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Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

Saving Customers from Themselves

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One of the principles that MIPRO lives by is, “Always tell your customer what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear.” We are passionate about providing real, honest observations and feedback. Sometimes we are tested to see just how far we will take that commitment.

We recently had a customer decide they wanted to move the go-live date for our project earlier by three months. Although we had a detailed project plan created by one of our senior resources with over 25 years of experience, the customer’s project manager decided to set aside the plan, eliminating steps and increasing project risk, in order to hit an earlier date.

We did not hesitate to share our concern and the potential risks associated with that decision. We delivered our honest feedback and the new date was not altered. We had done all we could do. We focused on doing everything we could to help our customer make the new date, keeping an eye open for the challenges that lay ahead.

We kept to our principles and did the right thing, but in this case, the candid feedback negatively impacted our relationship with the customer. In almost every other instance, the honest, candid feedback is seen as refreshing and has led to many long term, mutually beneficial relationships. In either case, we believe we should never comprise our principles.

Some things we’ve learned along the way:

  • Always be professional when providing feedback. Leave the emotion out of it. Easier said than done, but extremely important.
  • Timing is everything. As the saying goes, bad news is not like wine, it does not get better with age. Share your feedback sooner rather than later.
  • Keep the long-term end goal in mind. Minor diversions from the plan don’t always need the cavalry. Don’t become the “boy who cried wolf.”
  • Respect your customer’s wishes. Provide your feedback, but unless you are 100% responsible for delivering or you’re on a fix fee engagement, if it is the customer’s project, point out the path to success as well as the risks, then march with them.
  • Never compromise your principles.

If you ever need honest observations or feedback don’t hesitate to contact us.

ERP or CMMS?

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ERP 1If you’re planning on growing your business ERP is the way to go for today…and tomorrow.

There have been many articles written about the pros and cons of each of these options for handling your maintenance and facilities management functions. They range from cost, flexibility, ease of use and complexity. It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you stand on, in today’s fast paced and dollar conscious work environments it’s important to pick the option that will give you both short and long term results.

Why choose an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) over a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) you ask? That’s a very good question, and to be completely transparent here, yes I support an ERP product (PeopleSoft), with a focus on Maintenance Management. I came to this role through a Facilities Management background – I’ve used both and I’ve had success with both but have found more benefits and savings and fewer headaches with an ERP.

First let’s just look at the definitions of the two different types of systems:

ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning:  Business process management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions related to technology, services and human resources.[1]

CMMS – Computerized Maintenance Management System: A software package that maintains a computer database of information about an organization’s maintenance operations.[2]

For me, the limitations of a CMMS are stated clearly and simply by its name – it’s a single, stand-alone application.

If you aren’t using any portion of an ERP system and your current systems are giving you the reporting and analysis that you need then it may be to your advantage to stick with what you’re using. But having a stand-alone system isn’t like marriage – you’re not committed to it forever. You have choices and as technology improves it’s a good idea to explore an ERP option just to make sure that what you’ve got is the best that you can have for your business today…and tomorrow.

ERP 2If you are integrating multiple systems, you know the headaches this can create. Here is a “simple” view of a multisystem integration map. Just looking at it is mind boggling and combining data for analysis can be as challenging, and frustrating, as reading this map.

On the other hand, if you’re using any module of PeopleSoft ERP today with a stand-alone, non-integrated CMMS you’re not getting the full potential out of either system. You have some data in one application, other data in others – and most of the time that information has to be merged together for accurate reporting and analysis. What system is your source of truth?

In my opinion, one of the primary benefits of an integrated solution is cost savings. Cost savings through the elimination of custom integrations and the time savings achieved through having all of your data in one application. This is especially important when it relates to your maintenance and facilities management – the ability to tie all of your work order costs to an asset to get a true picture of overall performance and costs is invaluable. Imagine having your purchasing, your asset management and your preventive/maintenance management functions all in one application. This alone is well worth the time to explore the advantages of PeopleSoft’s ERP system.

ERP 3Unlike the mind-boggling map above showing integrations of multiple systems, this map of the Maintenance Management module in PeopleSoft displays clean connections with other modules of the application. The integration points that are so critical to analyzing your costs and assets is built in for you. This is your source of truth.

At the end of the day you may be exactly where you need to be and your current solutions are the best choice for you – you’ll never know unless you compare. Remember, you’re not married to your current stand-alone system, so it’s ok to do a little looking around for the right system for you today…and tomorrow all in one application.

If you have any questions about PeopleSoft Maintenance Management 9.2, or any other modules within PeopleSoft please contact Robin Cole or Larry Zagata.

[1] www.webopedia.com/TERM/E/ERP.html

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computerized_maintenance_management_system

Lease Administration Navigation Collection

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The Lease Administration navigation collection was added to the PeopleSoft Fluid User Interface with release of FSCM Image 20. This navigation collection groups common functionalities used in Lease Administration in a single location.

