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The SMOKE SIGNAL

Thursday, November 3, 2005 SMOKE SIGNAL Quarterly Review    
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CONTENTS
How Rainmakers can make your life easier
Find A Resource™
Report of insights about the changing ways that IT functions in organizations contribute - and communicate - value to the organizations they serve
i.c.stars - Giving back to the community
Featured Partner Profile: Netmedic, Inc.
Case Study: "Best of Breed" WMS Solution for Jel Sert Co.
Royal 4 WISEsb ERP/WMS Brochure -
Project Management Services MATTER
GoldMine News and Case Studies
Case Study: Colonial Saw
Case Study: Chicago White Soxs
Production Optimization Solutions from a "Best of breed" Systems Integrator approach
White Paper: The Prospective Supplier - Protocols for Supply Chain Professionals
The Domino Effect - VoIP and Notes
The Best Factory in the World
A Balanced Scorecard Approach To Measure Customer Profitability
Lost Bid Analysis - A Good Idea for B2B Marketers
Competency Note - Reverse Engineering
Announcement for SAP users concerned with SOX and Security
Give Back to the Community by hiring Opportunity Inc.
From Ladders to What? Can Ideas from Biological Sciences and Intelligent Systems Make Manufacturing Control Easier and More Reliable?
Measuring Supply Chain Performance
ARCHIVE
The SMOKE SIGNAL - Current Issue
November 3, 2005
The Richmark Group Featured Partner Page
April 30, 2005
Vol. 1 Issue 12
The Highline Control Featured Partner Archive
April 29, 2005
Vol. 1 Issue 9
The Rohleder Group Featured Partner Page
March 2, 2004
Vol. 1 Issue 10
The Cumberland Group Featured Partner Page
February 27, 2004
Archived Articles
January 1, 2004
Vol. 1 Issue 12
Information Technology
Report of insights about the changing ways that IT functions in organizations contribute - and communicate - value to the organizations they serve
by John Karnatz, TSD

Dear Reader,

There is no questioning the fact that changes to how mid-market businesses look at IT has happened since the Y2K phenomenon! IT projects tend to go through very thorough cost-justification processes that drag on, and on - spending money in this economy takes a concerted effort.

I'm certain you are finding this true at  your firm also. This SMOKE SIGNAL article outlines the findings from a recent research project completed by Technology Development Services Group (TSD), The Illinois CIO Exchange and Northern Illinois University.  They evaluated how IT functions are "evolving" to deliver greater value to their organizations.  profIT Research Initiative was to gain a greater understanding of trends and issues that affect how internal IT organizations provide value and contribute to the profitability of the organizations they serve.

Click on The Full Story below for their findings.

Thanks for this opportunity to be of service. Give us a call if we can be useful to you.

Jon C. Liberman
Rainmakers
847/251-3327
jon@rainmkrs.com
www.rainmakers.us

[FULL STORY]
 
Case Study: "Best of Breed" WMS Solution for Jel Sert Co.
Royal 4 Systems WISE Turn-Key Business Solution
by Royal 4 Systems

Royal 4 Systems Office

Dear Reader,

Every business at some point in time is forced to make a decision about the use of technology in their company. It is a generally accepted practice for even the smallest business to use some sort of computerized accounting or order fulfillment system. Generally speaking CIO's understand that several options or "Best Practices" exist for Technology planning today:

  1. Single-Source ERP type approach (such as SAP, Oracle and others)
  2. "Best-of-Breed" type approach (3rd Party software packages and services)

Each has its Pro's & Con's. It is not my intention in this issue of SMOKE SIGNAL to go into these details. Suffice it to say Single-Source works well where one common business process can be established across functional silos and divisions, and sufficient internal IT resources exist to keep the cost-of-ownership reasonable. These solutions tend to have stronger and weaker components so modifications are generally needed somewhere to meet a businesses requirements successfully. 

Most mid-market businesses totally under-estimate the efforts and costs needed to successfully implement and support these type of solutions - which is always costly in terms of cash, time and blood/sweat.

A "Best-of-Breed" solution works well when a particular business function or requirement is needed and limited internal IT resources are available. These systems tend to be packages sold and implemented by 3rd Party Boutique firms and OEM's. Some IT Standardization is needed to enable lower cost-of-ownership and easily integrate/share data amongst disparate functional groups and systems. These types of solutions require IT diligence and can only be managed intelligently by establishing Standards that guide "Best-of-Breed" buying situations.

One very common area where mid-market businesses, those that deal with inventory, tend to use "Best-of-Breed" solutions is in Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). This SMOKE SIGNAL issue illustrates how Rainmakers Partner - Royal 4 Systems, helped deliver a "Best-of-Breed" WMS solution to Jel Sert Corporation. Founded in 1926, Jel Sert produces popular nationally distributed consumer food product - see www.jelsert.com for additional information.

