Monday, November 10, 2014

Innovation (ERP)

Over the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to attend several events.  The evens were both Trade shows and Expos.  I define Trade Show somewhat differently than an Expo.  An Expo tends to be cross industry and a Trade show tends to be more vertical in nature. 

Both fill niches. 

An Expo’s value is typically the concentrated focus which is helpful, because you have experts in product delivery and service together to share industry best trends and practices.  You know, stuff to help your grow and expand your business.

A cross industry perspective is the value of an Expo.  Unlike a trade show, you have multiple industries instead of one that support, supply, work with and purchase from.

Both have value.

There was a security conference which talked about risk management and the state of uncertainty.  An Expo which represented a cross section of business and industry in a market area.  A Trade Show in technology service and support.  Then off to another industry Trade Show and finally to a Business Development industry focused event. 

Business Development

The Business development event was by far the bestest.  Okay “bestest” is not really a word, but the event, if you could call it that, was a conglomeration of medical people and up and coming businesses working in an accelerator to create new and innovative solutions to improve, streamline and create efficiencies that save organizations time, money and most of all lives.

At the end of the day, if you can succeed in business by helping others and increase the quality of lives, that is a pretty good achievement.

The Business Development event is somewhat of a cross mix between a Trade Show and Expo. 

It was organized by government sponsored organization whose goal was to take existing businesses, put them together to nurture their growth and then place them in front of the medical community and business leaders to showcase what they developed, kind of like a graduation ceremony, and take feedback to grow further and present an opportunity to present and hopefully sell their solution to their industry.

What made this event great was the mix of people and business and the anticipation.  Most of all was the atmosphere of community.  That we are all working to address a growing challenge that transcends borders and cultures.  Medical issues are foremost in all societies.  Everyone gets older and at some point we want to improve the quality of our lives and those we love.  

So, you might ask, what does this have to do with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions?


There are needs to have innovation, industry focus, and cross community collaboration.  Any business needs support of others in their same industry to share challenges and find solutions. They need cross industry support to help them with their challenges, supply goods and services, and provide solutions. 

Businesses also need incubator type of organizations to provide a fresh look, a new set of eyes, to develop new and innovative solutions to the challenges they face.  These incubators or accelerators need funding, government support, and industry nurturing to be effective. 

It takes much more than throwing money at a problem to find a solution.  It also takes a leader with vision.

It also takes a community. 

It takes questions, a lot of questions to find the answers to questions not yet asked.  It takes a cross section of industry to observe and think of new ways to solve the challenges of business.  All too often a closed industry of technologists keeps coming up with new ways to solve the same problem, which is not really a problem.  Inventing a better mouse trap when a trap is not what is needed.  Mice are not the issue after all.

I know of an ERP solution provider that takes the time to provide a user forum to educate their users and take their challenges to heart and create updates that address those challenges.  New features are created to address their real-world struggles. 

They are smart enough to know that if they want to be of value they need to provide value.

I have also seen screens and field prompts that were clearly written by technical people.  The prompt asks a question in reverse.  Instead of simply asking if a product in their catalog should be available on their Internet web site.  A simple Yes/No question.  They ask if the part should not be excluded.  A reverse answered question.  They should just ask if they want the item to appear.  Instead they ask if the item should be excluded.  So, to get the item listed, they have to answer “No”. 

Effective, but not intuitive. 

Users should not have to figure out logic questions to get their work done.  In the end most businesses just want their systems to work so that their people remain productive.  Customer service needs to be knowledgeable about their products, availability and to serve their customers well.  The other departments of business need to service the customer service department and those who directly face the customers.  All employees, even those who sweep up the shop floor contribute to the ability of your organization to serve your customers.

A good solution is one that looks beyond itself to drive efficiency and collaboration in the Enterprise.  Dolvin Consulting works with your team and industry experts to find solutions to your challenges.  Contact us today to see how we can help.  That is why we do what we do.