Improving Business Performance with Technology

# Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tips for Catching Blank Records

This is a question I get asked quite often.  When running any standard Syteline report, a range of “blank” returns the value for all records.  So how do you capture only those records that are truly blank? Thanks to the Syteline filtering capabilities on forms, you could filter in the field using the “null” command which works fabulously.  Unfortunately it doesn’t help much with Standard Syteline Output Reports.

In this case, the answer is very simple.  You only need to create a unit code record of 01 with a description of “Accounting Only Do not Use”.  And then of course, never use it.


So if for example, you want to see all of the ledger entries for a given period where the account number is equal to Office Supplies and there is no department associated with it, you would select a unit code 1 range of “blank” through “01” and it will give you that answer.  This is also handy in writing financial statements.  Some users have even created financial statements named “Reclass” to capture all of the missing values for easy reclass identification.


How many of you already use this trick?


Mary Farina
BTA Senior SyteLine Accounting Consultant

Thursday, September 30, 2010 5:20:23 PM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]  SyteLine | SyteLine Technical

# Monday, July 12, 2010
Customizing SyteLine

Should you customize or not?  Many of the barriers to customization have been broken by SyteLine’s technology… but that does not mean you should customize anymore than what makes good business sense.  Do not just do it because you don’t want to learn a new way or you have gotten used to doing it the old way, and compare the cost to the real improvement you gain in efficiency.


The SyteLine toolkit, WinStudio, is a very powerful and easy to use tool for customizing SyteLine and adding new forms, views and queries.  Additionally, most customizations can be rolled forward to new versions, unlike other systems where the customization has to be redone and you get locked into an old version.  However, even with this advanced technology, ask your SyteLine consultant to help you evaluate the benefits and costs.  Below is a quote that does a good job of explaining why many unecessary customizations are done, from an article by Kevin Cahill, Panorama Consulting Group.


When Customizing ERP Software, "Don't Pave the Cow Path"

When flying into Dallas-Fort Worth, the cities seem to shoot up out of nowhere from a giant prairie. Looking closely at the ground you will see many of the roads leading into the cities curve and bend, following no discernable logic at all. Why are they like this? Because back when Dallas was primarily a ranching town those were the paths the cattle would follow as they were driven into town. They would walk the long way around hills, cross rivers only at the low points, and follow a path of least resistance the whole way there. Over time people started following the same paths, and eventually they paved them and made them permanent. So now the town has a bunch of inefficient roads just because that was the way they had always been.

During my twelve years in the ERP software realm, eight of which have been spent customizing ERP software, I've heard many times that "All ERP installations require customization". While I believe this to be true, I also know that it is vitally important to know the difference between customizing ERP software to improve a vital business process and ERP customizations done which only entrench a poor process. So, to use an old adage, be careful with customizing and "don't pave the cow paths".


If you do decide to customize, be sure you have a clear idea of what the end solution should do and manage the project with an organized methodology that allows for many review steps along the way allowing the end users to evaluate what has been developed and make corrections and changes.   Visit our SyteLine Customization and Programming page for more info. 


Steve Baker

BTA President

Monday, July 12, 2010 10:00:11 AM (Central Daylight Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0]  SyteLine | SyteLine Technical

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