Month: March 2014

Home / 2014 / March

Proximity: Production Supervisor – Our New IPad App is available

This is been a while in the making, and I’m really excited about this.  I’ve spent a lot of the past 2 months working with my friend at Lithium Labs to design this app.  We took our ERP only application, Proximity: Production Supervisor and moved it outside the ERP system and onto the IPad.  We will be demo’ing this starting tomorrow at the SAP MFG conference in Vegas.

I really hope you’ll help us out and download the app.  Even if you don’t use it, it would mean a lot to me if you just downloaded it to help get some publicity.  Thanks again…

Marketing – Finding the eleganance in a complicated world

Well, since I have the big conference coming up, I’m still in marketing mode. Lately, I’ve been finding firsthand the elegance of simplicity.  Let me explain what I mean.  Recently, my little guy, Alex, started at a Montessori School.  I’d always heard the term, but never really grasped what was so different.  Before Alex started, we the parents get to come in and check the place out, see what the kids will be doing, and in general get that good feeling that your getting your money’s worth out of the school.  I was already interested, because I’d heard good things about the Montessori concept, but I didn’t understand the details.

So I go in and get to observe the kids.  It’s just 2 teachers for almost 20 kids.  I’m expecting there will be mass chaos, yelling, running, wrestling, etc…  just like daycare.  Well, I walk in everyone is subdued, mellow, focused on their tasks, quietly asking questions if they need help.  Needless to say, I was amazed.  No one was fighting because the activity they wanted wasn’t available.

Now, the next I took away was how simple the activities were, and how easily they teach real skills.  Simple things like counting using sticks that are different lengths.  Allowing your whole brain to engage, sight, touch, even sound…  The obvious nature of everything there had me walking away shaking my head.  In a good way :).  It’s so simple, why didn’t i think of it???  why isn’t everyone doing it???  incredible.

Well, I’ve been reading more of my Perry Marshall course, and it really is eye opening.  In the same way, he’s an engineer turned marketing guru (exactly what I’m trying to do), and the things he teaches leave me shaking my head.  The latest one I’m about to do is to just sit down and write a day in the life of my customer.  Using it help understand their pain, what they want, what they need, and what it’s worth to them.  DUH!!!

Anyway, I am a bit slow at times, but I’m slowly getting there.  Anyway, just remember that success doesn’t have to be complicated…  it just needs to happen on purpose.

Thanks for reading,

Customer Appreciation – It Matters

I’d like to start by thanking all of you that read my stuff with any consistency.  I never expected to meet so many consultants that tell me they read my stuff before I ever met them.  It’s humbling and ego boosting all the same time 🙂  That being said, I was a Charlotte Checkers game, and they had a skate with the Checkers event after the game.  Well, it was hard fought game, the Monsters played rough, and the Checkers lost a close game by a late goal.  All and all, for the average person, it would have been disheartening, depressing, pick your own word for it.  Well, all the players game out with smiles on their faces, sharpies in hand and gladly signed jerseys of young and old fans alike.

It didn’t hit me until later that this is the ultimate in customer service.  These guys were tired, bruised and beaten, but they still came out and happily hung out with their fans.  Why?  you might say that they have to do it, it’s in their contract, or somehow else they were obligated.  You might be right, but I look at it the other way.  They are a minor league team in a southern state.  Hockey isn’t the biggest sport in the area…  it might not even be in the top 5, so they know the importance of taking care of their fans.  They realize that the loyal fans help keep them employed playing the game they love.

How is this any different from a small business?  It’s all about serving the customers you have, and then growing your business to new customers.  Why do I mention this?  because small business is tough and I’ve been reading it in more and more locations, the best place to find “new” customers is in your existing customer base.  Never, Never neglect them.  They bought from you when few others did, and they deserve your attention.  More importatnly, they may buy your next product if you serve them well enough.  So, take care of those customers and they will take care of you.

thanks for reading,

March is Marketing Month =)

I’m sure you’ve noticed an overwhelming them in my posts this month.  Well, most of my free time has been devoted to getting ready for our big conference.  I did get to spend some time doing development (just completed the new Service Contract Metrics for our SM Dashboard.  WooHoo).  In addition, I learned how to make Netweaver Gateway services to feed our new IPad application for Production Supervisor and I extended my Web Dynpro skills by converting Production Execution into an ABAP Web Dynpro interface.  But the rest of my time has been about the new website, new white papers, and helping my co-founder Mike get our booth ready for our coming trip to Vegas.  I do promise to get back to more SAP posts when April rolls around.  Right now, our business is looking for a big return on our investement at the conference.

If you happen to be attending the SAPInsider MFG conference in Vegas the first week of April, we would love to see you.  We will be at booth #100, and Mike Golden will be doing a presentation at the conference showing off my handy work for Proximity.  I may not be a Production Execution expert, but I am pretty proud of what we did with that application.  More importantly, the mobile side of our business is starting to take shape.  An IPad app and a Web Dynpro app will both be promoted heavily in April.  In fact, if you’re around, come and demo it in person.  If you’re interested, go to and click the contact button.  I’ll be happy to send you a URL and a login to try out the web dynpro application yourself.  As soon as the app gets published in the AppStore, I’ll do a new post on that as well.

Alright, enough excitement on my part.  All I can say is things are coming together for me, and I owe a lot of that to you guys that read my blog.  It has been very encouraging for me to know that so many of you follow my blog.  Thanks so much,

Cutting Over the New Website

Well, I recently did the cutover from our development site to our new and improved site for JaveLLin Solutions.  Like I mentioned last time, Optimize Press certainly added a new level of difficulty to this task.  Now, thanks to a little book I bought a couple years ago, called WPClone, I can take an existing site and make a duplicate of it.  Last time around, I was able to make it work with a minimal effort.  There’s always the ramp up, because…  well, I don’t do this very often (thanks god).

