Thanks for all the tips

I had asked the question because this sort of thing happens almost every year 
with different players ... two years ago it was the Personnel Manager waiting 
until a few days after the Payroll had been completed for the Calendar Year, 
then asking for some reports that would have been a piece of cake to supply 
him had he asked before the Year End stuff.

It is very common with physical inventory ... we create massive reports, lots 
of clues, people study the reports & after a week or so come up with specific 
questions about lists of items ... but the data with the answers is now gone. 
 That is why in years past one of our physical steps was to copy certain key 
files at a stage of the process so they could be accessed months later.

We do not have a test 400
We do have a test environment & that was a possible target ... I did not want 
to restore all our files, just those essential to the reports too late to 
run, that would have been identified by the time of the planned restore.

From security perspective, I planned to run the reports FOR the users 
involved, since I would have to be using one time modified copies of their 
programs anyway.

The original scenario has faded & a new one now has my focus.

User # 1 needed to access report on $ spent for the year for Direct Material 
sorted by $ total in the vendor master file whose YTD fields were zeroed in 
the year end.  I got him some quick & dirty reports off of costing in the 
inventory history file by vendor which I do not believe (the totals are too 
low).  His problem was solved because of some other report (not in sequence 
of highest $ to lowest) that had the basic info that he ran 2 days before 
year end & thanks to another thread here that put me onto CPYSPLF, we now 
have our people able to get 400 reports (those that are still on the spool 
file) to a 400 file & from there to any PC spread sheet to reorder the data.

This direct material $ high vendor to low vendor off vendor master us 
query/400 report so sounded simple to restore just that one file to some 
other library, copy the query to run it off of the other library.

Scenario # 2 was that prior to our year end physical, there was a decision 
made to ignore the implications of WIP ... ie. those parts that are in some 
stage between discrete items ... my focus was on the computer records 
veracity side ... where the computer thinks we have thousands of items in 
that condition, but the physical only found 100 of them ... I was over-ruled 
on us doing anything about that because WIP accuracy was too much trouble ... 
well now that we finished year end & are several days into production, the 
decision to ignore WIP has been reversed & they want to get a cost on the WIP 
found in the physical & they need it pretty darn fast, but the people who are 
experts on that portion of our business are on vacation - remember management 
had decided we were not going to do anything with WIP.

For this scenario, I currently plan to clone modify some software, because 
none of our current reports seem to provide the information that they now 
want & if it turns out I have misconstrued what they want, or we have more 
moving targets, this might justify restoring end-of-year backup of our ERP 
files to the TEST environment & doing it twice to simplify the logicals.

We have used the CPYSPLF technique to get a ton of year end physical reports 
to 400 disk file to PC for analysis, but WIP was not in that picture because 
we were not going to do WIP so it was not on our check list of information to 
capture.  We can only send spool file data to PC analysis when we had 
something on our check list to run when the data was available on the 400.

Which is why my advice to these people includes 
THE FIRST THING YOU HAVE TO DO is define what we should have done & fix the 
check list so that history does not repeat the next time we are in this 

Fortunately I have not done a purge of WIP orders since year end, so 95% of 
the data can probably be reconstructed using existing resources, but I 
consider that too much effort ... much simpler to modify existing reports to 
create a WIP costing report ... key in item facility & quantity found in 
physical ... get that part costed individually through each stage of 
production & the sub-total so far multiplied by the quantity found.

This will also give me an excuse to try to talk them into giving me 
permission to write a program I think they have needed for years ... extract 
from the WIP orders the quantities currently at what stages of production & 
run that data through the new program I will be writing officially for this 
scenario & from that get a $ total of what is tied up in WIP as of the end of 
each fiscal month.  But they will need to see the solved results of the 
current crisis to be able to visualize what I am getting at for the monthly 
picture. (Alister Wm Macintyre) (Al Mac)
AS/400 Data Manager & Programmer for BPCS 405 CD Rel-02 mixed mode (twinax 
interactive & batch) @ Central Industries of 
Indiana--->Quality manufacturer of wire harnesses and electrical 
sub-assemblies - fax # 812-424-6838

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