ERP Software

Gweenz

[H]ard|Gawd
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Dec 18, 2003
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1,216
We have a client who are a manufacturer of food items. Their current ERP software is called Batchmaster. I know very little of the program itself other than it works ok (I am offsite support), but their support is the worst I have ever come across. They don't appear to have anyone on their staff with any training of any kind. I have replaced the aging 2003 server with a brand new 2012r2 server and gave them more than enough information and rights to access both, but they have continually failed to be able to remote access both servers and workstations; not because of anything wrong with the systems, but because of a complete lack of knowledge of ip addressing and DNS. They can't login because of this and then send me an email telling me to "fix the connection". Then I do a gotomeeting with them and show them what they are doing wrong, only to have the same thing happen again. They sent me this yesterday:



Yes that's XP, yes that's a private IP, they are not onsite, and no, they do not have a VPN. Long story short I am at my wit's end with them. Does anyone have any experience with ERP software and if there's anything out there that isn't awful?
 
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shade91

Guest
It highly depends on your business requirements since some ERP systems come with everything and the kitchen sink (SAP) or lower-end to middle of the road solutions like myERP (which lack a manufacturing module).

It doesn't sound like the prudent thing to do though to toss away a software solution just because the support vendor doesn't understand networking. You should provide full instructions along with isolated VPN access so the vendor can support the solution. This is a common practice if the vendor doesn't have a site-to-site VPN connection set up. Unfortunately, dealing with support headaches comes with the territory of working the service desk. This is why I don't work in the service desk. I don't want grey hair. :)
 

Gweenz

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 18, 2003
Messages
1,216
It highly depends on your business requirements since some ERP systems come with everything and the kitchen sink (SAP) or lower-end to middle of the road solutions like myERP (which lack a manufacturing module).

It doesn't sound like the prudent thing to do though to toss away a software solution just because the support vendor doesn't understand networking. You should provide full instructions along with isolated VPN access so the vendor can support the solution. This is a common practice if the vendor doesn't have a site-to-site VPN connection set up. Unfortunately, dealing with support headaches comes with the territory of working the service desk. This is why I don't work in the service desk. I don't want grey hair. :)

It's not necessarily time to drop them, but I would like to have a few options for the client. The software isn't working at this point, and was giving them headaches even before the server upgrade. I actually did give them (Batchmaster) very detailed instructions with names, addresses, passwords, everything. I gave those instructions to a fellow employee with less experience than I, and had him use that information to access everything that was necessary. No problems there. They have domain admin rights, which they asked for and I was reluctant to give. I have repeatedly asked them for information in order to be of help, and I can document this, and they have ignored all of those requests. I can give them VPN access but they have been attempting to use public IP's to attempt to access local resources, so I cannot see how that would help. They don't know the difference between a public and private IP.

This latest failure to remote in was at least the 5th, all of which can be attributed to a lack of reading my detailed instructions. They continue to ignore my emails, and are only now emailing me back because I threatened to send Batchmaster an invoice for my time. Did I mention my client pays a yearly support contract to them, and yet they are extorting my client $185/hr for this support?

As far as business requirements, it's a small factory with 1 line start-to-finish. There are maybe a dozen or so workers on the floor, being supported by a team of 6-8 managers/supervisors. It's a food item, so basically some ingredients in, and a food item out. They do have a shipping dock and warehouse, all in the same building. I am definitely not an expert in the area of manufacturing, this is our only client of that type, so I am learning as I go as to what their requirements are.
 

UncleDavid218

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Jan 16, 2006
Messages
2,734
You really need a deep understanding of their usage of the software, the style in which they manufacture (job shop vs. batching is going to be completely different work flow), and requirements for interfacing with other software, etc. How do they keep track of labor? Is it built into the cost of the product or seperate? Do their line employees punch in and out of jobs in real time or does Production Control assume that duty?

As was mentioned above there are a million different classes of ERP software.

We are a company that manufactures only 4 different models with a limited amount of options and for our needs Infor SyteLine was the way to go. If you need any advice on it I administer the software and can provide you my experiences.
 

Gweenz

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 18, 2003
Messages
1,216
You really need a deep understanding of their usage of the software, the style in which they manufacture (job shop vs. batching is going to be completely different work flow), and requirements for interfacing with other software, etc. How do they keep track of labor? Is it built into the cost of the product or seperate? Do their line employees punch in and out of jobs in real time or does Production Control assume that duty?

As was mentioned above there are a million different classes of ERP software.

We are a company that manufactures only 4 different models with a limited amount of options and for our needs Infor SyteLine was the way to go. If you need any advice on it I administer the software and can provide you my experiences.

Thank you very much. I will get some more information on their manufacturing style, but if I had to guess I would say batch. What I can tell you is that their labor is now being tracked by software/hardware called Timeclock Plus which is brand new. They are going to use this software to keep track of how their labor costs relate to each product produced, though it does not "integrate" with Batchmaster. The plan is to have a tablet on the floor that a supervisor can use in real time to change a floor worker's job code depending on what product is being produced. They use Quickbooks, which does "integrate" with Batchmaster through QODBC.

This is a new client of ours and was in desperate need of upgrades after spending years with no IT budget whatsoever, so it has been difficult.
 
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