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“We Have Always Done It This Way” ~ Are Your Business Processes Helping or Hindering?

ContinuousProcessImprovementWritten by:  Sandra Stone

In many companies, when they are asked why they follow a certain process, this is the answer received. This ‘office-lore’ is often based on processes put in place many years ago, and may not reflect current company goals, and may not be using current technology and knowledge.

Your business is run by many processes that all work together to achieve your company goals. People are the process; the tools they use include knowledge, rules and technology.

As company goals, people and technology change, the business processes often need to be changed and improved to enable you to meet your goals.

Customers are continually demanding better products and services, and companies are striving to be able to do more, with less effort and at the highest possible quality. One of the major inhibitors to achieving these goals are Business Processes that are contributing to errors, duplication, bottlenecks, frustration and cost increases.

A Business Process Improvement exercise can help you improve existing systems and processes and it includes taking into account technology capabilities to help streamline operations and avoid waste.

One of your biggest assets in improving efficiencies, effectiveness and agility in the marketplace, is your SYSPRO ERP System. SYSPRO V7 takes advantage of the latest technology, to provide more functionality, more mobile capabilities, more automation capabilities and more integration capabilities. By leveraging SYSPRO V7 capabilities, you have the opportunity to improve your business processes, reduce inefficiencies, open the door to new products and services that you can deliver, and make it easier for customers and suppliers to do business with you.

Phoenix Systems experienced Business Consultants can work with your company to initiate and conduct Business Process Reviews. Once company goals are confirmed, then the process looks at each department or process, and basically addresses the following:

What are you trying to do?

How do you do it?

What works and does not work

What can be changed to make it better?

The resulting recommendations for improvement can encompass a wide range of activities. Some examples we regularly make are:

  • Use new functions in SYSPRO that can improve the process
  • Automate within SYSPRO tasks that are repetitive
  • Training for staff on new functions and new processes
  • Realign department responsibilities for different stages in the process
  • Reduce the number of spreadsheets in use, and have the data kept and maintained in SYSPRO – ‘one version of the truth’
  • Relook at old custom solutions to see if still required, as that functionality may now be a part of the latest version of SYSPRO
  • Bar coding and scanner solutions for Inventory and Warehouse Management
  • Automate the creation of Web Site orders in SYSPRO
  • Clearly define responsibilities and work flows, and ensure they are documented and staff members are trained on the workflow processes.

And one final comment: Business process improvement is not a static exercise. The most successful companies implement CONTINUOUS Process Improvement programs, so that ongoing fine tuning reflects the ever changing goals of the company, the market place, compliance requirements and technology.


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5 Leadership Essentials for a Successful Project


Written by Hanna Kounov.

During my many years of project management I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of projects. It is usual practice to have the scope, timeline and the budget of a project agreed upon by all parties so it is interesting to me that there is still an opportunity for failure. One would think that with all that in place and checks and balances it couldn’t go wrong. So why does it occasionally? Because it is not about the scope, the budget or the timeline… it is about change and therefore about people and their acceptance of the change.

I concede that no-one starts out to have a project fail but careful considerations should to be taken if you want it to succeed. In today’s business environment a failed project is no longer an option. That being said the scope of today’s projects – even small ones – are fundamentally different from just five years ago. New technologies and the ability of being mobile, coupled with smarter and more effective tools and customizations mean that projects are far-reaching and more complicated. For that very reason one has to ensure that these five essentials are in place. There are so many different reasons for project success or failure, but in my experience, for a project to be successful the following elements have to be present:

1. Committed Engagement
In order for any project to be successful there has to be commitment to the project. Management plays a role in ensuring that not only the project team is supported but everyone in the company understands that the change is required and necessary for future growth. The most successful project are the ones where the customer is engaged and takes responsibility for the system and the proposed changes. This requires motivating team members to test the new process and be involved at every level and task during the implementation.

2. Accepting Change
Perhaps the most damaging statement for any project is “We have always done it this way.” Receiving push-back of this nature can stop a project in its tracks or force it off the rails. The outcome is that you do not achieve the results you were expecting. These seven words will start a landslide of “fixes” or re-engineering that will reduce the effectiveness of the project as the software is forced to adhere to an often antiquated business process. There will be no gain in the long run and before long all the previous flaws will become apparent once again as people step outside the software to fill the gaps that were supposed to be addressed during the project.

3. Team Work
What is teamwork but relationships in motion? Foster respect between team members. It is not about being right, it is about getting the best outcome possible. Strong mentorship and support is crucial. Conflicts must be addressed immediately. There can never be room for passive or aggressive behavior and all viewpoints have to be seen as important and weighed to see if it makes sense. Have regular meetings and encourage discussion among team members. Remember e-mail is a great but voice and/or video communication really improves the overall health of the project.

