Which software would you use in OM?
We knew so far many software packages that can be used in operations management.
So far we learned Managing Projects. We know that Gantt charts used to schedule resources and allocate time. We learned that PERT and CPM techniques can help operations managers schedule, monitor, control, an crashing large and complex projects. We got know that PERT/CPM reports and charts are widely available today on personal computers. Some of the most popular programs are Primavera (by Primavera Systems Inc.), Mac Project (by Apple computer Corp.), Time Line (by Semantic Corp.) , and Microsoft Project (by Microsoft Corp.).
We learned Forecasting. We learned different kinds of forecasting approaches, qualitative and quantitative methods. We know that most operations managers turn to software packages such as Forecast Pro, SAP, AFS, SPSS, or Excel.
We learned Quality Management. we learned seven new concepts in quality management and seven different tools and statistical process control (SPC) and Control chart to control the product and service quality. We learned to use Excel to do the task.
I did realize that my company actually used many of these software packages. Every department had their own desktop software, decentralized data , and no backup. When we got certified from ISO 9001: 2008, we had revisited our plans and checked the operations with a complete set of documentation for all procedures, systems and activities. Why should we used different software from different vendors?
Why should we have different employee skills and different training? Why should we have different helpdesk and support? Why should we have decentralized database and different backup systems?
We tried to solve this discrepancies and we brainstormed the efficient way to integrate all departments data in one single server and using limited numbers of software from one vendor if possible.
In our case we have Oracle E-business suite, we found “Oracle Crystal Ball” the best software that can do all in one. Now, all the company departments are using Oracle Crystal Ball for Project Management, Forecasting, Projection, Quality control, Risk Analysis, Inventory Management, Loan Management … etc. This software is customizable, you can build your own model using data from the centralized database, integrated with any relational database. Crystal Ball is fully integrated with MS Excel, MS Project so you can download your data to your personal computer and doing your calculations if needed and re import back to the database. I found the oracle website http://www.oracle.com/us/products/applications/crystalball/index.html that relate to what I present here. The link showed that Oracle offers classroom edition and With over 4,000 customers worldwide, including 85% of the Fortune 500, Crystal Ball is used by customers from a broad range of industries, such as aerospace, financial services, manufacturing, oil and gas, pharmaceutical and utilities.
By now we have one helpdesk. Would you use Oracle Crystal Ball or Excel? But remember that it is integrated to Excel. Would you recommend this software for your organization?