Customizations from a VAR
So our VAR for our business system has done so many customizations to the system that it resembles a rats nest of original code and modifications. Most of them were simple, but some weren't. We've had two that have just turned into amazing issues. One was well after the fact, the other was right out of the gate.
The first modification was to allow us to import a CSV for receiving goods from a vendor that we purchase about 1500 parts a week that are tracked by serial number so we don't end up entering by hand. It's been a huge time saver and drastically lowered entry errors except for two things:
- Vendor STILL generates the file for us by hand even though they have a report that can generate the file for them. They "Don't trust" the report, even though it has repeatedly proven itself when double checked against the data.
- Our VAR for our business system didn't set the thing up to generate a UNIQUE receipt number for the shipment. Now all our tracking is hosed in the system because the same reciept number is linked to multiple shipments. There should be a maximum of one invoice per reciept number and instead we've got reciept numbers being repeated and each time one repeats it's changing which invoice the part is related to. This is great fun to find out in the middle of an audit when the auditor is asking for invoice information for parts by serial number... Back to the paper records for us! We found this out just two days ago.
Now the second modification here recently just adds to the frustrations for us. They did a quick change making memo fields pop up so our AP person sees what's in memos that are important when she's about to go cut checks... Sounds simple right? Well we happen to have a heavily customized system (our VAR says it's the most customized system they have ever supported), so that does have to be taken into account. When we put the modification in place this morning (live system... small company budget and the management team dictates that fully testing a change to our ERP system is unfortunately outside what is possible under most circumstances) it broke all existing modifications on affected forms. When I called to ask about it the developer for the VAR responded "Do you have any existing mods?" They apparently did not even check our customer record before doing the modification.
AARRRGGHHH!!! Dammit! Things like this just frustrate me to no end. I don't care how heavily the system is customized -- that stuff is relatively juvenile. I must be one of the few who can map an entire application in my head without seeing it on paper first.