BATCHUSR

There are lots of benefits to an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system in a manufacturing environment. One of the more fundamental ways I’ve experienced it being helpful to is with reporting.

Massive amounts of data exist when a company runs their processes and related data through an ERP system. It follows then that business people in various disciplines within the organization can use the data to (hopefully) optimize their work efforts for the good of the business.

“BATCHUSR” is the generic, automated entity within the system that generates reports that have been set up.

There’s the rub.

If the report is set-up properly, it can be a super-big help. If the report isn’t set-up properly, or of the data capture parameters are forgotten or otherwise of no use any longer, it’s just another data set.

Garbage In, Garbage Out.

What data you put in, the validity and thoroughness of said information, that reflects on the value of the reporting you’re able to generate from such a system.

Another example? There’s a large data set that has been historically created in the system in a manner that includes an arbitrary entry.; it was thought previously that the entry in that field in the system was not important.

We recently decided, for the good of overall and more accurate evaluation of the information, we decided we had to update the entry for this particular field, a specific date entry, for each line item.

There are several hundred line items that need to therefore be updated. Manually. One by one. Let me say that again. ONE. BY. ONE. You might guess I’m the one who’s doing that updating? If you did, you would be correct.

In the end it’s still the humans that evaluate the data and enter that data and determine if it’s helpful. And if it’s not? It’s the human that spends the time making the corrections. It’s the humans that decide. And then it’s the human that has to hunker down, take a few deep breaths, and do focused entry of line item data to complete the project.

It’s the humans that are responsible.

That said, I need another coffee.

: – )

Addendum Lesson:

What is an ERP system?

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SOX Wants: An Audit Sample

Funny what an audit inspires…

“It begins, it begins, with a friendly request; let’s see a sample of your documentation for your orders of work.

Everybody does it, gotta do it too.

Let’s see the work order document itself.

Let’s see the Goods Issue documents.

Let’s see the Goods Receipt documents.

In the system, it is, in the sytem it is, isn’t that enough?

No, No, on paper so we can hold it, study it.

So into SAP we go, to figure how to print. Tryin’ t’save trees, so we don’t normally print.

M B 90, that’s the place to start. Get your order data from the CO Bucket.

Then command, command, and fields must be right. Must be right with the year and the checks or your lose.

Lose out, gotta ask, gotta ask for help. One person, two person, maybe three in fact, everyone a different bit to share, try, do.

Finally, finally, we make it through, through to the end.

Gather docs, kill a tree, done with that task. SOX wants, SOX asks, we do, done. We do, DONE.

SOX asks, we do, we do, DONE.“

Labor Day 2019

I think about Labor Day and a lot of different thoughts go through my mind.

What’s the origin of the holiday in this country?  “Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor, ” according to Wikipedia.

What, if any, is our U.S. Labor Day’s association with International Worker’s Day on May 1st?  Turns out that “May Day” is linked to an ancient traditional festival time in Europe, and similar labor movements in that region selected that date to also associate with honoring and further the cause of workers. That occurred around the same time in Europe that it did here in the U.S.

I think about the early 20th century novel, “The Jungle,” and the fictional account of very real working conditions in the meat packing industry in the northeastern U.S. around that same time period.

How far have we come with regulations and minimum wages in that time, to give rank and file workers safer conditions and enough income to live a reasonable life?  Lots of data, some objective results, but plenty of subjective opinion on those topics to be had, for sure.

Then I consider the hardest, most physically demanding jobs and who does that work.  Think about the people that work in extreme physical conditions, so that others might benefit from seasonal produce or the freshest catch.  How difficult is that work?  How much do those folks make?  Would I want to do that work?

I think about people I know that do white collar work and make good income; some are associated with organized labor, some are not.  I consider the various aspects of work today, and the manner in which plenty of white collar, high-skill workers also can be exploited and might benefit from organizing. 

