What customers want and are demanding out of their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems is more than just resource planning. The systems that were developed in the 60s and 70s were mainly focused on material planning (MRP), and the systems in 80s and early 90s where focused on “rough cut capacity planning” and “infinite scheduling”. Since Dick Lilly released VISUAL, the first windows based ERP with finite scheduling in 1992/1993; ERP has grown to be so much more. As businesses and technology changed tools like auditing, quality management, CRM, workflow, Lot Control, Engineering Change, and many others (certainly with 3 letter acronyms) have been added to or bolted onto ERP systems. Most of these tools really aren’t for “Resource Planning”, but they’ve been added to fill the “then current” or “future need” of businesses. The Infor10x starter kit is no different, it’s a new set of tools that brings solutions to either a) current problems or b) where business is going in the future. The Infor10x Starter Kit is made up of 3 parts: 1) ION 2) Ming.le, and 3) Mongoose.
In today’s workplace, much of the communication between your employees, and even customers and vendors, happens through email or phone calls. Infor Ming.le brings social collaboration, analytics and business process management into one single platform for use by your entire company and supply chain. This is a headache for most companies; for example imagine trying to find every email from every person about a specific project or job… good luck. How about all those “reply all” emails that clutter your inbox. Ming.le is meant to solve these issues and more. Employees can communicate and collaborate, as well as share information like documents, plans, photos, even videos, from a centralized location, with all activity captured and easily searchable.
Ming.le can also work with workflows or events you setup in ERP or across multiple other Infor or non-Infor products. Imagine a scenario where you get an alert that a production order is late, the alert pops up on your screen as this is important to your job function. You can collaborate with production and task them to find out what is the cause, they receive a task and because you have Infor Enterprise Asset Management (for example) you can drill down and see that the issue is a preventative maintenance work order scheduled this week. The solution is that you move out the PM if possible, and everyone is automatically alerted. Users can filter, view, and monitor information to keep tabs on the items that matter most.
Infor Ming.le also includes a workflow interface that can push approvals and alerts to the appropriate people when problems arise. Objects—drawing on a concept from the social media world, Infor Ming.le lets users “follow” particular social objects and people, delivering automatic notices based on parameters that they define. For example, a sales rep may want to know about everything that happens with her top customer. With Infor Ming.le, she can “follow” their account to receive automatic notifications of anything related to it. From past due invoices to problems with an order, the sales rep can get the latest information from all areas of the business without having to search for it, putting her in a position to address possible issues before the customer even knows there’s a problem.
Think about this:
In your personal lives, if you want to let the world or all your friends know about something, what do you do? Want to plan an event, what do you do? Email or Facebook? How many email addresses would you have to type in if your answer is email? If you are no longer using email for your social collaboration, why should your business use old tools?
Infor Ming.le is available now for VISUAL as part of the Infor10x starter kit. It works with VISUAL 7.1.2 which is released.
In the next few posts we will discuss the other components of the starter kit (ION for workflows and connected other Infor and 3P applications) and Mongoose (the new, more robust way to modify VISUAL screens/functionality or make apps for VISUAL)