Selecting an Effective ERP Software Project Manager

In our role as ERP software implementation specialists, PSA insists on a client-side internal counterpart to manage ERP project tasks that are assigned to client teams. The role of the client’s ERP Software Project Manager is invaluable to the success of the implementation as they additionally act as a liaison between PSA and the client’s executive management team; spearheading project support and communicating progress to ERP software go-live targets.

When selecting an ERP Software Project Manager, we recommend that the candidate possess the following characteristics:

Active communicator
Frequently follows up on tasks and project progress with all relevant parties.
Motivational
Encourages the project forward and promotes change to colleagues and peers.
Highly disciplined
Deals with internal issues while keeping the ERP project on track.
Effective decision maker
Possesses flexibility to incorporate and accept changes to keep the project on track.
ERP software impact aware
Understands the impact that the ERP solution will have on the business.

Experience has shown that the most successful candidates are strictly dedicated to the ERP software project, relinquishing day-to-day operational tasks to provide full attention to the implementation. PSA uses a collaborative implementation approach that keeps client-side ERP Software Project Manager’s actively engaged from kick-off to go-live.

What about engaging a 3rd party consultant in this role? This decision is typically based on ensuring dedication to the project, but there are multiple downfalls in foregoing the use of a strong internal resource. The most significant are lack of intimate knowledge of business processes and the people that are administering them. Internal resources will have keen insight into existing processes, how to optimize them and how to engage others in the organization in the quest for improvement.

Selecting an ERP Software Project Manager can be a difficult task, but when considering the characteristics above and reviewing your internal talent, you may discover the choice is clear. Choosing the right person for this critical role is one of the most important decisions in your ERP software implementation – choose wisely, and as a final piece of advice be sure that the ERP Project Manager candidate’s project objectives are inline with those of the company to ensure the most successful outcomes.

Ann Fry
Marketing Manager

As well as assisting with ERP implementation and business process mapping, Ann has been providing ERP software insight to field service, mining, distribution and manufacturing industries for over ten years.




Pronto Xi ERP Software Release 740.2 Now Available

Pronto Software recently released the latest update for Pronto Xi 740. Release 740.2 provides numerous enhancements including the following new feature updates:

  • Support for Custom KPI’s which can then be exposed in Workspace Widgets and BI Reporting
  • Multiple Workspaces allows for users to create numerous Workspaces around different areas of their business
  • Web UI enhancements including: Improved menu structure to provide better legibility, Multi Session Logout, User Profile Pictures
  • Extended Enterprise Search capabilities including areas such as resource management
  • Employee Portal now supports Resource Management Timesheets
  • Support for Pronto Xi’s e-Commerce solution, Avenue

For complete details regarding this latest release of Pronto Xi ERP Software, please contact us.


The not so secret weapon to providing great customer service.

Field service relies heavily on so many factors, but is enough emphasis placed on building a strong foundation using Field Service Management ERP software?


Over the last few days my family has found itself surrounded with repair issues; from our refrigerator to our family vehicle it appears that in this given week anything that can breakdown will. While scheduling repairs with various companies, I found myself thinking about the importance of customer satisfaction. For example, would I buy another product from this manufacturer? Did I feel satisfied with the attention provided to my issue? Will my item be promptly repaired?

Customer satisfaction is far more than polite service representatives reassuring a customer that all will be well. It is providing the necessary tools for service workers to have access to client, purchase and product information, whenever and wherever they need it, to provide intelligent responses and actions to client service issues. In two of the three service calls I placed so far this week, I was surprised to find the limited information my first points of contact had in dealing with simple call logging and service initiation.

Although this should be no big secret, comprehensive Field Service Management (ERP) software is the key to empowering service workers by delivering critical information while also providing a mechanism to track performance against SLAs. When reviewing the many articles citing keys to successful customer service, ERP is infrequently ranked as the most important key to successful customer service, but here is why it should be.

