Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I am reading - Good to Great

I am now reading Jim Collins book, “Good to Great.” A good read I suppose, but find the concept level 5 leadership hard to fathom initially. As I progress in reading it becomes clearer and clearer. The book contains lots of good principles and concepts. From Level % leadership -> Hedgehog -> Flywheel. It is a good read and having sold to date more than 3 million copies worldwide there must be some worth to reading it.

Jim Collins teams research the fortune 500 listed companies for years. As there are published data and interviews to based on. It makes to feel that surely there must be some Great Small Companies out there.

To me, reading a management/business books is somewhat similar to the act of going to church … you know the core principles but you need to listen and internalize the subtle nuances so that you truly stay on the right path.
So far as I progress in reading the picture becomes clearer.

Level 5 Leadership built a team of capable executives.
He is usually not egoistic, The “I” word is seldom used but the” we” word is often used.
He assembled the right people in the “bus”
Usually has a succession plan in place.

Level 1-4 Leadership built only himself.(He is usually a genius, capable and charismatic)
Consider himself as God gifts to the company. I able to do this, I, I, I is often his vocabulary.
He doesn’t have a team of executive but a 1000 “helper.”
He usually set the route for the whole company without much consultation.
When he leaves the whole company crumbles.

As I read through the “Good to Great” in between appointments & seminars, (3/4 way through)

Come to a realization that Careware is actually following the “Hedgehog” principles all the while. We do not get sidetrack with all the noise in the ERP world, but focus on Sage Accpac and what we do best for our customers. No wonder in a small market in Malaysia, we are consistently number ONE for 10 years plus. No wonder we are among the Top Business Partners in Asia.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Year of Tiger 2010.

Wishing you a prosperous

and Happy Chinese New Year

Year of Tiger 2010 :

The Tiger is said to be lucky vivid, lively and engaging. Another attribute of the Tiger is his incredible bravery, evidenced in his willingness to engage in battle or his undying courage. Maybe he’s so brave because he is so focus. So we will engagged our business with the “Eyes of the Tiger” The killer instinct for businesses.

In the wild, seeing the "eyes" of the tiger signifies death, because right before a tiger attacks, it turns its ears forward so that the spot on the back of each ear faces nearer its prey. The "eye spots" on the back of tigers' ears serve to confuse predators and reduce the risk of attack from behind. Hence, once someone sees these "eyes", the tiger is about to attack.

The song used in Rocky is "Eye of the Tiger" by a band called Survivor. Some of the lyrics....

It's the Eye of the Tiger,

It's the thrill of the fight,
Rising up to the challenge of our rival,
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night,
And he's watching us all
With the Eye of the Tiger.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sage Business Solutions – Spotlight on: Manufacturing-Process.

MISys/ACCPAC* has been successfully used for process manufacturers worldwide If a product is formula or recipe-based. MISys could dramatically improve operating effectiveness and efficiencies. We may not offer it right out of the box, but MISys is very adaptable to a wide range of industries, and for a small and mid-sized process manufacturing companies MISys may be a better fit financially as well as ease-of-use.

Key Benefits
Powerful Yet Easy to Use
Although MISys or ACCPAC ERP is not designed specifically for pharmaceutical or biosciences, but we have some good and satisfied customers who use it worldwide. Its helps to automate batch process manufacturing environments, MISys /Accpac ERP solution combines fully integrated process manufacturing, production planning and financial management capabilities. By implementing this solution, you will be equipped with the software you need to coordinate your entire manufacturing operation, including:
• Lot Traceability.
• Infinite locations for QA steps.
• Routing details.
• Formula can be looked at as a recipe. (i.e. x gallons of this, y oz of that.)
• 16 levels of sub-assembly/BOM
• Bar-coding and bin tracking.
• Expire or spoil date tracking.
• Return Merchandised Authorization.
• Integrated Sales order Processing.
• Integrated Retail management. (option)

Whether you manufacture chemicals, pharmaceuticals, or food, this powerful solution equips the process manufacturing industries with features required to improve operations, streamline workflow, and build profits. Choose the solution that many businesses have used to overcome the same obstacles you're facing today - MISys & Accpac ERP.

Integrated Business Solutions
MISys integrates seamlessly the Sage Accpac Accounting module seamlessly with the same look and feel. Unlike other ERP-accounting integrations, the distribution and manufacturing in some cases are handled by other software, with accounting in a difference software. . This means that the end-users have to learn two systems with difference look and feel and have put up with loose interface via import and export.

