The nameplate on the door says staffing and recruiting; inside a woman seems to be reading the newspaper. Upon closer inspection it’s obvious she’s circling help wanted ads in the classified section. She touches the speaker on the phone and calls a number from memory. The voice answers “LA Times classified”. In 1988 this was the common practice to get people to mail in a resume or stop by and fill out a paper application. It was Thursday, the deadline, and her circled ads didn’t have any candidates yet so needed to run again in the weekend jobs section. Next, she puts paper in her typewriter and sends a letter to all the managers telling them what jobs were still open, what ads were being re-run, and the status of candidates who had received an offer letter. Then she walks to the Xerox machine that makes copies for everyone and puts them in intercompany envelopes for the mail boy to deliver. The cost of sending a letter back in the 80s was about $0.02 per ounce, plus the envelope and time spend mailing it.
Despite Microsoft’s efforts, email first started in the early 90s because it took time to develop an email system after the “birth” of the Internet in 1985. Microsoft was working and developing technology, but in the beginning only the US government and a few businesses used the Internet. Companies were still concerned it might be a fad or have problems that would become very expensive.
While she was putting the letters in the envelopes there was a call from the lobby receptionist saying that an applicant had stopped by to drop off his resume and could stay for an interview. The interview went well as the candidate had worked in manufacturing for 10 years. He understood the SCM, supply chain management, for this aerospace manufacturer with government contracts. This correlation between supplier, purchasing, receiving inspection, manufacturing, production, final inspection and shipping with a goal of matching supply with demand had already become established as the state-of-the-art methodology. He also knew the problem with SCM systems; no logistics system to keep track of what was going on in the various functions.
A consultant from Booz Allen Hamilton named Keith Oliver introduced the term “supply chain management” in 1982 through the Financial Times. It took more than a decade for the term to really gain popularity in industries spanning from Manufacturing & Distribution businesses to Food Production.
10 years have passed and soon it will be 1999, so let’s peek behind the door again.
The office is much bigger now and there are two recruiters tapping away at their keyboard tied to Microsoft Windows software and the Internet. They are sending out offer letters by email and advising management the status of the hiring plan. Later in the day they start scrolling through candidate resumes who have applied online at their website in the applicant tracking system. Specifically, they’re trying to identify good candidates who have some experience and knowledge with the popular JD Edwards ERP system. A software system that strived to resolve the logistics problem companies had with their SCM system. Not perfect but a major step forward for companies that used it.
Then unfortunately close to the end of 1999, the focus changes to the fear of what will happen in “Y2K”. Most software had been written and developed using two digits “99” as a calendar end date and it was anticipated that systems could stop working at 12:01 AM on January 1, 2000. Any product with a time or date mechanism was at risk Companies urgently hired many software engineers to re-write all the application development. Many used new languages with the advantage of quicker development such as JAVA. Everyone had predictions but no one was sure; it was a big relief that everything just went on
as usual January 1, 2000. Microsoft patiently waited without making changes. The big effect of Y2K on business was the slowdown of technology as the major tool for success.
During 2002 companies developing ERP software were making great advancements. Being Internet enabled meant that a division in the United States, a division in Europe, and division in Asia all have direct access to the ERP system and can communicate. SAP used this advancement in the ERP world to gain traction. None of the ERP systems really help much behind the door of recruiting. However, technology had helped greatly but an ERP system in human resources is not how it runs.
Now let’s look behind the door today in 2019. Microsoft has continued to grow and advance their products and maintain their strength in the marketplace. Using their massive foothold and catering to industry they’ve introduced their cloud product, Microsoft Dynamics 365 combining ERP and CRM systems into one beginning to end solution. There aren’t any newspapers on recruiters’ desks now; everything is on their computer, even the newspaper. The multiple module designs are flexible so that companies can choose the application that serves them best, including modules for Human Resources and hiring. Microsoft has developed an HR module as part of D365, named Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Talent. These new applications are packed with modern technologies such as Azure, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of things (IoT), Machine Learning, Power BI, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow and much more that all help businesses achieve their growth goals.
Since Microsoft purchased LinkedIn in 2016, a look behind the door in 2023 will likely have a different vision for human resources and ERP systems. Especially when Microsoft Gold Partners who specialize in implementing the D365 ERP and CRM systems continue showing business how to thrive using ERP as the backbone of their business.
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