More and more functionality is moving to FLUID and the Lease Administration navigation collection is one additional example. There are few tricks and tips to make the navigation collection available in the FLUID Homepage – follow these simple steps.

Step 1: Click on the three lines in the upper right to expose the configuration panel.

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Step 2: Click on the PERSONALIZE HOMEPAGE and it will bring you to the ability to configure.

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Step 3: Click on ADD TILE in the upper right. It will then bring up the FSCM Navigation Collections and choose Lease Administration.

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Step 4: Save your Homepage and Lease Administration will show up as a tile.lease-administration-4

Then users can click on it and the navigation collection appears in FLUID.

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If you would like more information on FLUID or Lease Administration, please email me at larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

 

Improvements to PeopleSoft Procurement

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Marc Weintraub (Senior Director of Product Strategy for PeopleSoft) spoke with Alexa Masters (Product Strategy Director, PS Procurement) to talk about the advancement of PeopleSoft Procurement solutions in 9.2.

The three main challenges facing procurement organizations today are:

  1. Spend Creep
  2. Supplier & Contract Compliance
  3. Technology to manage the process

In this video, Alexa explains the measures that have been taken to improve the products and meet these challenges for their customers.

Alexa also addresses the importance of mobility in requisitioning. PeopleSoft, using the Fluid User Interface (FUI), offers an intuitive user experience optimized for smart phones, tablets and even use on the desktop. Using FUI makes procurement a more efficient process from requisitions to approvals and all the way to the receiving of orders.

There have also been improvements to Supplier Contracts with the addition of the Supplier Contracts Workbench as well as the Sourcing & Contract Work Center. By utilizing these new features available to 9.2, customers are able to see vast improvements in their procurement organizations by reducing risk and improving data management.

Reach out to us if you have any questions regarding the improvements to PeopleSoft Procurement or any other PeopleSoft questions.

A Hybrid Solution: Oracle PeopleSoft + Oracle Cloud

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oracle peoplesoft oracle cloud

It’s one of the most common conversations taking place between IT, finance and HR for any PeopleSoft customer. The system has been customized over the years and some of those customizations are critical to the company. But the functionality feels outdated and the total cost of ownership is growing. So what do you do?

Nationwide Building Society evaluated their options and found a perfect solution. After taking a look at SAP and Workday, they decided to leverage the significant investments they had made in PeopleSoft over the years, take advantage of the newest technology in 9.2 and insert some Cloud elements where it could add the most value. In Nationwide’s case it was Talent Management.

This is getting your cake and being able to eat it too. The full story can be found here: http://diginomica.com/2016/02/15/nationwide-takes-hybrid-approach-to-hr-it/

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us!

HCM Image 15 and Tools 8.55

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Have you noticed the changes and improvements after upgrading to Tools 8.55 and the latest HCM Image release? One of the changes you will notice immediately is that access to the classic menu has been removed. This change is designed to drive the FLUID user experience. Users can enter into the Manager Self-Service, Employee Self-Service, and Workforce Administrator FLUID landing pages.

Tools 855 1

Over on the far right hand side is the NavBar button. Clicking on the NavBar will expose a number of additional navigation options including Favorites, the Classic Home menu, FLUID Home and other personalized shortcuts.

Tools 855 2

All of this navigation has a much more FLUID and mobile feel designed for mobile devices but, as mentioned, the Classic Home is still available for those longing for the old look and feel.

Tools 855 3

The FLUID navigation can be found using the Navigator button. While this was there on previous Tools versions, with 8.55 there is more emphasis on FLUID as the starting point as opposed to the classic menu.

 

Tools 855 4

For more information on PeopleSoft and Tools 8.55, please feel free to contact me at larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

 

Are You Preparing for your Affordable Care Act (ACA) Year-end Reporting?

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affordable-care-act

This will be the first year many will be doing their Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting. And there has been much confusion around the reporting requirements so new deadlines have been imposed.

The employer filing deadline was February 29 (for paper); the new date is March 31. The old deadline of March 31 (for eFile) has been extended until June 30. Previously, the employee needed to be furnished a statement by February 1 but that date is now March 31. However, the IRS is imposing stiff penalties for those who fail to report.  The total penalty imposed for all failures during a calendar year after December 15, 2015 cannot exceed $3,000,000.

PeopleSoft Benefits is currently in the process of delivering functionality to support Form 1095-C (with the Form 1094-C transmittal) for Applicable Large Employers. PeopleSoft has delivered the proof-of-concept for the data extraction process. You can see and participate in the dialogue ongoing in the PeopleSoft Benefits Community regarding ACA functionality.   PeopleSoft recently updated the position paper on the ACA functionality through 2018.

Your one stop to find the most up to date information is My Oracle Support-
PeopleSoft HCM Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information Center (Doc ID 2013421.2).

