• Subject: RE: Who's going to call Hesheys?
  • From: Wynn Osborne <wynn@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 31 Oct 1999 00:50:54 -0400

I am absolutely amazed that after 50+ years of computing, how nasty and
failure-prone these big software projects are.

What of all those computer science & business degrees we took? They don't
seem to have helped do they?

The place I work is going to OneWorld; with about 300-350 users. It is the
damndest thing I've ever seen---next to chaos. The only thing separating it
from chaos is that it's all "planned".

And in my case, I really can't say that the people involved are
incompetent. They are quite competent. But there's just this constant
feeling of falling off of a cliff. I'll know in a year whether I lived or
not :-)>

I cannot begin to imagine the issues, logistics, and pressure involved with
a system with 5000 PC's. I often wonder if a human mind can comprehend it.

Then again, I am equally amazed that we put a man on a moon. That was a
REAL PROJECT. And again, take the building of a bridge. Did any of you see
that National Geographic show on the building of that bridge in Illinois?
It was one destroyed in the 1993 floods. That was neat.

Maybe us computer types should obtain more education in the area of project
management. It seems like that would help.

Naaaaaaaa........

Wynn




At 07:27 PM 10/30/99 -0400, you wrote:
>Below is an exerpt from the WSJ.
>
>Dan
>
>
>
>Hershey embarked on its computer project in 1996, partly to satisfy
>retailers who are demanding increasingly that suppliers fine-tune deliveries
>so that they can keep inventories -- and thus costs -- down. The company
>also faced year-2000 problems with its old computer system.
>
>The project called for 5,000 personal computers, as well as network hubs and
>servers and several different vendors. Under the new system, software from
>Siebel Systems Inc., San Mateo, Calif., Manugistics Group Inc., Rockville,
>Md., and SAP AG, Walldorf, Germany, is used by Hershey's 1,200-person sales
>force and other departments for handling every step in the process, from
>original placement of an order to final delivery. It also runs the company's
>fundamental accounting and touches nearly every operation; tracking raw
>ingredients; scheduling production; measuring the effectiveness of
>promotional campaigns; setting prices; and even deciding how products ought
>to be stacked inside trucks. International Business Machines Corp. was hired
>to pull it all together.
>
>Despite the complexity of the system, Hershey decided to go on line with a
>huge piece of it all at once -- a so-called big bang that computer experts
>say is rare and dangerous. Initially, the confectioner planned to start up
>in April, a slow period. But development and testing weren't complete, and
>the date was pushed to July, when Halloween orders begin to come in.
>Retailers say, and Hershey confirms, that the problem is in getting customer
>orders into the system and transmitting the details of those orders to
>warehouses for fulfillment.
>
>But no one is taking responsibility. Kevin McKay, chief executive officer
>and president of SAP's U.S. unit, says the system itself isn't at fault. "If
>it was a system issue, I'd point directly to a system issue," he says. Mr.
>McKay says he is in touch with Hershey executives almost daily, and he
>points out that the companies successfully installed an SAP system in
>Hershey's Canadian operation last year, though that operation is a tiny
>fraction of the size of the U.S. operation. IBM spokesman Brian Doyle says
>the company continues to help Hershey address "its business challenges,"
>adding that "the business process transformation under way at Hershey is an
>enormously complex undertaking."
>
>Siebel executives say that Hershey officials told them the problem wasn't
>with their software. "It may have turned out with the big bang kind of
>installation, they were maxed out there," says Paul Wahl, Siebel's
>president.
>
>
>
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: owner-midrange-l@midrange.com
>[mailto:owner-midrange-l@midrange.com]On Behalf Of Don
>Sent: Saturday, October 30, 1999 2:33 PM
>To: Bill Paris
>Cc: MIDRANGE-L@midrange.com
>Subject: Re: Who's going to call Hesheys?
>
>
>
>
>Bill, et al,
>
>I want to know who's SOFTWARE they installed!
>
>Don in DC
>
>
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