Monday, January 01, 2007

January 1

As someone in the "William and Mary" tv series said, "I'm knackered with a capital N".

I don't normally like to write about my work in this blog, but the past month's activities have left me with little choice. In the real world, I am the IT manager for "one of Israel's leading office furniture manufacturers", or at least I was until yesterday. Now I am the IT manager for Israel's leading office furniture manufacturer.

Several years ago, a Canadian company bought one of Israel's furniture manufacturers and also bought a majority of the shares in the company for which I work(ed). About six months ago, they decided to buy out the minority partner and combine the two companies. Although a complete merger has not yet been obtained, due to legal reasons, the two companies as of today are one.

In September I was tapped to become the IT manager for the entire group, and in that guise I examined the IT setup in our sister company and compared it to ours; whilst our company might be well ahead in terms of exploiting the ERP program, our ERP is very old fashioned, and the full exploitation was mainly due to satellite programs which I had written. With a slightly heavy heart, I had to recommend that the program used by our sister company was more modern, and if we were going to combine forces, then we would have to use this other program.

Since October, I've been learning how to use this program; unfortunately progress was exceedingly slow until the end of November, when we established a direct telecommunications link between the two factories. Since then, I've been working hard, trying to implement all our data in the new program whilst carrying on with my normal full schedule. If there is anything which I regret doing, it was leaving the physical connection so late.

The last month has also been taken up with weekly meetings and all day training sessions which have been interesting but also time consuming, time which might have been used more constructively on implementing things.

Anyway, today the switch was thrown; from now on, we will work only with the new program, although the old ERP program will stay in use as the production module in my factory. Whilst we all know what we want to do with the program (create price quotations, place orders, make out invoices, etc), the problem - at least for now - is how to do it. The 'how' is probably easier for me than for most of our staff regarding these real jobs, but most of my time has been spent importing data, setting up privileges, setting report formats and so forth, which can be just as frustrating for me as trying to create a price quotation can be for a less computer literate fellow worker.

A new year and a new beginning.