Vantage 5.1 Conversion Diary - Part II Bugs Encountered

Rick:

I have felt your frustration!

When I download a patch (56k modem but 26 k actual) I am doing it at my workstation, not the server. Then I copy the copy to the server.

So I have several of the last patches on my machine just in case...

Just a hint and tip.

Rick Gors
MR/MMIS
Osco


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Before I begin on part two, I would like to bring closure to part I.


Attack of the Epicor Lawyer. (closure)
============================

This whole situation was caused by changes in patch 107 which caused
the installation process to hang. This error was first identified on Nov
15th 2001 on Yahoogroup list message # 12807. The problem's cause was
identified on Dec 6th 2001 in message # 13326. The identified solution to
this incident was confirmed on Dec 10th in message #13469. The 106 patch
to resolve the upgrade issue was made available by us on 12/21 and removed
on 12/27/01 once the thread participants had the remedy (patch 106) in their
possession. Thus between 11/15 and 12/27 of the 6 week long issue no
message was posted by Epicor with 62 Epicor employees monitoring this list?
At least two calls were made to support by list member companies with no
assistance in resolving the issue... I also realize that the unpleasant
actions were probably not launched from Minneapolis...

This incident which I found to be immensely unpleasant may provide
benefit to all if responded to correctly. I have identified three items.

1. One piece of good news, as of the 113 patch released 1/3/02, the
cvxa0047.p issue has been corrected.

2. If more of us who experienced the conversion problem would have called
support maybe Epicor would have addressed it sooner; but, would have it been
available in time before the Christmas shutdown???...

3. This whole issue could have been avoided if old patches were made
available from the Epicor's website and even made public like Progress
Software & Microsoft does. This would unfortunately require Epicor to
distinguish between Services Patches (bug fixes) and Revision Enhancements.
Revisions enhancement, by my use of the term, includes new features and new
code. Service Patches contain only bug & operating fixes.


I regret if I became to unpleasant in my list postings. For the few
personal postings, of the many I received, that I made public, I apologize.
My displeasure at the situation clouded my normal reserved nature. : ) Now
that the bug is fixed, let see if we can improve the support mechanisms
available so that this does not get repeated !



Bugs / Uncertainties
====================

There were a few things I've ran across which were clearly not
planned. This is a brief list of my discoveries that I have made, some have
call ids, others I have not yet called in. I post these not to blast
Epicor, but to share with other users. As a occasional programmer myself,
I do indeed realize the complexity of the Vantage code. It is also hence
understandable (within reason) that bugs get triggered based on new code
being added. Lets not persecute but build a support mechanism which allow
users to bail out from a patch if it induces a new bugs to the end user such
as the patches of recent times (the installation hanging & the PO tax flag).


First off I need to give honorable mention to Luanne and Phil
Berglund of Epicor's Minneapolis Support group for being pleasant and
helpful.


Suspect Bugs:
-------------
1. On Purchase Orders which have line items as taxable, in patch 110 the
flag does not get retained. I did not call it in because I became aware
that it was covered in patch 114. In purchase order entry if a Contact to
place in the header it also is not retained in the PO record. This is
addressed in patch 114.

2. Packing Slips is a BIG ISSUE for V-S. We have a large amount of $
which are shipped to customer locations as consignment inventory. Under
version 3.0 we managed this by leaving packing slips "not ready to invoice"
it works well for managing consignment inventory and managing the build to
consignment inventory schedule which we received via EDI multiple times in a
week. Under 5.1 Packing slip quantity does not relieve Sales Order Releases
until it is shipped. This has cause a number of major problems of us.


2.1 When building a PS, the first pack line entered is not subtracted from
the qty remaining (due) on line two. Thus our first day of use 5.1 we over
shipped in mass to many of our customers because my shipping guys have
always focused in on "Remaining Qty" not packing slip totals after it
prints.

2.2 If a shipping release in not fulfilled in the first pack line the
"shipped Complete" check box does not automatically get checked, thus we
have many Sales Order releases shipped complete which did not get marked as
completed. We now do it manually until a fix is provided.

2.3 On packing slips which were left as "not ready to invoice" before the
conversion has caused a large (!) amount of problems for us also. When
those packing slips finally get marked as shipped (i.e. the customer pulls
them out of consignment inventory for use) the Sales order tracker shows
double the amount shipped against the release.

2.4 Since packing slips do not fulfill shipping releases until shipped;
now, all of my of our unmarked check boxes leaves my time phase & on hand
inventory useless. We have had to return to paper, to keep track of what
has shipped and what is in consignment inventory at the customer, as well as
to track our FG on hand inventory. This one has caused a large problem
for my customer service and production control people and has unfortunately
has been brought to the attention of the company president. Which makes
Vantage look bad in his eyes.

I think I may have a good way to deal with off site consignment
inventory, however, I need Epicor's participation to resolve this. Mark
Pladson & I have bounced around a few ideas, I am confident that a
reasonable solution will be developed.!.

3. with 5.1 V-S purchased Advanced Materials Management - after the first
day of use I had to uninstall it, because it was forcing receipts to
inventory transaction for Nonstock & expense items so they require a
warehouse bin location. I do not want to receive pens, toilet paper, and
oil to storage locations! However, I must add that once this issue is
resolved I am excited to get AMM implemented, the increase control &
visibility will be huge leap forward for us.

3.1 I am not sure how to best install AMM since no instructions have
yet to be developed. That's not my second issue here, my issues is, how
does WIP get moved from is massive bucket into specific bin locations
without doubling WIP value? I hope to work this one out soon. Once
again, I am very excite about the possibilities AMM offers. New modules
just needs a little polishing...

4. Now since the 5.1 conversion we have some shop order operations which
can accept time again them but not labor qty... I have not yet been able
to id a trend or cause. Thus far I have not addressed this issue, I will
probably close the affected operation and create a alternate operation for
the same op... Patch 114 have resolved this one too...

5. There are a few Vantage / Progress standard reports, when the changing
the window size the buttons (Close, Print, & Help) do not move in concert
with the window sizing resulting in error dialog box stating "A Button is
placed outside of the dialog box..." this error repeats for each button,
then the window is resized....


6. My buyer on Thursday used for the first time under 5.1, 'Generate
Suggestions' option, and it automatically generated shop orders for
component assemblies for which we make. I would think the generate
command would generate PO suggestions only. The shop order activity I
thought would be addressed by processing MRP. (which we also purchased with
5.1) I still need to work with this one. If anyone has experience with
this please let me know.



This is the end of part two. Hopefully I didn't bore anyone.

Until next time,


Rick Joslin
V-S Industries
rick.joslin@...
847-520-1800
847-520-0269 fax