The candy producer also faced an extremely complex manufacturing environment 'We have batch manufacture continuous batch continuous sometimes discrete and job lot and we needed something that could deal with intricacies of that nature,' Thwarts says Beacon also has a total of 30,000 raw material components and 1,000 SKUs that move through eight distribution centers Many of the processes the company hoped to automate with an ERP system were handled manually and much of its work force had only a third-grade literacy level so dealing with the complexity of a new computer system that would span the organization created a training nightmare.
The consultant wanted to do an implementation process and all the management determined that was the best option Thwarts says But early on Beacon found its original implementation training wash t working Our managers didn't have a good comprehension of what was possible and it became very long winded "Thwarts says.
So the company turned instead to what Thwarts calls "a conference room pilot in which managers and super users identified from throughout the company were brought to a conference room at headquarters in Durban for 30 working days for hands-on training on the system Those people in turn trained the rest of the company.
We found that as soon as staff realized that other people on staff had used the system and were efficiently running at that at had much greater acceptance and they did extremely well," Thwarts says.
One saving grace of the ERP system in an environment of low computer literacy was its capability to restrict any user s access to a specific function on the menu Thwarts says 'By restricting access to a single function we were able to teach them, and as they became more proficient more functions were added.
Though the implementation process took two-and a half years overall, Thwarts still says it went better than expected And he says the switch to ERP already has prod off for the company.
By inhibiting angiogenesis, thalidomide may thwart
tumor growth, if not actually shrink tumors, and prolong patients' lives, says NCI senior investigator James M.