Did you see the PeopleSoft Advisor Webcast released on December 9, 2015? The webcast focused on the IRS 1095-C and 1095-C forms creation process and reviewed the steps needed to create the IRS form 1094-C and 1095-C, including how to load and merge any third party data, the steps to print and view the forms and an overview of the audit reports that are available to use.

You will be prompted to enter your Oracle user id and password to access the Information Center and Webcasts.

If you are not an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) but still are looking for information regarding reporting requirements you can find them directly on the IRS site. https://www.irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act/Employers/Information-Reporting-by-Providers-of-Minimum-Essential-Coverage

In the meantime, please be sure to contact Larry Zagata if you have questions about any of the recent changes to PeopleSoft or ANY PeopleSoft questions.

PeopleSoft Interaction Hub – Selective Adoption

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 peoplesoft Interaction Hub

Interaction Hub is Now Using the Selective Adoption Process!

In case you are not aware, as of June of 2015, the PeopleSoft Interaction Hub is now providing updates via the selective adoption process. Customers can take advantage of selective adoption from the Interaction Hub in the same fashion as the PeopleSoft applications.

As with the applications, there are minimal requirements for both the Tools and Interaction Hub versions that customers must be live on in order to take advantage of selective adoption. In order to help customers understand the minimum requirements, Oracle has posted a white paper, “PeopleSoft Interaction Hub is Moving to Selective Adoption” on My Oracle Support. Customers can download the white paper here with your Oracle Support account information.

Also found through My Oracle Support is an Interaction Hub PUM homepage. The release schedule of images are not as frequent as the application images, but for planning purposes they are posted on the homepage. The latest release dates are as follows:

  • Image 2: February 8, 2016
  • Image 3: August 8, 2016
  • Image 4: December 19, 2016

But always be sure to check the homepage for the latest dates.

Follow these instructions to access the Interaction Hub PUM homepage: go to the PeopleSoft Update Manager home page on MOS, then select the PeopleSoft Update Image Home Pages tab, and choose the Interaction Hub Update Image Page. Remember, you will need your user name and password to enter.

If you would like any information on Interaction Hub and selective adoption, drop me a note at larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

Selective Adoption Terminology

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Time to Update Shutterstock - 154496921

There are many terms out there related to selective adoption. In the beginning, the focus was all about PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM). However, PUM is simply one of many tools that help enable selective adoption. Let’s take a few minutes to clear up some definitions to hopefully provide more insight around selective adoption.

Selective Adoption: Selective adoption is the named process by which PeopleSoft customers are able to “selectively” determine how they will apply maintenance and new features as they are delivered approximately every 10 weeks by Oracle. Customers can choose to take everything, nothing or be “selective” in the content they apply to their production instance.

The following are tools that help enable the selective adoption process.

PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM): PeopleSoft Update Manager (PUM) is a new Lifecycle Management tool that enables PeopleSoft customers to stay current on application maintenance using selective adoption. PUM works with PeopleSoft Change Assistant to facilitate this new process. PUM leverages PeopleSoft Update Images (PIs).

PeopleSoft Update Images (PI): PeopleSoft Update Images are Oracle VM VirtualBox virtual machines that are downloaded from My Oracle Support (MOS) to your system. PI’s are published and released on a specific schedule approximately every 10 weeks. All PI’s will contain bug fixes and most, but not all PI’s, will contain new features/functionality. PI’s are cumulative, meaning PI 14 will contain all of the content from PI 1 through PI 13.

Change Assistant: Oracle’s PeopleSoft Change Assistant is a standalone, Windows based, Java program that orchestrates the process of updating or upgrading your PeopleSoft system. Change Assistance automates many steps of the update process, provides a step-by step-process for applying maintenance and is integrated with PUM using change packages created from the PI. Change Assistant is one of the primary tools in the process of applying maintenance and new features, either taking all content within an image or selectively.

PeopleSoft Test Framework (PTF): A tool that helps automate the testing process and really allows for the more frequent updating and application of PeopleSoft Update Images. PTF automates various tasks within the PeopleSoft application, primarily functional testing. Automating functional testing enables testers to execute more tests with greater accuracy during a shorter time. A good automated testing strategy is essential to having a sound selective adoption maintenance strategy.

If you would like any information on selective adoption, please drop me a note at larry.zagata@miproconsulting.com.

Employee Turnover

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HCM Position Statement

Since our inception in 2005 we have focused on our employee turnover for many reasons:

  • Employees are our most important asset to us and our customers.
  • We embrace and encourage professional, personal, spiritual balance to attract and retain superior talent.
  • Employee turnover is very costly.
  • Employees often leave in groups.

This article is a great perspective of employee turnover. With all of our focus, we still at times fail at keeping good people.  Sometimes it’s for life style change, better opportunities we cannot match, marriage, kids, school, or we flat out dropped the ball.  In business, effort does not always equal success but we still give it everything we can because the loss of good people is one of the hardest things to accept as an owner.

Very good article. Read it today!

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