How Do We Create A Reference List In Apa Style ERP Vs. Microsoft Access

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ERP Vs. Microsoft Access

So you want to know more about why ERP is better than a simple financial package and some spreadsheets. I was told that the spreadsheet has a high error rate and is single user only. I talked about posting from a database to make it easier to do that from Excel. What you will be left with is the feeling that using data is the way to go. That would make sense – and all things being equal I would agree with you. But I don’t, everything is not equal.

The king of making your own databases is Microsoft Access. It’s a beautiful tool – with a great community of users, if not experts, at least in the know. There are several reasons Access is a good choice, if you decide to follow the DIY direction.

Access is relatively cheap. It is part of Microsoft Office – although the version with Access is more expensive. It’s about $300 more to get the database tool. You get a few more features, but none of the tools are more useful than Access.

“Programming” Access using the built-in wizards can allow you to create several tables and forms, reports and queries at the end of a good working day or two. So, call for $500 of programming time and $1500 of software and you can have your product list, order table, order form and more…

Now the initial reaction is very serious – and makes you pay a lot of money in the future.

Soon after your production documents and your orders go out to the suppliers, you know that you have to get the goods. Sellers are annoying, sometimes they deliver exactly what you want, exactly the quantity and at the price of the PO – but often they don’t. So when time passes the easy access database starts insidious we go to something dead – COMPLEXITY!

As time goes on it gets more and more difficult.

If you were to go back to the time machine, and re-evaluate everything you wanted to do, you would realize that your original idea did not have any checks and balances. Even if your people don’t make mistakes – your vendors and customers do. Your documents (and presentations) should be CROSS REFERENCED to try and check and prevent errors. It turns out this is a lie.

Any database that is properly configured to do this stuff must have programming in it. That means it has to have some Visual Basic and that’s not something people can do. You can hire a cheap college student to do that, but plan to have them for a year or two. And they will not complete all the programming.

I’ve seen some amazing Access databases in my day. I have seen documents that deal with CAD and CAM tools, calculating nested needs for their software, creating MRP requests and so on. When I talk to customers, the estimate is that they spend 200 to 300 thousand dollars to write the app. It is almost always a well-paid professional or network administrator who is on full-time staff. The business reaches a point where (whether intentionally or not) they feel closed. They are afraid of losing this person. Normally when I arrive, it is because Access database technology has reached some limits (Access databases cap of about 500-800 megabytes for their size). Or it’s because the designer quit, retired, got hit by a bus or won the lottery.

Checks and balances are required to make this process work, without them you are half a step better than a spreadsheet but 100 yards back from the finish line. They are incredibly difficult to program and design. Don’t lie. You are way better off spending 10-20k on simple ERP than going this route.

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