The majority of Moeller's reports are generated by Infor XA (formerly MAPICS) on the iSeries platform. "We've been using MAPICS since the early '90s to generate all kinds of reports, including financial, inventory, and engineering," says Leona Gabrielli, Systems Administrator at Moeller.
Due to the large amount of data Moeller generates using MAPICS, Gabrielli found it increasingly difficult to produce specialized custom reports. "We have a lot of information from MAPICS, but extracting the right data and being able to manipulate it is very difficult," says Gabrielli. "We could of course run a query and extract it into Excel, but that is a difficult task, and it was too much effort for the end-users."
The reports that Moeller did generate were often printed out and manually distributed to management staff and other end-users. Not only was this expensive because of both printing and mailing costs, but it made analyzing data difficult. "Management wanted reports that they could analyze from different angles," explains Gabrielli, "and that's tough when you just have a green-bar report which you've printed out."
For those users who required their information in an electronic format, Moeller could create Excel reports. However, this was a very time-consuming process, as Gabrielli describes: "We would have an employee print off the report and then spend four to five hours typing the data into a spreadsheet."
To eliminate these problems, Moeller purchased Compleo, a spool file management solution from Symtrax. Compleo now allows Moeller to export their MAPICS reports directly from the iSeries into an Excel spreadsheet. Once they have this spreadsheet, end-users are able to manage their own reports, formatting data by building and applying templates. "Compleo is one of the best tools we've put in place, as it gives us flexibility in terms of both analysis and distribution of our MAPICS reports," says Gabrielli. Although Moeller had frequently imported data into Excel, Compleo allows this data to be sent to a number of PC formats, including PDF, Word, HTML, and Access. More importantly, it parses the data into columns, completely eliminating the need to rekey the data.
Gabrielli notes that Compleo reduced the need to print out their MAPICS reports: "We still print out some reports, but we mainly just import the data into Excel, slice and dice it there, and then distribute it via email."
Moeller has now been using Compleo for almost four years, and the company still uses the solution extensively. "Compleo is one of the best programs I have worked with," says Gabrielli. "It's easy to use, easy to implement, and you feel like you are getting something back from it straight away. We've had it for years, and we haven't stopped finding a use for it."
Michael Waldron is the Marketing Communications Manager at Symtrax Corporation. He has worked for Symtrax for over three years and has extensive knowledge of ERP integration with the iSeries.
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