As the President of WiSys, I’d like to talk about our new Advanced Packing and Shipping (APS) for Macola Solution for a minute. The evolutionary product development effort we undertook that differentiates this product is unlike anything else we’ve ever done.
APS is an evolutionary change from previous solutions because we saw that Macola was missing a complete inventory transactional layer and components necessary for advanced packaging solutions. It was like building a completely new conventional module for Macola with an entirely new data schema to add a packaging layer which is fully integrated into the existing Macola data model. The concept of creating an inventory layer for packaging would allow products to be received, produced, inventoried and moved within boxes, cartons, pallets, barrels, or any kind of container.
APS is based upon a complete object library built from the ground floor up. Most people think when you build an ERP System you start with the interface, but that is not correct. You start with the underlying data schema and then build the transactional objects and components that work with the schema. Once that’s complete you begin building prototype components based upon the transactional objects; then exercise the schema tweaking the components as you go, getting it right and making it reliable, concurrent and highly scalable.
WiSys has worked with Macola customer sites with massive scale in terms of packaging requirements and shipping volumes. We had to work through the ERP scalability issues getting the underlying objects and layer to work well together. It was a year of incredibility difficult work on our part as a company to make sure it could fit those requirements and scale to high end ERP and Supply Chain Management (SCM) solutions through shipping. As a conceptual architecture, it would be like adding a Shop Floor System to Macola. APS has been exercised against some incredible high end system requirements like those of Tweezerman, Bob’s Red Mill and Advantus. These companies were exercising it with large volumes of data and complex needs and APS held up. It was only after we’d gone through this year of intense work that we began to build out our standard components in Agility WMS based on the APS architecture.
If you can remember back in the late 1990’s we had to make Macola scale to a 100 user Microsoft SQL system; it was very difficult and I learned a lot from that experience. This APS project was just that big and we did it with 12 people and some very patient customers.
The WiSys Agility SCM is now available with standardized components. You have to remember that you will never implement an ERP, WMS or Pick Pack site without meeting some unique tailored customer requirements. I used to think of a vertical solution as unique to an industry and now I think that every customer is a vertical industry. The ability to tailor a solution is how you achieve high-end process performance with these systems. It is just the new world! The reason we build our systems this way is because we don’t believe heads down ERP products out-of-the-box are the future of ERP. It’s why people like Microsoft-AX are completely object-driven and customized for every customer…it’s the future of ERP!
Today, Macola with WiSys Agility really extend the use of Macola and will allow many businesses to stay on the ERP system they know which can scale and perform with the best ERP products on the market.
– Bruce Hollinger, President, WiSys LLC
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Great article Bruce. I know that APS has taken us and our clients to new heights that Macola out of the box could never accomplish.
The packaging layer in APS has brought about powerful solutions for our pallet / container managed accounts, and allowed us to deliver tailored and unique SCM solutions we could only wish for in the past.
APS and Agility framework tools have allowed us to help customers get more and better years out of their Macola ES or Macola Progression solution and are the cornerstone of our ‘Not Your Daddy’s Macola’ campaign.
“The ability to tailor a solution is how you achieve high-end process performance”- Couldn’t agree more.And it is also how you institutionalize knowledge and allow yourself to keep adding to it systematically with the ultimate goal of gaining that little competitive edge.