About Walstan Systems Ltd

Background

Walstan Systems was formed in Sydney in 1982, to sell and implement software for the business of manufacturing, by Kim Walker and Kate Stanton.

Their Beacon for Business product evolved from their previous products PICMAN and PICKMAN.  BeaconSteel (first implemented in 2005) includes special development for  metal processors and traders.

What makes a good system

Kim and Kate share the philosophy that the way you judge the quality of a software package is how much outside support the company requires to run it.

The perfect system would be usable out of the box with no outside assistance at all.  So far, we have got to where we can train an internal trainer, with periodic reviews.

The best systems are simple to use, while being comprehensive.  They adjust to how the company runs, rather than the company changing to be able to use the software.

It is worth taking a bit longer to deliver ready to use software, with no known bugs.

Documentation should be available to the user at a keystroke, and easier to use than phoning for help.

Users should be able to make changes to suit their operation.  They should not be able to make changes which stop the software working.  Change control is required for internal development, and to track customer changes for reconciliation with upgrades.