Throughout the world we can say that collective bargaining has been good for workers in the industrialized world over the last one hundred and forty-odd years. We can also say that wages have increased, working conditions have improved, and society on the whole enjoys a higher standard of living along that same period of time.

Sure there’s still more work to do.   But I’ll spare you the red star or the fist clenched in the air.  We have to say that the owners and the governments and society in many countries have supported the workers’ cause, to everyone’s benefit.

In my humble view, Labor Day should be a day when we remember and appreciate all those workers, of all shapes and sizes and trades, all the rank and file whole make our economy churn.   Those that, through there hard work, make our country a better place to live.

We should appreciate, and honor labor, on Labor Day,  and everyday.

labor-day-750

More on:

Labor Day

May Day

The Jungle

AFL-CIO

Collective Bargaining

At Capacity

Lots of context for this concept. You might be “at capacity” in any of a variety of ways.

At capacity in learning, a sort of plateau of absorbing new things;

At capacity with activities, not able to fit another event on your schedule on a given day;

At capacity in repetitions, not able to do another pull up or arm curl or plank;

At capacity with projects, every day already full with no room for another thing;

At capacity eating your vegetables at dinner; this affliction happens on nearly a nightly basis at my house.

You get the idea. But here’s the thing.

Capacity is a dynamic quality. It’s a parameter that must always be considered. Capacity might be limiting in the immediate, in the short term.

But in the aggregate, it’s just another variable that must be considered in striving for optimal outcome.

You should always consider capacity, and you should also test its limits. Carefully, thoughtfully, but for sure, test, push, strive to expand the limit.

The outcome?

It will make you better. It will help you reach your goals. It will make things GOOD.

1001001

binarycode

Numbers are cool. And they’re everywhere.

Measurements, calculations, logic…maybe as far back as humans could think about deep stuff, we’ve had numbers on their mind.

And in the last half century of course, there’s software. Think binary code, and a hundred computer languages, think the first work in space exploration, think EVERYTHING now: cars, phones, toasters, personal computing, and everything in between.

ax^2+bx+c=0

My father was a math teacher. One of his central messages when he would help me with my math homework:  Don’t be afraid,  don’t be intimidated by the numbers, the logic.   Take your time.  Think deeply.  Figure it out.  Good life lesson there too, come to think of it.

PV = \frac{FV}{(1+r)}
And then I learned a different type of math, different applied logic, in business school many years later.  Big picture topics like the various facets of finance and accounting. The Time Value of Money,  Percentage Gained, Lost;  Run Rates, Currency Conversions, Depreciation of Capital Equipment, and on and on and on, slowly soaking in and expanding my mind with numbers further.  Also cool.  And important when you’re trying to make a profit.

001-501-043
Now lately my work has me into inventory management systems, the logic of part number nomenclature and the organization of things. Cycle Counts, Reconciling differences, Spreadsheets, Data Analysis all take up minutes and hours, churning through as the daily tasks are completed.

Yep, numbers are still cool.

Momentum: The Magic Potion

Finding a little momentum goes a long way.

This fact is especially when you’re sharpening up your focus to get sh*t done.  The approach isn’t new or complicated, but it is important.

Check your list.

If you don’t have one, write one down.  Depending on your level of motivation and focus as you begin, I suggest writing everything down.  The more items, the more focus you’ll have.

Consider the priorities you’ve got in front of you. Consider the time it will take to complete the various tasks on the list.  Don’t get overwhelmed by the list, be empowered by your effort to get it all down in front of you.  Once you’ve got a good representation of what needs to be done, it’s time to get after Number One.

My personal approach is to target a couple quick hits, items I can accomplish pretty quickly, to get some positive energy going in the right direction.  As you line out items on your list, you can feel the sense of accomplishment. Your focus will increase, your resolve to continue down the path will strengthen, you’ll be one your way forward.

So make that list and get after it.

The momentum you create will make the difference in your effort.  It will make it GOOD.