Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Advanced Systems and Advanced Frustration

Modern Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems promise a lot of benefits to a growing organization.  Efficiencies are driven through a central repository of information.  Relevant business information is consolidated to a single system.  Business analytics crunch the data giving management the financial and statistical information they need to make intelligent decisions more quickly.

Costs are reduced through better planning, utilization and optimization.  Inventory is adjusted to optimized levels predicted by the system.

Sounds like utopia for today’s businesses.  Such is the promise of Advanced Systems.  And in an ideal world you might achieve that magical level of inventory, that peak efficiency.  However, in today’s world there are far too many stories of frustration, too many stories of failed implementations and cost overruns.

In a recent conversation I had with one manufacturer’s personnel.  “They” promised us an improved environment.  “They” gave us demos optimized to show their strengths.  “They” led us to believe we would be so much more efficient.  

In reality they have not delivered.  The system is slow, support is lacking.  They have not fixed basic problems that we report week after week.  We wait long periods of time between each screen.  Yes, all the information is supposedly there, but we cannot access it conveniently.  In fact, one day the information we loaded is there, then the next day no one can find the information.  It is lost “someplace”. 

Right now we are taking our information from our old system and storing it in a separate database so that we have an archive that we can access when we need to make parts.  It is so frustrating that they do not have a place to store our customer specifications in their system.  This information is critical for us to be able to make parts for our customers.

More than once we have considered pulling the plug and going to another solution which works for us and most importantly, we can get the support we need.  We understand there is no perfect solution, but we also expect our supplier to be responsive to our needs.  Our customers demand that of us.  Should we not expect that as a customer too?

Right now many companies are looking for new solutions.  You are not alone.  Your needs are not unique.  More than one solution will work.  Which one is best?  What type of Return on Investment (ROI) should we expect?  What are the upfront costs and ongoing maintenance fees and how should I calculate the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)?

How do I select the best solution for our business that fits our budget and will not destroy our company?  Any new solution will have a learning curve, but how do I minimize the impact to our operations?  How do I avoid the frustrations that I hear about so often?

Dolvin Consulting has a mutually vested interest in your business succeeding.  We partner industry experts and your team to understand your challenges and find the right solution.  We cannot promise anything, but we will listen.  Remember, we do not sell software, we find solutions.  So contact us today for a consultation.

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