One of the most critical decisions a growing company can make is the introduction of new technology into its business. There are so many things to think about when considering an ERP implementation that it can be overwhelming. Over my many years of seeing successes and (unfortunately) a few failures of ERP implementations, I have an approach that leads to a more successful outcome.
Technology is the engine that drives corporate productivity. Sound business process to implement that technology is the transmission. Effective, well-thought-out strategy is the gear shift. Well-connected and synchronized, they make a smooth running machine. Without all three, a car can only roll downhill. Similarly, technology implementations without intelligent strategy and sound business process will just go downhill.
Price-driven, fire-aim-ready technology deployments are proven to fail. Company decision makers unable or unwilling to commit to do the job right are asking for trouble—and that’s what they typically get, along with very costly fixes. Reasons abound, but most often it boils down to the basics: budgetary mandate to go as cheap as possible and to implement in an impossibly-short time period. While cost and time efficiency certainly factor into the final equation, they should be guidelines, not primary decision-making drivers.
Before making determinations about either, commit to researching what’s needed in scope, time, and money. Then, and only then, establish a timeline and budget for the process. Instead, what often happens is a dramatic call for sweeping improvement. Technology is thrown at the problem as a quick-fix. Companies substitute the technology itself for sound business process. Look for the second part of this blog to get more detail around decision criteria.
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