The problem with reading Dilbert strips is that so many of us recognize the dysfunctional patterns of behavior from our own work environments. So the axiom applies — we laugh because it is funny, and we laugh because it is true.
That is why the strip below touches such a nerve with us here at Panatrack.
As Dynamics GP users contact us in their search for a warehouse management system (WMS), many of them who are inventory-centric have little visibility into the source of much of their company's worth and their ability to deliver on customer expectations. Maintenance-oriented organizations running the most advanced reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) initiatives have a hard time realizing the benefit of increased uptime without visibility of the spares and repairs in their stock room. Organizations may also have a hard time, as pointed out in this article in New Equipment Digest, coming up with accurate information on the fixed assets listed on their general ledger.
These situations are classic sit-com fodder. Somebody has an embarrassing secret, and the tension builds until the secret is discovered to great hilarity. When the secrets take place not on the screen but in your business, it may be hard to find the humor in your situation as that tension builds. The big reveal can be traumatic or career-ending. Do you have an inventory shrinkage problem due to theft by employees? Are employees not recording inventory used on production runs or on billable projects? Do you have to engage in regular cycle counts or physical inventory to uncover these problems? Are stock-outs torpedoing relationships with your customers? Does uncertainty in stock levels force you to keep too much money tied up in inventory, robbing you of the opportunity to grow as an organization?
During your search for WMS or asset management extension to Dynamics GP, you may experience other comic moments as software vendors oversell or mischaracterize their products. And they will have the last laugh as you struggle with your new post-go-live reality. We see these mini-business-sitcoms unfold every day. We see companies that sell standalone WMS software claim their software updates Dynamics GP in real time. It doesn't. To do that, you need a true extension to Dymamics GP that uses the SQL Server database running under GP as its data master. We see them push cost into the duration of the product lifecycle by forcing customers to buy into an extensive number of support hours. If the product works as it should, why would you need more than a standard maintenance package? Is it because they anticipate regular and recurrent problems? Or because they just want to maximize revenue from the sale?
The element of surprise is important for comedy. Just as we don't know exactly when the jack in the box is going to come popping out to give us that little start, we don't know when the punch line is going to hit. This is not an acceptable model for inventory management, asset management or for running your business. So we encourage people to add real-time barcode data capture to their instance of Dynamics GP where appropriate. And in the process of selecting that softare, ask a lot of questions. We feel that the more you know, the more likely we are to wind up working together.