and yes money, and it is a process. Don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that a quick fix is at hand. Setting your expectations properly is the first and most important step.

By John Pellegrino, Principal, Innovative IT Consulting, LLC. John can be reached at 631-549-1685 or jpellegrino@innovativeitc.com.

Continuing toward a complete configurator solution. In our November, 2011 newsletter I mentioned a tip on setting up questions within the product configurator that is integrated in ERP X3. The limit as to the number of questions on the main screen mentioned was based on version 5 of X3. A related topic is handling the use of any answers to questions from a Shape and Pattern screen (i.e., a sub- screen) within the main screen. In short the configurator seeks to place the question on the main screen and you need to hide it.

Seek and ye shall find. To use the example I cited regarding Shapes and Pattern screens in November, you need to ask for different dimensions based on whether you are making a rectangular mirror (length and height) or a circular mirror (radius and/or circumference). If you were creating a bill-of-material based on these dimensions you might have a formula using the answers to these questions to calculate the amount of glass needed. Once you add the formula to the main screen script the configurator decides that this question is not part of the main screen and it seeks for a place to put it, usually the next available block and line.

Thou art my hiding place. Of course, you do not want this question on the main screen as it is already part of a sub-screen. You must hide it within the block designated as the “Hidden” block (in version 5 this is block 3 and in version 6 it is block 7). When you validate the configuration a small screen appears with the layout of the main screen showing where questions will appear. You can move any question to any block and line. In this case, simply change the question’s block and line values to the hidden block and the next available line. You can have up to 99 lines of these hidden questions.

"The factor most frequently mentioned as "most important" in selecting a particular ERP System.."


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Answer to last month's word scramle.

"A giant of the technology industry who died in 2011 (2 words)." (STEVE JOBS )

More information on recent development with Sage ERP X3, and Innovative's expanding practice. Stay tuned. Keep your comments and suggestions coming in. We love to hear from you ! Please keep checking the INNOVATIVE WEB SITE for useful tips, and our newsletter archives.

ERP Satisfaction Factors Get yourself set for success.

X3 eXpert's Corner. X3 Product Configurator 2 - A Game of Seek and Hide

Word scramble.


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