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Conquering the Clutter

Posted on 13 June 2012 by Erin Schlee

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In my position at SYSPRO USA, I am given the opportunity to meet with Enterprise Resource Planning prospects, channel partners and customers. I have found that some have perfect experiences choosing and implementing an ERP system, while others find themselves overwhelmed and frustrated with the process. Reflecting on each company’s unique experiences reminded me of my own similar experience of furniture shopping.

My journey started with a messy room desperately in need of a new dresser, but not just any dresser, a “build-your-own” Swedish furniture manufacturer dresser. I’m certain most of you have shopped there at some point in your life, so you can relate to this journey first-hand.

In order for me to function properly, I need an organized home. My life runs smoother if I know where my clothes, keys and essential items are. As my wardrobe grew, I found myself lost under a sea of clothing. The final straw came when I was 15 minutes late to work and left my lunch at home, all because I could not find a favorite blouse. I knew my at-home processes were failing and I needed to implement something. My solution: a new dresser.

As mid-market manufacturers grow, they find themselves faced with similar problems - higher inventory levels, more customers and an accounting system they have outgrown. They, too, need a program in-place to help them integrate and properly control all aspects of their business while saving time and money. Their solution: an ERP Software Program.

I set off confident and prepared to buy my new dresser, but upon arriving at the store’s showroom was instantly overwhelmed by the abundance of choices. To make matters worse, I hadn’t measured my room and therefore didn’t know where to begin or how to narrow down what would be best for me. Frustrated, I left. After an extensive online search, I narrowed down my options to four different dressers. The next step was to head back and physically see the dressers.

Similar to choosing the right dresser, selecting the best ERP Solution for your company can be overwhelming. With so many vendors offering a variety of solutions, it’s important to research, focus on your business needs and find out how the ERP System will support those needs. Major factors to consider are the cost and time it will take to implement; whether you prefer in-house support; and the functionality required to meet your organization’s specific needs. After narrowing down your vendors, the next step is to schedule a demo to really see first-hand how the software will support your business.

After spending hours at the store, I finally picked a dresser that was aesthetically pleasing, fitted the dimensions of my room, and had several drawers to assist with optimal organization. The next step was to get the dresser back to my house and assemble it. Once home, I dumped it on the floor and stared at the heap of nails, screws, drawer liners, pieces of wood and instruction book. Putting this together would be a daunting task, but I took a deep breath, ignored the instructions (I am, of course, a furniture-building genius), picked up a hammer and matter-of-factly stated, “Here we go!”

Within 20 minutes I was ready to throw the hammer out the window. The result of ignoring the instructions and not preparing was pieces of dresser in the wrong places, crooked nails and uneven lines. I wanted it done right and knew I needed to start over, following the proper steps from beginning to end. Taking proper steps and time to learn about your processes and system is also vital when implementing ERP.

Much more than just a choice of technology, a successful ERP implementation requires executives to align business strategy, processes, people and technology; it is a business project rather than a technological initiative. At SYSPRO, we not only verbalize the importance of implementing properly to achieve the best results we have a STARS Implementation Methodology that was developed based on the observed needs of companies migrating to a new ERP system. SYSPRO observed that a majority of ERP implementation failures resulted from organizations trying to “lay” the new ERP software on top of existing business processes. STARS provides a structure to maximize business processes prior to the implementation of SYSPRO ERP software.

Similar to our customer’s results with SYSPRO, I am thrilled with my new dresser. My room is organized, I know where everything is, and most importantly, I save time and am more efficient every day. Want these same results for your business? Contact SYSPRO.

 

Topics: Business Strategy, implementation, business process, Business software, selection, ERP


Erin Schlee

Erin Schlee is a Marketing Specialist at SYSPRO, USA. She joined SYSPRO in early 2011. Her responsibilities include social media management, and developing product-based messaging and collateral to highlight the value proposition of the SYSPRO product.

Prior to joining SYSPRO, Erin was based at Tesla Motors, in the capacity of Regional Marketing Coordinator. Here she gained valuable experience in high-tech marketing, which prepared her for the ERP Industry.

Outside of the SYSPRO community, Erin is a member of several organizations, including TechAmerica Orange County, the Technology Council of Southern California, and the British-American Business Council.

 

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