Mystery laptop

I had no clue how good my laptop was. Seriously. Today it kicked ass of an 8-processor server.

Tomorrow we have a go-live of a Microsoft Dynamics NAV deployment, with manufacturing customized to support configure-to-order functionality. Refreshing manufacturing orders now calculates dynamic BOMs and routings, and it takes time.

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Standard enemy

The biggest jeopardies often lurk where we least expect them. When implementing an ERP system such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV, what should be one of our best allies, turns out to be our mortal enemy. It has a simple name: The Standard. Standard processes, standard functionality, standard documents, standard system. All these gizmos can turn into gremlins in a blink of an unattentive eye.

Standards are tricky. If during due dilligence, or diagnostic or analysis phase, we hear the prospect or customer utter the word “standard”, what do we instinctively do? Well, in a standard system, it’s pretty obvious what the standard is, and when the customer says that they “just have standard processes” it means that these processes are just covered with such a standard system, right? So we instinctively tend to skip the more detailed analysis of these, because after all, they are standard.

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Microsoft WinDays 2008

No, it is not a new piece of software; although I admit that to anyone not knowing exactly what it is it might just seem so. Microsoft WinDays is the largest and most important business and technology conference in Croatia (and the region), traditionally organized in Opatija in the last week of April. This year it is taking place from April 22 to 25, with a pre-conference day on April 21. Last year it gathered over 1,900 attendees from Croatia and neighboring countries, and this year it is expected to even surpass this number. During the conference the attendees will have an opportunity to visit 160+ presentations covering 28 different topics, 9 pre-conference seminars, plus enjoy themselves and mingle about the evening parties, or simply enjoy the mild weather, sea and fresh air.

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Not-so-elementary costing: The Change

They say the only constant is change. I’d say that the only other constant is error. We humans tend to err. Give a repeatable task to a human, and they’ll mess it up every once in a while. Some call it the human factor.

One of the many repeatable tasks in Microsoft Dynamics NAV is setting up items. If you remember my rant about mandatory fields, and how I said they were baaad, there might be an even more baaad kind of fields: the default value fields. Because the system simply inserts a value into these fields without asking for your say, and if anything is easy, it’s only so easy to overlook these. Yep, you have a chance to voice your oppinion on these, but having got to hurry for a cup of coffe with Mary from accounting, admit it, you’re gonna leave that default FIFO costing method for an item every once in a while, even though it should really have been Average. Then you’ll start posting. Then your phone rings and starts screaming at you about a moron who screwed up items again.

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Purchasing Services: Inventory Value Zero

I’ve stumbled recently upon a support request, where a partner asked if there was a possibility to register purchases of services in Microsoft Dynamics NAV. When it comes to selling services, such as consulting, or repairs, NAV is your true friend, because you can use Resources to register sales against them. However, purchase documents don’t offer a possibility of purchasing resources, so you are left to some workarounds.

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