August 2007 Minimize

In this issue:
1. Guest Spot: Sanitizing Your Addresses
2. Worthwhile Reading
3. Lawson Tips & Tricks

From The Editor

Back in March, I opined on the wisdom of not modifying Lawson's address fields just because you think they're too small (see http://www.danalytics.com/guru/letter/archive/2007-03.htm).   In that article I also proposed an alternative method (using what I call "shadow tables") to making that modification, should you be so determined that absolutely nothing will stop you. 

In response to that article, Mark Petereit from McLeod Health shares his insight and practical tips on cleaning up your addresses so that you can avoid even thinking about making this costly and intrusive modification.  Thanks Mark!

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1. Guest Spot: Sanitizing Your Addresses

I worked for a direct mail service bureau in a previous life and had the honor of cleaning up our customers' address lists before we could mail.  That's why I'm such a standardization zealot.    Probably the best argument for NOT lengthening the address and city fields is that if you're following the US Postal Service address guidelines (see http://pe.usps.gov/text/pub28/28c2_001.html#NL508_2), it should never be a problem. 

Here are my practical tips for managing addresses in Lawson:

  • DON'T USE PUNCTUATION!
  • Enter addresses in ALL CAPS and use standardized postal abbreviations where possible; for example:    
     
    Word Abbreviation
    APARTMENT APT
    BUILDING BLDG
    DEPARTMENT DEPT
    FLOOR FL
    ROOM RM
    SUITE STE
    UNIT UNIT
    EAST E
    WEST W
    NORTH N
    SOUTH S
    NORTHEAST NE
    NORTHWEST NW
    ...etc...

See http://pe.usps.gov/text/pub28/28apc_001.html#NL508_2 for a complete list of street suffix abbreviations    

  • Have your data entry employees save the U.S. Postal Service's Zip Code Look-up web page (see http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp) in their favorites or bookmarks.  If they're unsure of an address or an abbreviation, key it into this page and it will return a perfectly-formatted, guaranteed-to-be-deliverable address.  If this page can't make heads or tales of the address, it's NOT a valid address -- verify with the employee.
  • Try to fit entire address in ADDR1 field. If it won't all fit, put the Apt#, Lot# etc. in ADDR1 and put the main address in ADDR2 (yes it does seem backwards, but the post office computers read addresses from the bottom up)    

*WRONG*
1234 REALLY LONG STREET NAME
APT 1

* CORRECT *
APT 1
1234 REALLY LONG STREET NAME

  • If an employee provides a P.O. Box as their address, ask them for their street address. BSI TaxFactory needs to know WHERE THEY LIVE in order to calculate taxes correctly.  If they insist that all mailings need to go to their P.O. Box, put their street address in ADDR1 (to make BSI happy) and put their P.O. Box in ADDR2.  Since the post office reads addresses from the bottom up, they'll deliver their mail to the P.O. Box.
  • Run all employee addresses in your database through a mailing service bureau twice a year (May and November).  Ask them to standardize all addresses and run them through the National Change of Address database.  This will pick up any of your employees (current or previous) who have moved and forgot to tell you.  The November run will save you a TON of frustration and wasted postage with returned W2s.  I recommend using MelissaData.com.
2. Worthwhile Reading

The Grill: Lawson's Harry Debes on the Hot Seat

The CEO of Lawson talks about ERP on demand, market consolidation and playing the role of the anti-SAP.
Computerworld, July 23, 2007

- QUOTE OF THE ISSUE –

“I think it's a new feature.
Don't tell anyone it was an accident.”
-- Larry Wall


http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=294544

A speedier way to file expense accounts

Web firms ease the pain for as little as $200 a user per year.
Fortune Small Business, June 2007
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fsb/fsb_archive/2007/06/01/100051007/index.htm

Divining Oracle's Latest Gambit

By snapping up Hyperion, Oracle intensifies its war with SAP, even as it pledges to play nice with others.
CFO Magazine, May 2007
http://www.cfo.com/article.cfm/9059277

Big boss is watching

New online services show managers at a glance who's productive -- and who's not.
Business 2.0, July 2007
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/business2/business2_archive/2007/07/01/100117053/index.htm
3. Lawson Tips & Tricks

Starting with Environment 8.0.3 ESP4, you can use the Windows Performance Monitor to analyze performance of the various Lawson processes:

The steps for enabling this feature are not well-documented, and even if you can find the steps, they won’t work if you’ve installed LSF9 on a fresh server. 

To find out how to get this working, view the solution on LawsonGuru.com (site registration required).

Decision Analytics is an independent consultancy, focusing on Lawson technical projects, and specializing in reporting, customization/modification, data conversion, and integration/interfaces. Please visit http://www.danalytics.com for more information.