News & Views

News & Views is published monthly by 180 Systems. Our objective is to provide recent articles to our readers on business technology topics. In some cases, our blog contains a title with a hyperlink to a source article, a quote from the article and our comments. In other cases, we have provided a blog without a hyperlink for original content by 180 Systems. We encourage you to post your own comments. You can also access our blog by topic.

Business Intelligence: avoiding intelligence failure

Business Intelligence

October  18, 2010 from Accountancy Age – “…Despite a combined annual worldwide investment of US$60 billion in BI solutions, half of all BI projects fail according to KPMG-commissioned research from the University of Cambridge…

BI projects are often mistakenly seen as purely technology based, with ownership limited to IT specialists within the business instead of being embedded throughout the organization…”

180 View – There are other reasons given in the article and some suggestions that may be a little helpful. Things are changing fast in the Business Intelligence (BI) world. The thinking today is that BI is not just for the big companies or for the management team. It’s now BI for the masses. It is also needs to be easily consumed by all the non techies. It needs to be inexpensive to buy/rent, use and deploy. There are lots of good systems to consider – too many in fact. Our BI portal ( has some suggestions for you. Our portal is a self-service and BI vendors and implementers can register and provide basic or detailed information about their product/company.


Projects Don’t Fail in Formulation; They Fail in Implementation!

Project Management

Published in ProjectTimes and written by Lisa Anderson – “…It is my job as a management consultant to ensure my clients are not only prepared to set up and prioritize the project but to ensure success.  Thus, the 80/20 of my focus has been on implementation.  What are the secrets to success in implementation?…”

180 View – Lisa has her own company but is also an associate of 180 Systems. I (Michael Burns) was so impressed by her writing that I contacted Lisa and asked whether she would be interested in working with us. Hopefully in the near future, we will have the opportunity to do so.


How to Compare Actual Landed Costs

Supply Chain Management

October 28, 2010 from Supply Chain Management Review – “As companies come under increasing pressure to compete on price, the rush to “outsource” and embrace cheap overseas labor and low-cost manufacturing in developing countries has resembled a modern-day version of the California gold rush…

As more companies are competing on price, it is becoming even more important to know our true inventory costs accurately and immediately. This gets complicated by varying costs like freight, the duty imposed on imported products, and of course the exchange rate. The trick is to know our real costs at the time of selling…“

180 View – The article is written by a supply chain vendor that provides a “a community of logistics service providers, carriers, trading partners and banks who are integrated” such that “decisions can be based on visibility into true cost actuals as they occur.” Although the article is clearly biased, it does address significant issues for many companies struggling with complicated supply chain issues. It does not replace the ERP system or update inventory with landed costs but could help detect problems sooner than later. However the ERP system still needs a way to allocate actual costs to inventory on some basis across multiple purchase orders and products. But what happens if the products have been sold before all the costs are known? One solution would be to create a notional account that would not update the general ledger but could be used for product or customer gross profit analysis.


Remembrance Day


I recommend taking a few minutes to listen to the music and remember the sacrifices made by others that allow us to live in peace.