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Manufacturer mends failed ERP project Rodney Gedda, Computerworld Today Australia Australian swimming pool accessories manufac...


Manufacturer mends failed ERP project
Rodney Gedda, Computerworld Today Australia
Australian swimming pool accessories manufacturer Poolrite has turned around a
failed ERP implementation by upgrading its way out of trouble instead of making
a fresh start. Poolrite implemented the Baan ERP system in 1999 for an initial
cost of more than A$500,000 (US$375,000) including hardware, only to realize
that "MYOB would have done a better job", according to the companys financial
controller and IT manager Fred Auret. "Baan was installed and the system
basically fell over," Auret said. "It was too complex and a lot of things
werent used. Purchase orders were done manually and because they werent
linked to creditors they were all out of date." The company wasnt using any of
Baans functionality other than "minor transactions". Rather than throw the
baby out with the bathwater, Auret "took stock of what was there" and after
meeting with Baans new owner SSA Global, a decision was made to maintain the
current system and fix it up. "Some parts, like sales and debits, were good,
but as far as manufacturing and stock, that part was in disarray," Auret said,
adding the first move was to upgrade the application. "We were on version 6 and
the latest was 12," he said. "The upgrade was part of the maintenance charge
but there was some work in fixing databases." Poolrite spent around A$80,000,
including consulting and services fees, reinstalling and upgrading the system.
Once upgraded, Poolrite staff needed to be encouraged to use the production
system which "took a fair while" partly due to the amount of manual orders done
offline. With a working ERP system, Poolrite then integrated the Bridgelogix
distribution and barcoding application which is used to identify items via a
Symbol wireless scanner. "We raise a purchase order for goods, which is entered
wirelessly, and then print out the barcode," Auret said. "The wireless devices
have logic in them so you can monitor [item] location. The system is
RFID-capable but we havent gone down that path." Auret said the positive
outcomes are near-100 percent stock recognition, much better stock control, and
live transaction processing. "Location controls tell [the] stock numbers in all
branches so we can see where every item is," he said. As a storeman picks an
item it goes off the stock inventory, and as soon as a sales person sells
something, the item is marked as a sale, he said. Auret described the changes
as "unbelievable", because the system is now automatic it has "probably saved
five positions" in the company as resources are put to better use. "Most
important thing in any project is that it has to be driven," he said. "It is a
big change in culture [and] this project has made a huge difference to
us."Rodney Gedda, Computerworld Today Australia
Australian swimming pool accessories manufacturer Poolrite has turned around a
failed ERP implementation by upgrading its way out of trouble instead of making
a fresh start. Poolrite implemented the Baan ERP system in 1999 for an initial
cost of more than A$500,000 (US$375,000) including hardware, only to realize
that "MYOB would have done a better job", according to the companys financial
controller and IT manager Fred Auret. "Baan was installed and the system
basically fell over," Auret said. "It was too complex and a lot of things
werent used. Purchase orders were done manually and because they werent
linked to creditors they were all out of date." The company wasnt using any of
Baans functionality other than "minor transactions". Rather than throw the
baby out with the bathwater, Auret "took stock of what was there" and after
meeting with Baans new owner SSA Global, a decision was made to maintain the
current system and fix it up. "Some parts, like sales and debits, were good,
but as far as manufacturing and stock, that part was in disarray," Auret said,
adding the first move was to upgrade the application. "We were on version 6 and
the latest was 12," he said. "The upgrade was part of the maintenance charge
but there was some work in fixing databases." Poolrite spent around A$80,000,
including consulting and services fees, reinstalling and upgrading the system.
Once upgraded, Poolrite staff needed to be encouraged to use the production
system which "took a fair while" partly due to the amount of manual orders done
offline. With a working ERP system, Poolrite then integrated the Bridgelogix
distribution and barcoding application which is used to identify items via a
Symbol wireless scanner. "We raise a purchase order for goods, which is entered
wirelessly, and then print out the barcode," Auret said. "The wireless devices
have logic in them so you can monitor [item] location. The system is
RFID-capable but we havent gone down that path." Auret said the positive
outcomes are near-100 percent stock recognition, much better stock control, and
live transaction processing. "Location controls tell [the] stock numbers in all
branches so we can see where every item is," he said. As a storeman picks an
item it goes off the stock inventory, and as soon as a sales person sells
something, the item is marked as a sale, he said. Auret described the changes
as "unbelievable", because the system is now automatic it has "probably saved
five positions" in the company as resources are put to better use. "Most
important thing in any project is that it has to be driven," he said. "It is a
big change in culture [and] this project has made a huge difference to us."

Russian hackers sold exploit
Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service Security vendor Kaspersky Lab says that it
appears two or three Russian hacker squads sold an exploit for the WMF (Windows
Metafile) vulnerability that raised alarms in December.
Criminal gangs sold the exploit on specialized sites for US$4,000, wrote
Alexander Gostev, senior virus analyst at Kaspersky, in a report on virus
activity for the last three months of 2005. It appears someone discovered the
vulnerability around Dec. 1, and exploit code emerged shortly afterward. One of
the purchasers of the exploit was involved in the adware and spyware business,
Gostev wrote.
The WMF vulnerability was unique since no patch existed when it was publicly
detailed, he wrote. Microsoft Corp. initially told customers around the end of
December to wait for its monthly patch update in January, while security
researchers warned the flaw could be used to steal data on infected machines
and use those computers to send spam.
Security analysts also endorsed an unofficial patch created by programmer Ilfak
Guilfanov. Microsoft ended up issuing a patch ahead of its regular schedule
after critics argued the delay was giving hackers more time to work.

IM new threat vector in messaging
Cara Garretson, Network World Worm attacks over instant-messaging networks
increased 1700 percent in 2005, while e-mail spam remained constant at about 75
percent to 80 percent of all messages sent, according to an annual report
issued by messaging security service provider Postini. Postini generated its
2005 report by analyzing the messages that come through its global data centers
where it filters customers messages for spam, viruses, and other malware.
These centers scan a billion messages a day on average, according to Andrew
Lochart, Postinis senior director of marketing. The findings related to
instant messaging, which came from the threat center of Postini partner IM
Logic, showed that MSN Messenger took the brunt of IM attacks in 2005,
accounting for 57 percent of all worms detected. AOLs IM service accounted for
34 percent of the attacks, and Yahoos IM network was home to 9 percent, the
report says. "Hackers have discovered IM, its the new playground for them,"
says Lochart, adding that as IM service providers strike agreements to pass
each others message traffic back and forth, worms will spread back and forth
as well. The companys e-mail security service found 2.5 percent of all blocked
inbound messages contained viruses, and nearly 2 percent of outbound e-mail
from companies that subscribe to Postinis service as well contained viruses.









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