Monday, June 06, 2005

Oracle hinders procurement

From the 6/6/2005 LANL NewsBulletin:

June 2, 2005

Oracle hinders procurement

On May 6, I went to my eye doctor to get [a] new prescription for glasses and new computer glasses. On May 9, I tried to enter the new Oracle procurement system to order my computer glasses. I found I couldn't make the order because I'm a sub-contractor.

Okay, I understand that. So I went to my group secretary to have her place the order. My frames weren't in the system. Finally, after another day or two, the group secretary got my order placed in Oracle. Then my deputy group leader doesn't have my order to approve. Supply Chain Management (SUP) called to ask if [my deputy group leader is] an acting. No, he is not. He's been in this position for some time. SUP moves and can't be reached. On June 1, I heard if your request isn't approved in two days it drops out of the system. I don't know if this is true, but if so, it seems to be a little short. Group leaders and their deputies don't always have the time every day to check for things they have to approve.

It is now four weeks since I went to the eye doctor to get new glasses and four weeks since I started trying to get it through the new procurement system. My computer glasses have still not been ordered by my eye doctor because an approved purchase request hasn't been entered. Now, I may not be extremely inconvenienced by not having the new computer glasses, though I am getting more headaches. But I've heard from at least two other sources that the same thing is going on with safety shoes. That could negatively impact an employee being able to work, especially if the worker has not needed safety shoes in the past and doesn't have any. It would have been nice if the catalogs had been fully loaded and the new system fully tested before it was given to the users as ready-to-go.

By the way - I got my regular eye-glasses less than two weeks after I ordered them; but they were paid for by insurance and check.

--Francine Seal

So, No revelation here. Stuff like this happens all the time at LANL. We know the place is screwed up. Question is, will it ever change? Personaly I doubt it. It will take years of pain.
The difference here is LANL spent $100M+ to have a system that takes more than a month to do a simple job.

We used to have these kind of delays and frustration at no extra cost.
Yep. I supervise several employees who have gone to buy safety shoes only to leave the store in utter frustration and no shoes. This is a great system! All this run-around for a pair of shoes and/or safety glasses. The people spent more FTE time trying to navigate the system than what it costs to actually buy the shoes. Your tax money at work, folks.
p.s. the employees finally gave up and went to purchase shoes with their own money.
Remember Pete Nanos explaining how easy life would be with his wonderful ERP? It's "Just like magic", he said.

He also fired the first guy who was running the project, in a public and humiliating way. That one guy seemed to have a clue about computing; no one who came after him seems to know anything.

We're going to be paying for Nanos for a long, long time. For perspective, the $100M that he spent on the non-functional ERP is about what LLNL is spending on the Purple 100T machine. It's about 1/5 of a space shuttle. It's 20 times the cost of SpaceShip One.

I'm so glad he's gone -- it's too bad we have to live with his legacy, and will suffer his mistakes for the next few decades. I'm finally about to give up on UC -- the fact that they tolerated Pete Nanos and his outright incompetence for so long is hardly a strong recommendation for their continued management of the lab. The fact that Foley is still in a position of authority is appalling.
"The fact that Foley is still in a position of authority is appalling."

This was actually my tipping point. I walked from the Admin building over to Otowi and the HR offices to set up my retirement appointment after the all-hands meeting where Foley (and Dynes) showed his true character.
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