For one of the leaders in Polish print finishing industry, conducted a comprehensive technical audit of custom-made MIS/ERP system

The critical role the custom-made MIS (“Management Information System”)/ERP (“Electronic Resource Procurement”) system holds for this client in its day to day activities and the increasing seriousness of problems accumulated over the course of 5+ years necessitated a holistic approach to problem solving.

The MIS/ERP system was developed in-house by leaders in print finishing industry and utilized for 5+ years already in production in two branches of the company – thus, being very well adapted to business processes and company specifics. It consists of web application, Android OS client applications deployed on tablets and automated label printers – both used on the production floor – as well as dedicated self-service B2B web applications for some of the larger clients company works with.

Some of the problems uncovered during the course of this audit were:

  • No technical documentation, including no unit nor integration tests of any kind
  • No application logs
  • Web application code issues, including over 10,000 serious and critical problems detected during code analysis
  • Lack of source code for Android OS client applications – only compiled APK versions were available
  • Numerous problems with the data model used in the application
  • Intermittent application crashes and need for manual reboots
  • Hardware issues, including frequent “self-restarting” of the server where application was deployed and likelihood of physical damage to disk
  • Security threats, including thousands of security problems uncovered during code analysis, some stemming from using versions of operating system, language and database, which have not been patched nor upgraded for 5+ years already
  • Lack of any other environment in which the MIS/ERP system could be run in order to upgrade main hardware and update operating system, language and database versions or to transition to in case of catastrophic hardware failures
  • Backlog full of application features – buggy, unfinished, as well as new ideas – accumulated over the years
  • No version control system

On top of this, the main programmer who created the MIS/ERP system left the company and it was virtually impossible to make contact in order to obtain even most basic information regarding its internal requirements and functioning.

Adding background to this situation was the difficulty in finding competent IT professionals to analyze the root cause and tackle such problems. Not having to throw out 5+ years of work and processes in exchange for commercial solution which, however enticing, would not be able to meet company’s evolving needs without extensive customizations and ongoing development, was the underlying objective. The possibility of packaging and selling this custom-made MIS/ERP solution in the not so distant future to other print finishing companies in the industry – considering the know-how and production-tested features – providing the company with an additional stream of income, was also taken into consideration in the detailed analyses and recommendations of solutions delivered as part of this audit.