A comprehensive ERP system for field service management delivers real-time queues to build consumer confidence and satisfaction:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for prompt reference to client detail and sales history.
  • Service Call Management modules can provide:
    • Efficient and organized service call logging, lookup and historical tracking.
    • Call escalation and monitoring to ensure a client issue is efficiently and effectively handled.
    • Service history by item serial number or product class plus knowledge base article logging for training and troubleshooting efficiencies.
    • Optimized technician assignment (by skill level and/or location) and service scheduler to effectively assign and triage calls for quicker handling.
    • Self-Service client portals for added convenience in 24/7 call review and updates.
    • SLA contract management.
  • Product Management provides product model lookup by lot or serial number and detailed BOM for full part listings.
  • Inventory for real-time availability of replacement service parts and integrated Procurement for ordering out-of-stock items.
  • Mobile Service for technician real-time connectivity to ticket, troubleshooting and spare part inventory inquiries from any location.
  • Maintenance to apply proactive and preventative maintenance scheduling to impress clients with high reliability rates.
  • Business Intelligence reporting and dashboards to measure key customer satisfaction performance indicators (KPIs) like first time fix rate, SLA compliance rates, average response times and more.

These benefits focus on improving customer satisfaction, yet there are many additional areas where service management software delivers – such as cost reduction, productivity, service-to-cash turnaround, utilization, and resource visibility to name just a few.

My personal experience suggests that customers can forgive the fact that a product may fail. What they will not tolerate in a society where ‘customer is king’ is failure of a company to react with the utmost attention to servicing their issues. Social media has proven this with enlightened customers using their voice to resonate their service experiences across mainstream media outlets.

When fighting for repeat and referral business, field service organizations recognize that customer satisfaction is the most important influencer – field service management software plays a tremendous role in providing the foundation for great service to thrive. As for my fridge, car and other numerous breakdowns, once I get to the repair phase of my service experience perhaps it will be the makings of my next field service blog.


Ann Fry
Marketing Manager

As well as assisting with ERP implementation and business process mapping, Ann has been providing ERP software insight to field service, mining, distribution and manufacturing industries for over ten years.




Does your mining ERP software include full job costing functionality?

The most essential module in any ERP system that is focused on mining is the Job Costing module. It is arguable that most ERP systems have generic efficiencies built into most of the common modules like General Ledger or Fixed Assets. However, with respect to Job Costing functionality there is a significant variation across ERP software solutions that requires further investigation for those looking to invest in a proven mining solution.

The primary requirement is that the job costing system can handle multiple types of projects simultaneously allowing a company to explore, construct, and operate all at the same time, if required. The common perception of job costing is that it simply provides the ability to track costs for each specific job or project. While this may be the case in a limited ERP, job costing must have a select list of features to truly benefit a mining organization.

Our mining expert, Jarrad Sonnenberg details these additional benefits in a comprehensive white paper that not only discusses the intricacies of job costing, but also provides detailed information on planned maintenance, full integration and real-time analytics; the foundation of mining ERP software.

Avoid the need for third-party add-ons in your ERP software implementation, and get the complete list of job costing requirements for mining prior to your search. To download our white paper, ERP Software for Mining: Essential Elements, simply follow this link.


Pronto Xi | How to run an application service for only part of the day

 

When you have a process that you need to run on a scheduled basis throughout the day, there are 2 options in Pronto Xi ERP Software:

  • use a Linux crontab entry
  • use an Application Service

Application Services is the preferred method, and much easier to administer, with its wizard-based interface.

However, a client recently asked if they could have an application service that only runs between certain hours of the day. At first glance, this looked like the only advantage cron had over app services. An Application Service has a start date and a frequency, but no way to enter a stop time.

But, what most people don’t know is that there is an undocumented feature of Application Services that can accomplish this.

The client wanted to run a couple of application services (1013 and 1014 below), only during the day. So I created 2 additional services for each, one to start the original service, and one to stop it.

Pronto Xi Application Services List

Taking service 1013 as an example, service 1015 is set up like this, to start service 1013 in the morning. Frequency for this service needs to be ‘Daily’:

Pronto Xi Application Service Wizard

Indicate the time you want the main service to be started, and whether you want it to run on weekends:

Pronto Xi Application Service Settings

Here’s the trick – the program to run is ‘appservice’, with the parameters -start-service and the service number we want to start:

Pronto Xi appservice -start-service

This will start service 1013 at the indicated time in the morning.