4. Strong Leadership
Someone has to make the tough decisions! Leadership is essential as the proposed project is sure to change the structure and the nature of how business is conducted. Without leadership the project will flounder like a ship without a rudder. A successful leader is one who is optimistic with the ability to recognize what is and not avoid the harder conversations. A person who realizes that life happens and that you have to dance in the storm to keep some projects on course.

5. Care for the Team
It is my opinion that many times there is a lack of care for the project team within an organization. In most cases the individuals involved in a project still have to manage their day to day jobs. Splitting their energies in this way can cause huge stress for some individuals. As the live date approaches these team members need support. My recommendation is that some of their responsibilities are taken on by other staff members however that is not always an option in smaller companies. Therefore it is important for the project team to know that their efforts are appreciated through recognition in some form.

It doesn’t matter how simple or complicated the change is, it is still a change and with these five management essentials the chances are in your favour for a successful project.

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by | March 7, 2016 · 7:03 pm

SYSPRO 7 ~ Importing General Ledger Budgets

Written by: Ildiko Prelak

Things you can do in this program:
• Import GL budget records
• Verify if there are any errors in the import file without importing the GL budget records
• Print the contents of the import file
• Customize the program

Accounting periods
• Budgets are imported only for the number of accounting periods in your ledger year (an additional budget is available if you budgeted for the year end period), for example if you defined 6 accounting periods in the year and you import a line that contains 12 budget values, then only the first 6 budgets of that line are imported.

Budget value considerations
• The entry of budget values can be made at any point within the allocated field space. Because budgets are stored to the nearest unit (dollar, pound, etc.) any decimal values that are encountered are ignored.
• Any blank entries for a budget value are treated as zero.
• Although the allocated field size for each budget value is 15 characters, the actual budget amount cannot exceed 12 characters.
• The budget values on the import file are imported based on the account type defined against the ledger code (Ledger Code Maintenance), and are therefore not necessarily imported with the same sign defined against the values on the import file.
For Asset, Expense and Statistical account types, the values are imported as defined in the import file. i.e. negative values remain negative and positive values remain positive when imported.
For Capital, Liability and Revenue account types, the sign against the imported values is reversed. i.e. negative values on the import file are imported as positive values and positive values on the import file are imported as negative values.

 Errors that can be encountered
• The import process is immediately aborted if the first character of each line in the import file does not begin with a B. However, if any other type of error is encountered then a list is displayed within a browse window at the end of processing. A maximum of 200 errors is listed at any time.
Only the first error encountered on a line is listed, for example if a single import line contains three separate errors, then only the first error is indicated on the list. Once you have corrected the first error and re-run the import, then the second error is listed, etc.

Maximum number of records
• A maximum of 99 999 records can be imported from any one file. If you need to import more records, you need to break up the import file into multiple files.

Security considerations
Operator access to the following activities within this program can be restricted. You configure this using the Security Activities function of the Operator Maintenance program.


Importing entries from a file
• Ensure that you have created an import file in the correct layout
1. Select the From file import method and then enter the name of the file that you want to import (or browse for the file) at the File name field.
2. Specify any options required, and then select Import.
3. Select Review file. The details of the import file are displayed in the Details pane.
If you do not select this option, then any errors found in the import file will be displayed in the Details pane. You will need to correct the errors on the import file before attempting to re-import the information.


4. Make any changes, select Validate, and then select Import.


Adding entries directly into the import program
1. Select the Use data grid import method and then enter the required details in the Details pane.


2. Specify any options required.
3. Select Validate and then select Import. If any errors appear, make these changes before importing again.

Exporting column headers to Excel
You would typically follow this procedure to save the listview column headers into an Excel spreadsheet before you capture your import data.
1. Select the Export to Excel icon from the Details pane.
The column headers are displayed in an Excel spreadsheet as well as the company name, date and time of the import.
2. Capture your data in the relevant columns.


Copying entries from an Excel spreadsheet
• Ensure that the required security options are enabled
• Ensure that the date format in the spreadsheet matches the date format used in SYSPRO
• Ensure that you have your Excel spreadsheet ready for copying, or that you have copied the data from the spreadsheet to the clipboard


You would typically use this to save time when adding entries.
1. Select Paste (visible columns only) from the Edit menu in the Details pane.


2. Specify any options required, and then select Validate to validate your entries.
3. Select Import to import the records.


Duplicating listview data rows
You would typically follow this procedure to save time when adding import records.
Duplicating records in a data grid is the equivalent of the Copy/Paste function.
1. Select the row you want to duplicate.
You can select the row by clicking on any cell within the row.
2. Select Duplicate from the Edit menu in the Details pane.



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