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  Manufacturing Insights   |   June, 2009
Beyond Reports: Two Firms Find Ei Dynamics Lean Solution
by Thomas R. Cutler
 

TRL Systems is a regional provider and installer of security and alarm systems for commercial enterprises. As a component of TRL's business the firm captures and enters a high volume of various types of data such as entering and updating customers, vendors, jobs, contracts, purchase orders, service agreements, invoices, budgets and much more. Much of TRL’s data input was prone to human error and either went undetected until it was too late or it had a negative impact on financial data; considerable effort was required to find and correct the errors. Ei Dynamics became instrumental in monitoring their data input across all modules and systems ensuring that key information is entered consistently and correctly; if any errors are identified the appropriate individuals are made aware of the errors within at least one business day whereby they can be fixed and addressed in a more timely and efficient manner.

Ei Dynamics' CTO (Chief Technology Officer) Robert Virga noted that, “Companies use our Dynamic Alerts as a business monitoring and alerting system because it’s designed to intelligently monitor data across an entire enterprise regardless of database or system.” Dynamic Alerts constantly monitors data based on straightforward user defined business rules and sends out notifications via email or text message whenever a rule is triggered. “With Dynamic Alerts deadlines are never missed and unexpected surprises are reduced or eliminated,” suggested Virga.

The nature of TRL's business requires a tremendous amount of document routing and approval; while the accounting system does a good job of capturing and tracking the information indicating whether a contract has been approved or whether inventory associated with a purchase order has been received, the system does not have a good mechanism for electronically notifying employees that a contract is ready or waiting to be approved or that an inventory item has been received in the warehouse. Consequently, TRL implemented Ei Dynamics workflow capabilities to handle document routing and approval; this ensures that appropriate individuals are made aware of the status of a document or item in the system as it is processed through its various life cycles and stages. “TRL has considerably reduced human errors which has resulted in more accurate financial information, reduction in human capital required to track down errors, and ultimately has saved a considerable amount of time and money,” encouraged Virga.

St. Joseph Health System is a large Not-For-Profit health systems organization based in Orange, CA. St. Joe's construction division and IT group purchased Ei Dynamics a year ago and have been using it to automate most of their reporting and to monitor their construction and IT initiative projects. Ei Dynamics is a midmarket business intelligence monitoring and alerting solution; businesses completely automate their reporting and monitoring and instead analyze their data, receive business alerts, and easily setup workflow. Using the lean principles of continued process improvement, this business automation reduces costs and saves time.

Dynamic Reports is a report automation solution that incorporates Dynamic Alerts to allow companies to intelligently schedule, generate, and distribute common enterprise reports. Dynamic Reports powerful reporting engine dynamically generates standard industry reports such as Crystal reports and SQL Reporting Services reports, RTF documents and any webpage or web based report. Dynamic Reports also provides companies like St. Joseph’s a powerful query engine; this functionality provides the flexibility to analyze almost any data and take action based on user defined criteria. The fact that Dynamic Reports uses ODBC and OLEDB to communicate with data makes it useful to almost every company and virtually every data driven system.

Prior to Ei Dynamics, St. Joseph’s had one employee tasked with printing and generating over 100 project cost reports each month and either emailing them or copying them up to an FTP site. This process took the employee at least 4-5 hours. With Ei Dynamics the entire process has been automated and is done automatically on a monthly basis and takes about thirty minutes. The company uses this system to monitor project due dates and milestones which now automatically notifies appropriate individuals either inside or outside the organization when key dates or deadlines are about to occur. Previously various employees were tasked with the responsibility of running reports and looking into their various systems to monitor dates and ensure that they did not pass or slip. Virga, suggested that St. Joe’s also using Ei Dynamics to monitor costs that are entered into their accounting system on daily basis and evaluate if any of those costs causes line items in their budget to either come within a percent of budget or exceed budget. If so the is immediate notification to the appropriate project managers or executives to corroborate if the conditions are true. Project managers have been more proactive in monitoring their costs and ensuring that projects are completed on time and in budget.

Dynamic BPM (Business Process Management & Automation) is a process automation solution that brings everything together into one comprehensive suite of intelligent software. With Dynamic BPM firms like TRL and St. Joseph’s read data and take action such as generating a report or sending an alert, but also affect the underlying data by writing back to a database or triggering some other type of event or action. With Dynamic BPM workflows are created and dependent processes to automate tasks would be done manually otherwise. With Dynamic BPM companies easily launch SQL Queries, launch .exe applications; post to webpage’s or run custom .NET code using the VB.NET or C# runtime language.



Since the entire lean principle is continued process improvement, the role of effective report writing must extend to measurable and quantifiable impacts. Such was the case with TRL and St. Joseph Health System.


Thomas R. Cutler is the President & CEO of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based, TR Cutler, Inc, (www.trcutlerinc.com). Cutler is the founder of the Manufacturing Media Consortium of three thousand five hundred journalists and editors writing about trends in manufacturing. Cutler is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Online News Association, American Society of Business Publication Editors, Committee of Concerned Journalists, as well as author of more than 300 feature articles annually regarding the manufacturing sector. Cutler can be contacted at trcutler@trcutlerinc.com. See More Details.

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