I was originally introduced to Royal 4 Systems from two clients who purchased their offerings and raved about their satisfaction. One of those firms was Jel Sert Co. . This SMOKE SIGNAL issue is a Case Study that discusses how Jel Sert implemented the WISE WMS solution to;

  • Improved distribution center employee productivity by over 30%
  • In less than 1 year increased full pallet accuracy from about 80% to 99.93% and partial case accuracy from about 60% to 99.94%

These results were accomplished despite the addition of new products (acquisitions) and channels that increased the complexity of their warehousing operations. Jel Sert runs a "Best-of-Breed" manufacturing solution (QAD) and needed a 'seamless" "Best-of-Breed" solution for their warehouse. Royal 4 Systems WISE solution is designed to be easily integrated with almost any legacy ERP/MRP solution.  Click on the Full Story below to read more.

One unique feature of Royal 4 Systems is they deliver “Best of Breed” WMS value plus a very robust ERP system that covers the full spectrum of what a mid-market distributor, manufacturer, 3PL and other complex business could want. (Click here to review detailed brochure ). The WMS system is modularized to be integrated with Legacy systems or the full-suite of WISE applications.

If your company is looking at (or plans to) WMS "Best-of-Breed"  or ERP type solutions you may want to take a deeper look. Web-demo’s are available to substantiate these claims.


Thanks for your time. Please call me if I can be helpful or you wish to discuss "Best-of-Breed" type solutions for your firm.

Jon C. Liberman
Rainmakers
847/251-3327
jon@rainmkrs.com
www.rainmakers.us


[Full Story]

 


 
Royal 4 WISEsb ERP/WMS Brochure -
Example of "Best of Breed" for mid-market business
by Royal 4 Systems

Review WISEsb Brochure

Click here


 
The Domino Effect - VoIP and Notes
Why a Growing Number of Firms Using Lotus Domino Are Turning to Netmedic for Full-Service VOIP Capabilities
by Netmedic, Inc.

Dear Reader,



The benefits of IP Telephoney for mid-market businesses has been fairly well-documented. Aside from the cost savings, the potential bottom-line productivity improvements available by connecting all Islands of Information in your business – enables you to leverage this information to sell smarter, service better, market more intelligently and generally improve decision making – all activities that directly impacts yourTop and Bottom lines.

 

Users of IBM’s Lotus Notes and Domino technologies understand that, despite the ease of use and advanaced collaboration features available in Lotus Notes tools to take advantage of this information,  Microsoft is the 800 lb gorrilla.  Most vendors focus on Exchange and other Microsoft technologies and have little if any Notes/Domino expertise.

 

This SMOKE SIGNAL article, by long-term Partner, Netmedic, Inc. discusses why firms who use Lotus Domino and want to get full-service VoiP capabilities, like Unified Messaging Services, have unique challenges and options available to them.  Click on the Full Story below for details.

 

If your firm uses (or plans to) Lotus Notes or Domino software with Cisco products this article will be especially valid and useful!

 

As always, thank you for your time and consideration. If we can be helpful let us know how.

 

Jon C. Liberman

Rainmakers

847/251-3327

jon@rainmkrs.com

www.rainmakers.us

 



[FULL STORY]
 
Announcement for SAP users concerned with SOX and Security
Launch of SYM-GUARDSM: SAP® Security & Controls Assessment Service
by Symmetry Corporation

Dear Reader,


All Public Corporations and many larger Mid-Market firms are busy coping with Sarbanes-Oxley Legislation and other IT Security related challenges.  We understand your firm fits this category and has SAP deployed.

Developing extensive expertise in each and every facet of technology is not always a cost-justified internal endeavor. On the other-hand, the risks and compliance rigors of today's business reality do not necessarily provide many options.  Seeking advice from Accounting firms or other Mega-Sized "body shops" can come in at prices and headaches not worth suffering.

Rainmakers would like to provide a viable option you might consider. The attached SMOKE SIGNAL announces a service from Consortium Partner Symmetry Corporation -SYM-GUARDSM: SAP® Security & Controls Assessment Service. Founded in 1996 by two former SAP America Basis consulting managers, Symmetry has been a pioneer in defining the best practices for SAP technical administration.

Click on the Full-Story below to learn more about this Fixed bid based assessment service that will deliver these benefits:

  • Technical authorization analysis with a prioritized list of critical SAP security risks
  • Recommended SAP security profile parameter changes
  • Technical role implementation analysis
  • SAP Security and controls assessment summary
  • SAP Security architecture assessment
  • Executive summary and findings presentation

    Thank you for the opportunity to present some useful ideas. Let us know how we can be of service.

    Jon C. Liberman
    Rainmakers
    847/251-3327
    jon@rainmkrs.com
    www.rainmakers.us


  • [FULL STORY]
     
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