So, I followed all the steps, everything was going fine (expect for my network issues throughout the day.  Thanks AT&T).  So I got everything going, I went to test the new site.  The home page worked fine, but every link kept going back to the test site.  After some digging, I found that I needed to not only update the DB_NAME, but I had defined the site at the bottom of the wp-config.php file.  So I had to manually edit this, and then things started working again.  Except….

The nice header that my partner put together didn’t come across for any of the pages.  UGH!  So I spent the afternoon manually adding the logo and color to each page.  What a pain.  Of course, I needed to go through and check all the links (since some of them were also hard coded to the test site).  Nothing too terrible, but it sure would’ve been nice to have someone else take care of this.  I did a post a while back talking about hiring someone hourly to do a job for you…  Again, for the money we spent for someone else to learn on the job, we could’ve had someone else deal with this headache for me…  Oh well, being a small business guy, it’s good to learn how to do this for myself 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Using Optimize Press – Good and Bad

Well, I recently cut over our new rendition of the JaveLLin Solutions, LLC website.  Overall, things went ok, but I certainly learned some lessons for next time.  One of our biggest changes was moving over to a theme called Optimize Press.  Our site is built on WordPress, so that makes things pretty easy.  The theme is hyped up as being completely customizable, great for landing pages, blah blah blah.  Well, this is true is true in certain areas, but certainly has a some areas to be improved.

When I bought this theme, I certainly thought it looked cool, easy to use and would give me exactly what I needed to start building a better site.  One of the biggest things I quickly discovered is the inability to really create a good header.  A couple of different issues on this point.

1. you can add a logo, but you can’t add anything next to it, not even a text version of the company name.2. No easy way to add phone numbers, RSS links, social media connections, etc.
3.  Creating a template once and applying it to all the pages that already exist, not happening.

The designer itself is really nice and easy to use.  It comes with lots of templates to get you started, and it’s all drag and drop.  This is especially helpful, since I’m trying to push the website over to my partner for the majority of stuff.  Of course, I’m sure I’ll be tweaking content forever, but as I learn more marketing, I come up with better ways to say things =)  However, without creating a brand new page, it’s very difficult to take existing content and just drop it into the new theme.  I resorted to copy and paste for each existing page.  Not the end of the world, but certainly tedious.

I’ll talk more about the cutover next time.  That came with it’s own challenges.  Anyway, thanks for reading,

SAP Process Not Running?

Well, I recently ran into something I hadn’t discovered before.  I was trying to add a support pack to one of my SAP Add On applications.  Normally, this is a pretty quick process.  But when it ran for several hours with no progress, I began to get suspicious.  Well, eventually, I stumbled upon the good old transaction SM50, which shows all the running processes.

It turns out, all the background processes got bogged down, and weren’t finishing, so my job was also stuck in limbo.


Now, the important thing to notice is the processes of type BGD.  These are a finite number of processes, and when they are all in use, the other background jobs have to sit around and wait till one is available.  You can manually kill job the going up to the menu and selecting cancel (with or without core).  This will “usually” kill off the job shortly.  Anyway, wanted to share this with you….

Thanks for reading,

ABAP – Creating a Dynamic Variant

Recently I started doing a lot of testing on my dashboard while I added some new functionality.  It reminded me of the options within variant creation that allow you to dynamically set the date of your variant, so you don’t have to change it every time.  I thought I’d walk through the creation of a dynamic variant today.


Let’s start with a typical reporting screen.  As usual, press save to begin the variant creation process.


This will bring us to our standard variant creation screen.  The Enter Date range will be our example for today.



If you scroll to the right, you’ll find the selection variable screen.  Press F4 or do the pull down.


Select D for Dynamic date calculation.  (T is another option, but that’s for another day)


Next move to the Name of Variable.  Do the pull down and it will give you the options available.


I just wanted the date to always be less than or equal to today’s date. So I used the current date, and set the option of LE.


When you’re done, it should look like this.

Hope you found this little tidbit useful.  Thanks for reading,

Basis – More Memory Increases Connectivity

Well, if you know me, you know I’m no basis guru.  I’ve learned just enough to keep my systems up and running, and have built enough redundancy in my backups that I can also restart the clock if something becomes non-salvageable 🙂  But, with the addition of my server, I’ve found that the increased memory in the box makes it more reliable and easier to connect to.  I can explain why, I just know that it’s running on the same internet that my other systems run on.

As an example, often when trying to connect to my old system it might 3 or more attempts before it finally connects.  With the new server, it usually connects on the first try (sometimes it takes 2).  This is a nice feature.  In my world, it’s not a show stopper, but sure is nice not to have to keep clicking the logon pad waiting till it finally connects to SAP.

Anyway, thought I’d share this…  and if you happen to be a basis guru, maybe you could explain what the hell is happening =)  Thanks for reading,

ABAP – Finding Icon Codes

I just picked up a new little trick.  Often when I’m programming, I like to pull in the standard SAP icons.  The problem is that it is always a hassle to find the 4 digit code that corresponds to the icon I want to use.  So I found this little trick online to simplify the process.

1. Go to transaction ICON to find the icon you wish to use.  It will have a full description, like ICON_ORDER for example.

2. Go to SE11, enter ICON into the Type Group.  Press Display

3.  Scroll through the list (or use Control-F) to find the icon code associated with the ICON_ORDER.

Pretty slick,  Thanks for reading,