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

February/March 2013

It's as true in ERP as it is in health. Everything flows from the core. Follow these pointers to improve the fitness of your X3 system.

In the X3 eXpert's corner John Pellegrino goes over the basics of Personalizing the X3 inquiry screens. Rest assured that he is not atttempting to "CON" you!.

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

What exactly is the core? X3 is an integrated ERP system. It is broad in its functionality, deep in its ability to handle different situations, and very customizable. When we talk about CORE, we mean the base ERP and the options delivered directly by Sage. It is your transaction processing engine that embodies the rules, definitions and basic business processes that drive your organization. In exercise and fitness, the rule is to pay attention to your core; the more you strengthen the core, the more benefits that flow to the entire body. Here's some key strategies for X3 ERP Fitness.

1) Focus on integrated solutions. No system, regardless how robust, has everything. There are capabilities that fall outside of the core capabilities of X3, things such as Business Intelligence, Document management, EDI, Forecasting, and others. These capabilities are either in X3 in a limited way, or not in X3 at all, but some or all of them are critical to almost every customer. When you look for these add-ons, don’t underestimate how critical it is to select an integrated solution, one that builds on the setup, data structures, definitions and business processes that are embedded in X3. Don’t get dazzled by some feature in a best of breed solution. Long term value is delivered through integration.

2) Add tables and important related data sources to your X3 DB. Most customers also have special applications that they have developed over time that use data that is not part of X3. However, this is no reason to keep that data outside of X3. You can add tables to your X3 database, and these tables can be migrated as you maintain and upgrade X3. The key take away is that by keeping the data inside of X3, the data can be managed and leveraged as a corporate asset, backed up, integrated into reports and X3 customizations as needed. In short, you’re adding to your core.

3) Don’t just correct data – build controls into the system. Periodically you will find things that need to be corrected, transactions that don’t produce the desired results, post incorrectly, or confuse users. These problems cause you to reverse entries, re-post, or even worse, hard code adjustments into reports. It's Ok to make the corrections to solve your day to day problem. However, keep a log of these situations and periodically review them. If you can’t eliminate them from occurring, build a query or selection that can help you identify those transactions before they occur and build those controls into your SOPs.

Repetition is the key. One of my favorite sayings about exercise is that good habits are as difficult to break as bad ones! Make these strategies part of your operating DNA. Your X3 ERP system will be stronger, more resilient and more auditable with fewer defects over time. Now that’s what I call being ERP Fit!

ByJohn Pellegrino, Principal and Application Consultant, Innovative IT Consulting. John can be reached at 631-943-1469 or jpellegrino@innovativeitc.com.

This tip will get you started with the basics of making any X3 inquiry show the data you want and need. These inquiries utilize functions and screens that start with “CON”. For my example, let's use the standard Sales Order inquiry, which is the CONSCSO function. Below is a small section of the results of that inquiry.

While this is good, I would prefer to have the Customer Order Name list before the Customer number and to remove the Project column because I don’t use that field. The inquiry screen that I need to personalize is typically the last 3 letters of the function name, in my case CSO.

Where to go.Based on the Admin menu, go to Parameters – General Parameters – Inquiry Screens. Double click on the appropriate screen and select the STD Standard setup. Changing this will change the inquiry for all users that utilize STD for this function, which, in general is all users. There are ways to make specific inquiries per user, but we’ll leave that for another tip. The screen below is from the bottom right area. Notice the order column, which indicates the order the fields should display.

To put the Customer Order Name before the Customer number, change one and/or the other so that the sequencing will show them as such. For example, you can make the Customer number field be 18. To remove the Project column change its order to zero. Hit the Save button on the bottom (and make sure the screen gets validated). Below are the results of these changes.

More to come.There are other things that can be personalized; We'll cover these in future tips.

"What you can easily do to X3 inquiry screens.

O L P Z E I N E S A R

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Answer to last month's word scramble.

"An easy to use tool to create workbenchese in X3." (SELECTIONS)

Look for more X3 related content, how-tos and from guest columnists. Plus, we're planning more interactive features and formats. If you have a specific topic you'd like us to cover, please let us know. Please keep checking the INNOVATIVE WEB SITE for useful tips, and our newsletter archives.

X3 Fitness. Work on Your Core!

X3 eXpert's Corner. Personalize X3 Inquiries - Not a "CON" Game."

Word scramble.

 

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