Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Without Trust there is Little that can be Accomplished

Is it possible you and your company are not taking advantage of the latest technology to drive efficiency in your operations?  Has the economy parallelized your decision making?  Are you suffering with outdated, non or barely functioning systems?  Have news stories about failed implementations and the associated fallout, job loss, and financial nightmare made it impossible for you to trust anyone.

Trust.  Without it you have nothing. 

Bells and whistles mean nothing on the unemployment line.  You do not need technology.  You need solutions that make running your organization easier.  Your left hand needs to know what the right hand is doing.  All areas of your business need to be tied tightly together with an integrated solution that utilizes an integrated database, that integrates your supply chain, internal operations, and customers.

You know and understand, perhaps agree with the above statements, but is it really true? 

Ask yourself what you did when you last made a significant purchase.  Something out of your own pocket.  You, personally, not your organization.  Each of us has our own threshold of financial significance.  For some new tires for the car is significant.  For others it is a new roof for your house, for some, it is the entire house.  Regardless, when you last had to sign papers, take out a loan, cross your fingers, sweat a little, what did you do before that moment?

Chances are you asked advice from someone you trusted. 

Perhaps a coworker in the case of new tires, perhaps your neighbor who just had his roof done.  Maybe your parents.  What did you ask?  What did you ask first?  In the case of a new roof was it: How did you like the contractor or does your roof leak anymore?  Did they show up on time, work professionally, and complete the job on time?  Did they take the time to prepare you about what the normal steps in the process would be?  Did they review where jobs like yours typically go wrong and what methods they use (with you) to resolve any issues?

What really was most important to them and what is the most important aspect of any solution?

Depending on the project there will be many questions.  Do you even know what you do not know?  I suggest that the relationship you have with your advisor, regardless of the project, is the most important piece of the puzzle. 

People do business with people they know, like and are like themselves and they trust.  It takes time, energy and effort to build a relationship with an individual or organization that can guide you through the maze and constant flux of the change in Technology.  Everything changes quickly.  Equipment seems to be out dated by the time it is out of the box and the wrapper is off.  It does not seem to matter if it is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution or a new printer for the Finance Department. 

How will it work?  Will my people be able to understand it?  Do they care about me?  Does it matter to them that my reputation and job are on the line?  Every decision I make or take to committee to review reflects on and affects my career?  The economy is too tough for me to take unnecessary risks.  I do not want my consultant to embarrass me.  I need to look good and prove my worth every single day.  I sincerely want to help my company.  Our future depends on it.

How long until I get a complete Return on Investment (ROI)?  What will the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) be?  How do I even calculate something like that? 

I need help, but do not want to be taken advantage of.  I do not mind investing in a consulting firm if they save me from making a big mistake.  The time savings alone of them doing all the leg work would be a load off my mind.

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