Exception Pencils

Managing By Exception, and the role Orchid products can play

Tue, 17 Oct 2017

Management by Exception aims to have you spend your time more efficiently. Orchid's products can help you turn the theory into a reality.

There have been books, theses and courses written about Management By Exception (MBE), but the concept is easy enough to grasp. If you think of ‘micromanagement’ and ‘laissez-faire’ as representing different extremes of the management style spectrum, then MBE sits somewhere in the sensible centre. Management remains very much accountable, but only gets directly involved when a red flag suggests the train is in danger of running off the tracks.

Any MBE regime will involve some variant of the steps below. Let’s examine them briefly, and see some of the ways that Orchid’s products can contribute.

  1. Defining Exceptions: This implies agreeing what the expected ‘norm’ is (e.g. a budget), and what variance from the norm should be treated as a significant exception.

    Orchid Info-Explorer, working in conjunction with Orchid Optional Tables, allows you to build detailed budgets without being constrained by standard Sage 300 data structures.

    Orchid Extender (Configurator Edition) lets you configure which Sage 300 fields you wish to monitor.
  2. Identifying Exceptions: Implies having visibility of actual results, and being able to compare them against the agreed norm.

    Orchid Info-Explorer allows you to easily maintain forecasts, perform detailed ‘slice and dice’ analysis, and identify variances to budget.

    Orchid Extender (Configurator Edition) can monitor changes to key field data in real time. By upgrading to Customizer Edition you can take this much further, e.g. by using Python scripts to perform bespoke validation.
  3. Escalating Exceptions: Agreeing in advance who needs to be notified of which exceptions, and having a mechanism for notifying them.

    Orchid Extender can automatically trigger an email alert when a pre-defined event occurs, as well as generating an audit log entry and/or displaying details where they are needed using Orchid Notes.

    Orchid Email SmartLink provides a simple mechanism for manual escalations, generating an email that includes a hyperlink to a specific Sage 300 record.
  4. Investigating Exceptions: Once notified of an exception, being able to analyse the data and determine the underlying cause.

    This is where Orchid Info-Explorer’s powerful BI capabilities come into their own. Use one of our many pre-configured sample cubes, or develop your own, to look for anomalies and drill down into the detail.

    With a single mouse-click on a hyperlink, the recipient of an Email SmartLink can drill directly through to a Sage 300 screen displaying the record that requires their attention.
  5. Remediating Exceptions: Developing and implementing a plan of action, where deemed necessary after investigation.

    Over to you now…This is where you get the chance to demonstrate your exceptional management skills!


About the Author:

David Lacey is Communications Manager at Orchid Systems. You can find out more about David and other Orchid staff members at the bottom of our About Us page.


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