To achieve a successful ERP Project implementation, you must begin with the end in mind. The end in mind should be that the new ERP system supports your business processes and is aligned to meet your organizational objectives/goals. This is nearly an impossible undertaking without creating the proper Project Teams up front. Regardless of project size, it is highly recommended that three distinct Project Teams be created:Read More
As a consultant and software expert on a large ERP implementation project some years ago, I was asked regularly how to accomplish a task or enter data in the new system. When I saw that some people would just take my advice and run with it, I started adding the comment “Trust Me”. This would give them pause, and often responded with “Ok, you want me to fully test this, right?” Of course I did! While my advice may have been sound, fully testing data and validating processes are critical aspects of any ERP implementation.
So, how do build that trust? You’ve invested in a good solid Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) system. You’ve tagged the best . . .Read More
Once upon a time, there was a business that was trying to grow and update its current operations. One of the items to be updated was the software that the company was using for its core operations. The software was several years old, and the promised update had been postponed multiple times, leading the company to make the decision that it was time to scrap the software.
There were multiple departments that weren’t even utilizing the legacy software because the . . .Read More
Executive buy-in is terminology that often gets tossed around when exploring and / or implementing an ERP project. Typically, the executive management will not be involved with the day to day implementation. In fact, there may be limited executive representation throughout the ERP selection process. Typically, the ERP selection team should primarily be comprised of the company power users from each department, and company leaders.
So, what role does the executive management team play? Executives have a . . .Read More
I remember a few years ago when “You Might Be a Redneck” jokes were all over the place. There are stores that sprung up in strip malls and shopping outlets simply due to the demand for the Jeff Foxworthy Redneck joke special.
So what do these jokes have to do with ERP? If you find yourself making a list of questions that start with the phrase, “My ERP may need replacing because…”, then you have officially categorized your business like . . .
Over the years whether being a consultant for ERP implementations or an actual end user in ERP implementations, I have seen a common thread for the successes or not so successful implementations.
Oh, yes, I have heard and do realize that one of the most important messages is COMMITMENT from TOP DOWN. We have all heard and to some extend it is true, people . . .Read More
I was watching a college basketball game a few nights ago, and found myself considering the preparation and execution that goes into each and every game. In the last 3 minutes of the game, the team that was behind began the usual routine of fouling the other team’s players in order to regain possession of the ball. Possession translates to points. What caught my attention is that they forced the team that was in the lead to put the ball in the hands of their worst free throw shooter. It was strategy. Make sure the guy that is least likely to hit the free throws has the ball when we foul. Make the foul count.
Believe it or not, ERP Software purchases and implementation should be viewed like a strategic, competitive game. There are lots of . . .Read More
CPQ is more than a tool for your customers. Setting yourself apart from the competition by giving your customer a 3D diagram of a product, with a complete list of specifications is really cool. What’s even cooler than “wowing” a customer? Providing the right price and the right tools for your sales reps.
Sales reps often go into deals and negotiations with customers with less information than the customer has. There are so many . . .Read More
Most customers go through a rigorous evaluation and selection process before making an ERP software purchase decision. Of course, it’s important to verify that the purchased software meets or exceeds all of the company’s business requirements and has a proven, successful track record within their industry. However, the ERP software is only a suite of tools that can be configured to meet functional requirements. Obtaining the real benefit to the purchase of a new ERP system is achieved through the implementation. A well planned, managed, and executed ERP implementation project is what will deliver the optimum results, improve overall operational processes, and provide an immediate return in terms of more efficient business procedures and customer satisfaction.
The objective of this article is to discuss different ERP implementation strategies and how realistic resource planning is important to success.
There are several common ERP implementation approaches or strategies. These are . . .Read More
Chances are that if you are using a CRM system, you have heard the buzz about CPQ. Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) is not necessarily a new term, but the technology around it has evolved into the revenue game changer.
Many companies use CRM software in order to manage their sales process, however, according to recent research conducted by CSO Insights and Accenture, CRM software has not made a significant impact on revenue, win rates, and sales cycles, with less than 20% of the companies using it seeing positive revenue impact.
CPQ is the new weapon that is advancing revenue growth and...Read More
We’ve all heard the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”, but perhaps not always paying attention to the subtle life lessons that we were supposed to be learning from this simple nursery school story. I suppose the first lesson was not to go into a stranger’s house without being invited. Despite whatever life lessons we were supposed to learn, the thing that stuck out to me was that Goldilocks wasn’t satisfied with just any food, or chair, or bed. Goldilocks was determined that everything needed to be just right. Just right for her that is.
