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

November 2013

First things first. This issue is being released close to Thanksgiving and the start of our Holiday Season. We wish everyone the best! It's a great time to re-connect with your families and loved ones. Enjoy!

Picking up on last month's theme of managing risk - we visit the topic of ERP Customization. And in our eXpert's corner, John Pellegrino helps you make X3 inquiry screens all your own!

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

What exactly is a customization? Almost anyone who has been involved in an ERP implementation has been cautioned to avoid customization. And while there's a lot of wisdom in that approach, it isn't always possible. However, like a lot of things, what's most important is having the right knowledge and expectations going in. So first off - X3 and other modern ERP systems can be "personalized" a lot without customizing them. Adding new fields and putting them on screens typically doesn't require customization. However, putting logic around those fields, and having those fields attach to and travel with various transactions does generally require customization. While the process of managing your custom code through ERP System upgrades has improved, there is no silver bullet and nothing is automatic - if you make customizations you need to worry about them FOREVER.

Tip of the iceberg. How could a small iceberg sink the Titanic? Because most of the iceberg is UNDER THE WATER. And most of the cost of customizations is NOT UP FRONT. It's after the fact. It's fine tuning the logic, it's added testing time, and it's something you need to think about and test every time your vendor provides an update or patch. And as your needs evolve, your customizations may evolve as well.

It's difficult to resist. It's very difficult to resist making just a "tweak here" and "a tweak there". And there may be some customizations that are absolutely essential to your business processes and be true value added. If that's the case, build time into your project plan - and then double it. When you are developing something that is supposed to be exactly what you want - it is inevitable that it will take several iterations to get it exactly the way you want it, particularly since you are working in a new ERP environment which has different attributes that your old one. Committing to customization puts you in the software business, an unfamiliar place. Accept the fact that it will take time to get it right.

Eyes wide open. The point here is not that you should never do a customization to your ERP system. But before you commit to a customization, spend more time challenging the business process and whether you can adapt to the system. And if you ultimately decide to customize, go in knowing the issues, the time and costs, and the benefits and the drawbacks. You'll make better decisions and end up with a better result. And if you need help sorting through these issues, CALL INNOVATIVE, - we're here to help!.

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

Have it your way (like a BK burger). In February of this year I wrote a tip about some basic changes that you could make to an inquiry, such as eliminating a column and changing the order of the columns displayed. At that time I also noted that this would change the inquiry for all users accessing the standard inquiry format for the Sales Order inquiry. This month we'll see one way you can use the same X3 inquiry screens and structure, but display it differently for different users - in other words, HAVE IT YOUR WAY.

PO Inquiry. My example creates a second display for the Purchase Order inquiry, CONSCPO, which uses Inquiry Screen CPO. I have receiving people that like the standard inquiry, which lists order number first then supplier number but my buyers want the opposite, supplier number first then order number.

Step 1 – Create a second Inquiry Screen Code. Based on the Admin menu, go to Parameters – General Parameters – Inquiry Screens. Double-click the CPO screen to add another screen code to the list already there. I did this by selecting the STD code under CPO and giving it another screen code, JJP, and selecting the Create button. This created an exact copy. Then I modified the new JJP code to show a different order. See below.

Step 2 – Create a second User Menu Profile. Based on the Admin menu, go to Parameters – Users – User Menu Profile. Once again, I used a menu profile that was already there, ACHE, and copied it into a new one, JJP by changing the User Menu Profile field and selecting the Create Button. I then found the place where the inquiry CONSCPO is called and did a right-click, Modify on it. This brought up a smaller window where I input screen code JJP. See below.

Step 3 – Associate the correct users to the new menu profile. Based on the Admin menu, go to Parameters – Users – Users. Select the appropriate users and change the Menu Profile field. See below. [

There you have it! Please keep those questions and suggestions coming in. Till next month!

"What can be done to X3 and other ERP systems to tailor them without customizing them."

L A Z P S N O D E E R I

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Answer to last month's word scramble.

"A good position to adopt when evaluating ERP solutions." (CAUTIOUS)

Next month we return to more timely X3 related news, tips and topics. Don't miss your opportunity to stay on top of critical X3 topics. if you have suggestions for How-To topics and other X3 related tips, let us know. Please keep checking the INNOVATIVE WEB SITE for useful tips, and our newsletter archives.

ERP Customization - Eyes Wide Open!

X3 eXpert's Corner. Same Inquiry, Different Displays by User

Word scramble.

 

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