Have you been watching the Olympics in Sochi?
I haven't caught every race, and my life hasn't been put on hold so I don't miss a moment, but the games have definitely been a great source of entertainment at my house.
It seems to be an event that truly brings people from around the world together with some friendly competition. Most of the athletes know each other from other events and their camaraderie is evident. We are engaged by hearing their stories and you really feel like you are getting to know them. Then you find yourself subconsciously cheering for certain athletes in each event. There is so much effort and training that goes into an athlete's preparation for competition. I would venture a guess that most of us have no idea what sacrifices are made for the sake of training and the pursuit of perfection.
Which brings me to what is really on my mind. How many of you have seen the reports regarding the skin-suits used in the speed-skating events? The U.S. has some very gifted and talented athletes competing in this event, and it is really baffling that the results haven't been more in their favor.
Could it really be the suits fault?
For many of these athletes, this is the biggest competition of their career. Surely, they tested the suit.....right? Why would you spend all the time, effort, and money without testing the suit?
In many ways, ERP software is your company's skin-suit. If the functionality doesn't work for your company's operations, then essentially, you have put what could be one the biggest decisions you will ever make for your company into the wrong skin-suit.
When pursuing ERP options, make a list of the core components that your company needs. Don't only be persuaded by an option that has some really amazing new features that you are eager to apply to your existing operations. Focus on core functionality.
When the basic needs are met, then you can expand the search criteria to include functionality that could prove useful as growth occurs.
Another lesson from Sochi is the need to effectively demo a product. Once you have settled on 2 - 4 ERP software systems to demo, make sure your data is applied and used for the demo. Put each software on the same playing field and create every day scenarios that will reveal whether or not the software is a fit for your organization. Because, clearly, proper fit in a skin-suit could be the difference between landing on the podium or not.