Goldilocks is reminder of why we should not accept an ERP system that is too hot, too cold, too hard, too soft, or too big. ERP can bring a level of efficiency and scalability to your business that you need, but choosing the wrong ERP system can be . . .Read More
In the past if you were labeled a clock-watcher that typically came with a negative connotation and would lead to a career limiting activity. You would have been the one that was just waiting for it to be 5-O’clock somewhere and you were just counting the minutes for the day and week to be over. In today’s business that activity of watching the clock may not be that bad, that is if you are doing it for the right reasons.
Business today has become much more time sensitive. No longer is a customer satisfied with a delivery date that is based on fixed lead times, they want it much more accurate as they are dependent . . .
I have the pleasure of spending a good portion of my life in meetings. Most are very productive and the time is spent creating value for the organization I am working with. That is what I hope for from every meeting – Value! When someone from our staff is in a meeting that is floundering or disorganized we tend to jump in and get the train back on the tracks. Acting as your consultant and business partner - you expect nothing less from us. Unfortunately, we sometimes attend meetings run by folks who don’t possess the experience or leadership skills to keep a meeting properly focused.
While working with a customer on a large project I was asked to . . .
Excel is probably one of the most widely used software programs among students, businesses, and manufacturers. It is incredibly versatile and relatively simple to use. Despite its simplicity, it can even compute and perform complex mathematical operations. It is a useful tool and an accessible way to analyze and communicate data.
Despite its usefulness, you may soon find yourself in a love / hate relationship with Excel.
As business develops, so does the amount of data. If your business operations are being managed from spreadsheets there is . . .Read More
In college, there was an introduction to Marketing class that required all of us to give two presentations during the semester. Presentations are a lot of work to prepare for, and were over with in a very short period of time. I hated the preparation, but I was always happy to have the presentation completed, because that meant I would have a couple of classes where the rest of my classmates were giving their presentations, and I didn’t have to have any assignments due in the class. It was time that I could use prepping for other classes or just enjoying the break.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way with an ERP demo. You may not be the one giving the presentation, but there is still plenty that will need to be done before, during, and after the demo. The vendor software demonstration is a critical part of the ERP software selection process, according to . . .Read More
SaaS or Software as a Service (Cloud) is a hot topic of conversation everywhere. Software as a Service is not remote hosting of your enterprise system, it is a subscription based service that hosts your business application in a multi-tenant data center somewhere. There are many stated advantages and disadvantages to this model and I hope to cover most if not all of them in as unbiased a way as I can.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of a SaaS deployment:
I have seen it time-after-time. A new ERP Implementation in the waiting, Executive Sponsors selected, Steering Committee in place, Project Managers ready to manage, Core Team ready to dive into the trenches, Project Plans firmed, caffeine charged Technical Consultants prepping the environment And functional consultants ready to inspire and guide the client to new heights of best practices.
Then the Value Assessment reveals that by taking advantage of new functionality lacking in the clients legacy ERP system, or slight changes to business processes, that an exponential gain can be made in efficiency, staffing, throughput, inventory reduction, or one of the many other business metrics companies use to determine success. The Consultant . . .
Some of the biggest concerns with ERP Implementations are “will my people learn fast enough, will they retain what they need to know after the ERP Consultant has left, and will we lose core ERP knowledge if key people leave the company”.
If you are a multi-site manufacturing company and have implemented your ERP in at least one of your sites, but still have others on the implementation to-do list, one way to mitigate all of these concerns is to use an internal Mentor Program.
A Mentor Program is a concept of utilizing your previous investments . . .
Typically, a relationship starts with expectation and excitement. And you invest in it to see where it will lead you. Investment comes in many forms, and varies based on the type of relationship. You may invest resources, money, time, and assets, not to mention emotional equity into something that has value to you.
Over a period of time you either discover that the relationship is working for you, or you determine that it's not. In the event that the relationship isn't working, there is usually a natural parting of ways, a "conscious uncoupling", or a dramatic scene that finally spells "the end". No matter how it happens, getting out of a bad relationship is liberating.
Think of all the business relationships you have developed over the years. Often, these relationships are good and built on mutual benefit. On occasion, you will find yourself clinging to something that just isn't working. This can happen for a number of reasons:Read More
If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.”
- Lawrence J. Peter 1977
Sounds simple enough. If you use GPS, you have turn by turn directions that will take you from point A to point B. But if you don’t plan well enough or your GPS is out of date, even when think you’re sure of where you’re headed, you don’t always end up where you expected.
I see a lot of businesses that know that they need to improve “where they are”. They’re pretty sure they know “where they should be” but lack experience driving the bus. What they need is a business GPS! Let’s simplify the examples. If you don’t have . . .Read More