Service 1016, to stop the main service 1013, is set up to run daily at the required stop time, and executes appservice with parameters -stop-service, and 1013:

Pronto Xi appservice -stop-service

To summarize:

  • Service 1015 starts service 1013 at 07:25 in the morning
  • Service 1016 stops service 1013 at 19:30 in the evening

In this way, you can have a service that runs only during a specific window during the day.

 

 

Kevin Schell
Senior Solutions Consultant

Kevin Schell has over 30 years’ experience in helping clients excel through effective use of information technology. Kevin has assisted clients in several industries, including Mining, Manufacturing, Distribution, and Financial Services.

 

 


Why do mining industry leaders select Pronto Xi ERP software to manage their operations?

With so many enterprise resource planning software packages available, we often get asked why so many mining companies select Pronto Xi ERP Software to run their operations. Pronto Xi is currently running in hundreds of mining organizations worldwide – from junior mining to large-scale producing mines that are on a global scale. Our mining clients cite many benefits as to why they chose Pronto Xi and PSA consulting for their implementation, but most frequently we hear the following:

Pronto Xi is proven in meeting the needs of the mining industry.

Pronto Xi ERP Software has been meeting the operational needs of mining companies for decades through strength in financial, project and asset management. Today over 450 mining and mining suppliers use Pronto Xi which is a testament to the quality and comprehensive functionality that Pronto Xi offers. Recognized as a mining industry leader Pronto Xi continues to be developed using direct industry feedback which boasts an edge over its competitors.

Quick Return-on-Investment

A rapid deployment and low total cost of ownership (TCO) allow Pronto Xi to deliver a quicker ROI without compromising functionality. Comparable to Tier 1 and Tier 2 ERP software Pronto Xi provides a rich feature set with deep functionality, while being available at a lower overall cost. This is a significant benefit for up and coming mines with shareholder commitments.

A single fully integrated solution with flexible deployment

Pronto Xi is a fully integrated solution with modules that seamlessly manage corporate, exploration, mining and operations activities. Modular functionality can be implemented all at once or gradually as mining production develops; and with extensive core functionality there is no need for add-ons or interfaces for other areas such as tenement and equipment maintenance management.

Reliable Remote Connectivity to Mine Sites

Pronto Xi works well in low bandwidth, high latency connectivity allowing remote mine sites to continue to benefit from real-time ERP connectivity with head office locations.

Global Mine Operations Management

Mining organizations need software that can support international transactions. Pronto Xi functionality includes multi-currency, consolidations and advanced financial reporting that is suitable for geographically diverse mining operations.

World-class Asset Management | Predictive and Preventative Maintenance

Pronto Xi helps to maximize utilization and productivity of mining equipment through comprehensive asset tracking and management. This entails tracking, usage, cost, and maintenance of mining assets that increases up-time through structured predictive and preventative maintenance planning.

Accurate mining project management and costing

Detailed project management and costing allows mining organizations to make proactive and informed decisions. Pronto Xi manages project details with accurate resource, expense and income tracking to ensure projects are on time and on budget. Pronto Xi project costing can handle project hierarchies, multiple cost centres, multi-customer invoicing against projects, charge out by cost category, profit take-up and release and more.

Business Intelligence with IBM Cognos

A strong business intelligence platform is critical for mining organizations. Pronto Xi has built-in business intelligence tools running on IBM Cognos for real-time reporting of mine performance. IBM Cognos reports are available both in the office and via mobile device for real-time performance updates.

SOX, IFRS and US GAAP Compliance

Pronto Xi ERP Software meets SOX, IFRS, and US GAAP compliance requirements to ensure that corporate regulatory obligations are satisfied.

Mining Industry Experience

Choosing an ERP software partner, is as critical as selecting the ERP software itself. Mining companies seek out ERP consulting teams with deep mining industry knowledge that will add value to the business processes that will be supported by their software implementation.

Although many industries are complex, the mining industry offers unique challenges where only experience can provide an advantage. Pronto Xi ERP Software proves time and time again that it is the best choice among competitors for mining by providing the tools to reduce operating costs and improve production efficiencies to achieve profitability. Mining companies worldwide continue to choose Pronto Xi based on decades of industry success and its ability to continue to develop to meet the evolving needs of the mining community.

For more information about Pronto Xi ERP Software for Mining, visit our mining industry page.