Lead Pencils

Introduction: Most people would never give it a second’s worth of thought, but the common lead pencil has probably been one of the most powerful, most influential instruments ever developed for use in the capture and storage of information. Long before anyone could ask the question “What is ERP?”, there was the lead pencil. This short article draws a parallel between the signifigance of the common lead pencil and that of  our seamlessly integrated information system, iNfinite Answers. 

1222889 office tools Lead PencilsIn 1711, the renown English poet, Alexander Pope (1688-1744) penned the well known phrase “To err is human, to forgive is divine” in his works “Essay in Criticism”.

 For thousands of years much has been said and written about forgiveness. There is a good reason to believe that it has been an admirable trait ever since the beginning of human history. After all, we are certainly all of different character and we all fail to see or react equally to all things we encounter.  It is simply our human nature to do so. As a result, we all make mistakes and we all sometimes wear on one another’s nerves. So much so that by times, it is necessary to ask, offer, and accept forgiveness.  Often this is very difficult to do because pride gets in the way. Pride, thus, becomes man’s enemy number one. Not the hurt, not the wrong, but the pride itself.

 One only has to contemplate on the above paragraph for a few minutes to realize that it contains nothing new. But have you ever considered the tools you work with? More specifically, just for a moment, consider your computer system.

 True, it has been said countless times:  “Computers don’t make mistakes, people do.” How many times we have heard the comment “Blame it on the computer.”  Or how about “I have to fix another computer mess again!”, and then there is the classic we have all heard so many times, “I didn’t do it, the computer did.”

 Sadly, these comments always come from users who are frustrated with the system and, truth is, it sometimes is the computer’s fault (actually the programmers) and sometimes it is really because the user failed to pay attention to what he or she should have been doing. Sadly again, you can do all the computer bashing you want, physical and or verbal, and in all probability, it will still fail to forgive. Does this sound familiar? Are we in familiar territory?

 Actually there are two ways, in the Infinite Answers system, we have been able to minimize user frustrations. One, believe it or not, is just about as good as your computer saying: “You are forgiven.”

 One method we use to minimize frustration is to catch all the user errors we can before they are written to disk. This results in the fulfillment of a simple algebraic formula: no errors = no mistakes = no frustration.  It does catch most of the keying errors but certainly not all and even the very best of applied logic is not quite always as logic as we think it is. Fingers and eyes can still select the wrong verification codes or key inappropriate dollar and/or quantity amounts but, to the system, these are still correct because they pass the edit test. But remember, somebody almost always has to sign the cheque or pay the bill and not all is lost simply because the user made an honest error. To this point the system allowed the user to gracefully fix the little errors before they even became computer mistakes. Why? Because the mistake could not pass the edit test and get into the computer and the algebraic formula is fulfilled.    

 Now comes the best part but it has to be explained by way of a little dialogue, but that too is very simple.

 FACT number one. Virtually everything in the Infinite Answers system is processed as a document. A document can be a wish list, a request for quotation, a purchase order, a receiving slip, a payables invoice, a payment cheque, a proposal, a picking slip, a manufacturing receipt, an employee time sheet, a pay cheque, a journal entry, a sales invoice, a deposit or anything else you might want to invent to record the processing of how you run your business.   

 FACT number two.  All documents, with only one exception, are totally reversible with just a few short keystrokes. For obvious reasons, the only exception is for fully posted deposit documents recording funds placed in the bank.

 So, if for example, let’s suppose you ran a cheque for the total of  $18,426.25 payable to CXZ Company covering 142 invoices accumulated over the past three months. Subsequently, you are informed that you should have paid only $4,234.16, that being all the 90day amounts. You can virtually instantly cancel the $18,426.25 cheque, put all the invoices back into the payables account and print the new cheque in the desired amount.

 In this instance, the entire correction process, including all the necessary accounting, probably takes less than 45 seconds. This philosophy applies to all Infinite Answers documents. From a computerization point of view, it could not possibly get any easier.

 This is just one example of forgiveness coming from your computer when you have iNfinite Answers. Whether you are simply seeking a new information and accounting system for your business or contemplating an erp career, you may as well live with the best erp you can get – so pick one that continually forgives.

 Coming from a computer, forgiveness cannot get better than that. The nice thing about it is that, regardless of what we do wrong, asking for forgiveness is simply a matter of a few simple keystrokes.  The size of the document is not at issue.

Come to think of it, besides forgiveness, there is yet another plus.  iNfinite Answers is not free and it is not divine but pride never gets in the way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>