Enterprise data in a manufacturing company is constantly changing and updating. Sophisticated business architecture environments such as Oracle/ERP and MFG/Pro, have very dynamic application interaction and interdependence.
Integrating data and data flow from application to application,
and extracting and reporting that data into business
operations reports that can be utilized for decision
making is a constant challenge for manufacturing companies.
"Managing change" in
an ERP reporting environment is critical.
In many cases, SME manufacturing companies try to use one of the traditional application
solutions such as Oracle/ERP, SAP or MFG/Pro and a few others. This results from a concern
to stabilize the need for IT staff and also to try to minimize development by deploying
proven applications. Often SME manufacturing firms seek to use their scarce IT resources
for tailoring these applications to their specific needs, and for additional integration
of front office, middle office and back office applications. This is a full time job and
major challenge in most companies. Keeping those critical applications current with user
business requirements and function deliverables to meet the needs of the business
transaction processing environment and business rules of the company is an on-going mission.
Diverse business operational users in many different functional areas of the business,
from Accounting to Manufacturing Production Control and Sales front office, have on-going
requirements for business reports as well as data analysis for business control and decision making.
Often, user's needs exceed the content and design of "off-the-shelf" reports and toolkits
that may be used to try to build new or modify existing reports. Business users typically
are not skilled at using report building tools, and have limited time to divert from their
primary responsibilities. They are just too busy focusing on their own responsibilities
which may be supervising or monitoring Quality Assurance or managing the Sales Forecast
and/or Work In Process status. They usually don't have time to develop their own reports
and find existing traditional tool kits challenging to learn, and even more difficult to
make them work in a real environment.