Careware Domain Experiences

Some users of Sage Accpac ERP/MISys

  1. Martek Biosciences Corporation

  2. Nuplex Resins

  3. SamChemicals

  4. Applied Chemicals

  5. Zhulian Industries Sdn Bhd

  6. SamLube

  7. Omni-trac

  8. Ridgemonde Resins

  9. Oak State Products - (Cookies)
This list is by no means exhaustive but give an indication of our domain experiences.
* Once complex formulae that involve temperatures, gasses and pressures, (as in Oil and Gas ) it is out of our league and MISys will not be a good fit.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

What are The Problems with Cloud-Based computing?

Executives considering adopting an ERP application on the cloud are concerns about some of these things.
There are several problems with cloud-based computing as follows:

1. Functionality – As a general observation, cloud erp is not ready for prime time yet. It is a good option if your functional requirements are limited, you are likely not to change your business requirements AND you plan to use the system for only 2-3 years before evaluating ERP again. It is usually an entry level type of application that is on the cloud with vanilla flavor as is basis. The business model falls apart when you need to customize and/or interface other software products. So vanilla flavor Quickbook, Salesforce, Netsuite and a host of entry level systems is for you?

2. Speed - Dial up access to the internet is not enough. It takes cable, DSL, or business class high-speed internet access to make web-based erp work at acceptable levels of performance. If you have dial-up access, don't even bother. What about your Streamyx broad band in some area like Sri Kenbangan and Subang it is fast enough? And if you are using dial up, don’t even bother.

3. Reliability - Web-based computing relies 100% on the internet being up and running and available. I can assure you, the internet is not always up and running and available. Ask yourself, how many times has your internet access been down this year? If the internet is down - you are down, and most likely your business is down as well. Ouch! The weakest link is its ULTIMATE SINGLE POINT OF FAILURE and you can’t do anything about it. This is a valid concern and there really is no answer other than employing a local on premised solution.

4. Viruses - because of rampant viruses and media attention, many people fear that they might be at a higher risk to contract a virus if they run their operation on a web-based system. There is little basis for this. Yes, viruses are a serious threat. You should be running virus protection software and a firewall device anyway. Theoretically, you are at the same risk level of contracting a virus whether your accounting system is on line or stored locally. The threat of viruses is not a very valid concern in my opinion.

5. Security - Most companies are very concerned about sending their data over the internet. They fear that their data will either be viewed or compromised. The reality is that with 128 bit encryption, sending you data over the internet is as safe as it can be. If you currently keep your data on a file server at the office, the thieves could steal the computer, unauthorized employees might access the system at night, backup tapes could be left in non-secure environments, etc. While nothing in this world is 100% safe, it boils down to managing your systems. Security is not a very valid concern in my opinion.

I have said it often; don’t be too hung-up on technology. Have a reality check. Don’t be clouded by the buzzword that is ringing around in the IT world. Ask the question how does this application help me to solve my inventory control problems, my operational issue? Careware is not against Cloud computing as our principals Sage also has its software available via SaaS for years already in US/Canada and someone is offering Sage Line50 in Ireland as well. This concept has being around for a long time.

Do some checking and you will find that just as fast as new customer signed-up the equal amount of customers sign-off and revert to the traditional model of running their ERP. But the biggest real obstacles for Malaysia and some South East Asia end users are those stated in point 1, 2 and 3.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Damage to underwater cable disrupts TM's internet service

Published: Sunday January 31, 2010 MYT 7:07:00 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Telekom Malaysia Berhad's (TM) internet service on Sunday has been disrupted by a damaged underwater cable circuit at the Asian American Gateway (AAG) at Lantau, China.

A TM statement said with the damage at AAG which links Malaysia to the United States, customers surfing websites hosted in Hong Kong and the US would experience slow connection.

Those using internet protocol (IP) like virtual private network (VPN) and critical business applications linked to Hong Kong and US might encounter service disruption.

The statement said to overcome the problem, several internet lines were directed to alternative connections to reduce traffic congestion.

With the repair work, traffic to North America and Hong Kong would experience disruption while traffic to other countries would remain the same.

TM customers can report problems by calling the 100 line and choose "internet service" or sending email to help. - BERNAMA