I worked doing SAP consulting work for many years at 6 different companies. Not one installation went smoothly. Several companies ended up suing the main consulting firm (Andersen -->Accenture, D&T, etc...). Every company that implemented was sorry that they did and wished they could turn back the clock as instead of saving money, they were losing more money because of SAP. Although, I'm sure there are a few success stories out there, every consultant friend of mine in SAP has said exactly the same thing to me about all of their projects. That is why I sold this stock a long time ago and would never buy it!
"we were able to develop and integrate all other "best of breed" software systems within 6 month" So how were you able to integrate all these systems so quickly? Are you saying that all these best of breed systems shared master tables for customers, vendors/suppliers, material records....Or did you just interface them? There is a big difference between an interface and an integrated environment.....And if you did really integrate them how are you going to support them and upgrade them in the future? Your planning to do this going forward with only 3 staff? Don't think so....Sounds like an interface to me. Hard to believe that someone with 40 years in IT still doesn't know the difference....
Our profit (not revenue) per employee runs $500,000. My stock in this privately held firm is now worth over a mill. Our IT budget is perhaps only 5% of our total operations. Yet we do the same things big pharmas are struggling to do with with their bloated IT staffs and budgets.
If you know nothing about the ease of development and reliability of Filemaker in a client/server environment operating flawlessly for 3 years on Windoze clients over a TCP/IP network then don't bash what you obviously don't understand. The user doesn't even know or care that the back end server resides on a Mac.
Since when is complex, cumbersome, expensive a better choice than lean, mean and simple?
BTW, I'm not at work today, so that's why I'm wasting time on this board.
It all boils down to the old saying: Don't start vast projects with half-vast ideas.
Right now my half-vast idea is to make money in this stinking stock market. Yeah, right short everything. PE, PEG, sectors don't matter. Total fiasco!
Top 10 Corporate Information Technology Failures
Nobody cares about your nickle and dime operation. Why don't you go post messages on the "Platinum" message board - LOL!! One thing that really sums how lame your company is:
"Our current system runs flawlessly on networked PC's, Macintoshes and Linux boxes. "
Macintoshes - LOL!!!
Get a life!
Thanks for sharing your background. I can much more go with your statement "I don't believe in ERP [...] as a solution to OUR problems".
I personally believe that SAP is overkill for most small companies, and maybe even for many mid-sized ones. With the world's biggest companies on one ERP or another, SAP seeks to broaden it's market to smaller companies, and it doesn't always make sense from an ROI perspective. However, many smaller companies run succesfully on SAP, YMMV.
The companies that I usually deal with are much bigger, with hundreds of legacy systems around the globe and the need (from management's perspective) for central auditing, planning, scheduling etc, which is impossible to do with an array of incompatible individual solutions. Last year's sales of the clients I worked at over the last years were US$ 98 Billion, 6 Billion, 3 Billion, 76 Billion, 25 Billion, and 40 Billion, and with companies this size it hardly makes sense to rely on a patchwork of inhouse developed solutions.
I guess we're both right, then. ;-)
First off, I'm an old data processing hack that's been around since the mid 60's. I'm currently the IS/IT director for a small pharmaceuticals firm (150 employees). I know about the Foxmeyer story first hand since they used to be our main distributor/customer.
Let me give you a single good reason I don't believe in the ERP methodology as a solution to our problems: there is no "central" or all-encompassing definition of a customer.
1. Distributors, e.g. Foxmeyer now gone, Cardinal Health, Bergen, etc.
3. Health care groups, direct bulk buyers Kaiser, Tenet, VA hospitals e.g.
5. Clinics, research groups
7. End user patients
8. Nurse Practitioners
Each of these categories of customers require special processing.
1. Distributors pay retail and then charge us back for the actual contract cost negotiated with health care groups for example.
2. Drop ships direct to pharmacies require crediting the distributor.
3. Health care group ordering may be direct from us or through a distributor. In any case, the order level needs to be tracked because they charge us a percentage of total member hospital sales as a fee for putting us on their formulary.
4. Sales/Marketing data must be seamlessly integrated with prescriptions written. The competition data comes from an outside source (IMS Health). Since the IMS data tracks physician prescriptions, this must be associated with hospitals they serve.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for our very complex data handling and reporting requirements. Our current system runs flawlessly on networked PC's, Macintoshes and Linux boxes. It supports our accounting, financial reporting, supply chain, customer relations, EDI, forecasting, direct to consumer orders.
Using standard off-the-shelf accounting software (Platinum to be precise), we were able
to develop and integrate all other "best of breed" software systems within 6 months a cost under $250K.
Our full-time IT staff consists of 3 employees and our need for outside consultants is minimal after the original start-up efforts. Typical changes usually due to government mandates take 2,3 days to implement.
Now what is it I need to know about SAP?
I changed my profile several times, and the date never changed, even though it says "Date changed". Maybe they fixed that, since I didn't change my profile for some time, but regardless, it has nothing to do with the issue at hand.
I never denied that there are problems with pieces of the code and with some implementations, so your second statement doesn't fit me either.
The problem with SAP is that they had to grow too fast and bring unfinished products to the market, since Larry Ellison and other charlatans sell products that only exist on flashy Powerpoints to the clueless management of corporate America.
Again, SAP is at fault, too, but when you closely look at implementations gone wrong, it's hardly ever the software itself that is the reason, but poor implementation and customizing of it.