No, but any discussion of messes perhaps belongs on a separate thread
off-line, since it may not serve the needs of other BPCS-L users.
Some horrors I have witnessed in manufacturing:
* BPCS has known bugs. Conversion software, from one version to
another, also has bugs, and does not get the repair attention of BPCS
* BPCS labels the PO to AP process as 3-way match. I call it 3-way
mismatch, because there are multiple scenarios where we can end up paying a
vendor multiple times for the identical purchase. The same works on the CO
AR side, where customers can get away with not paying for years, because the
system only works if management understands the BPCS accounting system, and
monitors what's going on. That combination is often lacking. An ERP works
effectively if all ingredients have a high degree of accuracy. Attention is
often focused on engineering and inventory, ignoring other areas, for which
the same truism applies. Auditors only catch problems in areas they are
asked to check, and they are not asked to check areas where the bosses
cannot imagine anything significant can go wrong. Occasionally when we have
new auditors, I inform them that BPCS is embezzlement-friendly, and if they
wish, I can explain how.
* The only documentation, for modifications, is what someone like me
puts inside modified programs . WHY are we doing this, in which I
incorporate /COPY some cross-index lists of all programs involved in each
modification package. There's very little there which is non-tech
intelligible. This is a potential problem because personnel cut-backs make
it no longer practical to provide ERP education for new hires, who are
relying on the vanilla BPCS documentation, such as it is, and with the
personnel cut-backs, future quality thorough testing becomes impractical.
Most mods are rush jobs to meet a particular scenario, not tested on all
possible permutations, because they are not relevant to current operations,
but business needs change, new untrained personnel experiment with other
scenarios, so we have time bombs ahead.
* Over time, we figure out what is safe to be on corporate network,
what not, optimize firewall, make sure QSECOFR does NOT have BPCS access, so
that if anything goes wrong in BPCS security settings, we can use QSECOFR to
undo the damage. Then Management calls in some outside contractors, gives
them the keys to the castle, orders IT to stand aside, and the outside
contractors undo all our careful security work, not because that was what
they were hired to do, but because the security interfered with what they
were trying to accomplish. Their BPCS modifications are totally
undocumented, and violate our standards. For example, a past administrator
had asked that any patch, upgrade, modification, be reversible, in case we
later discover it does more harm than good. That became one of my
* Management is like MR TRUMP in current Presidential Election = there
are bosses with zero experience as politicians or customer service, where to
get things done, you need to be friendly towards people who disagree, so
that you can reason with them, try to explain. No, it is their way or the
highway, and anyone who dares speak up that something is not a good idea, is
to be blasted like they are jackass. For example, everyone knows, they say,
that our IBM platform is the most secure in the world, so our company does
not need to do anything about security, so they operate it like a bank vault
which anyone in the world can walk into, no matter that IT has clues that
there's more traffic in and out than business needs.
* When we periodically get new owners, the assets are sold, but not
the liabilities, totally ignoring contracts associated with the running of
the company, contracts which get lost in the transition, so the next time
there is a battle with Infor, we cannot prove that we paid SSA for the aps
missing from their records when Infor took over. The new owners hire
managers who know nothing about BPCS, do not have the time to learn anything
about it, and in some cases know nothing about any ERP. They issue commands
for things to be implemented, which run counter to ERP theory.
* FDIC and NCUA insurance only goes up to about $250 k of assets at a
single financial institution. Corporate operating funds, profits when we
have them, etc. accumulate at a single bank, in quantities far above that
which is insured. If it was my money, I would be spreading it around among
different institutions, so no more than $ 250 k any one place. Plus, I would
give some thought to when it will be needed, see about putting some in short
term CDs or other investments, until then. We hear about breaches, where
this place or that lost $ millions. They too must have been ignoring the
cap on what's insured at a single institution.
I also witnessed horrors in earlier career, in trucking, publishing, retail,
wholesale, transportation, where there were disconnects between what made
prudent sense, and what was actually being done.
I have also had a few of my own personal screw-ups. Once upon a time, when
it was time to run a backup in evening, and many managers had left their
screens signed on in locked offices, I would climb over the false ceiling
tiles to get into the locked offices, to end their BPCS sessions. One
evening I slipped and partially fell. My lower legs were stuck up there. I
was hanging upside down, with hard surfaces below me, the only person in the
building. It took me hours to squirm around to get the leverage to
extricate myself. I resolved then, that is the last time I try that. My
health safety is more important than any IT duty they need of me.
I later figured out an alternative approach when there's a hung BPCS session
I cannot get at:
* Crash the hardware connection;
* Vary it off, and also that of another one, which I do have access
* Switch their network ids;
* Bring back up the one I can access, and now the work which was being
done on the inaccessible one, is there at the accessible one.
* Go thru the rigamarole to recover a crashed BPCS task, and bring to
a conclusion whatever the person was doing, in the office locked when he or
she went home, leaving BPCS session on, and office locked.
Alister Wm Macintyre (Al Mac)
From: BPCS-L [mailto:bpcs-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Tim Knoebel
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 3:01 PM
To: BPCS ERP System
Subject: Re: [BPCS-L] Create PO from SO
Are you sure you never worked here at Scovill? Your story is very similar
to what happened here which now I get to babysit and try to keep it out of
trouble! I inherited this mess about a year and a half ago, with previous
BPCS experience (12 years ago) coming from a 405cd shop that was
transitioning to 6.1. This shop is running at 6.1 which has been highly
customized too. New horrors are being reveled weekly.
Timothy J Knoebel, Sr. iSeries/BPCS Administrator
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