CAD and CAM

ERP Vs. Microsoft Access

So you want to know a lot more about why an ERP is much better than a fundamental accounting package and some spreadsheets. I have pointed out that spreadsheets have a higher error price and are inherently single user. I've discussed reporting from a database as getting a great deal much easier to do that the exact same from Excel. What you may be left with is an impression that employing a database is the way to go. That would make some sense – and all items getting equal I'd agree with you. But I do not, all items are not equal.

The king of do it oneself databases is Microsoft Access. It really is really a fairly decent item – with a very good neighborhood of customers who are, if not professionals, at least familiar. There are a couple of causes Access is a very good selection, if you do choose to pursue this DIY path.

Access is fairly low cost. It really is portion of Microsoft Workplace – despite the fact that the version with Access is a lot more funds. It really is about $300 a lot more to get the database tools. You get a handful of a lot more items, but not several a lot more helpful tools other than Access.

“Programming” Access employing the constructed-in wizards can let you develop a handful of tables and types, reports and queries by the finish of a strong function day or two. So, contact that $500 of programming time and $1500 of application and you can have your item list, order table, acquire order report and so on…

Now what begins to come about is fairly really serious – and fees you a LOT of funds more than the subsequent when.

Quickly just after your database is produced and your acquire orders are going out to vendors, you recognize you require to acquire items. Vendors are annoying, often they ship precisely what you wanted, in precisely the quantity and at the value on the PO – but typically they do not. So as time passes the straightforward access database starts an insidious march towards some thing deadly – COMPLEXITY!

As time goes on it gets a lot more and a lot more complex.

If you had been to go back in a time machine, and re-appraise every little thing you necessary to do, you would recognize that your original idea was lacking any sort of verify and balance. Even if your folks do not make blunders – your vendors and prospects do. Your database (and spreadsheets) requires to CROSS REFERENCE items to attempt and detect and protect against errors. It turns out this is difficult.


Any decent database configured to do this stuff has to have programming in it. That signifies it really is got to have some Visual Simple and that is not some thing just everyone can do. You can employ a low cost college student to do that, but be ready to have them for a year or two. And they will not finish the complete programming.

I've observed some astounding Access databases in my day. I've observed databases that interface with CAD and CAM tools, calculate nesting needs for their application, create MRP demand and so on. When I speak to these prospects, the conservative estimates are that they spent 200 to 300 thousand dollars to create the app. It really is nearly usually a properly-paid engineer or network admin that is on employees complete time. The enterprise reaches the point exactly where (whether or not intentionally or not) they really feel trapped. They are fearful of losing this particular person. Ordinarily when I have arrived, it really is due to the fact the Access database technologies has reached some limit (Access databases cap at about 500-800 megabytes for their helpful size). Or it really is due to the fact the designer has quit, is retiring, got hit by a bus or won the lottery.

The checks and balances are essential to make this technique function, without having them you are a half step much better than a spreadsheet but 100 yards back from the finish line. They are extremely complicated to system and develop. Never get fooled. You are way much better off to invest 10-20k on a straightforward ERP than to go down this road.


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