By Lisa Maxwell on March 28, 2019
Oh, the horror! It happens to the best of companies. You think you have outgrown your current software package.No one wants to face this when it happens.The thought of evaluating new products can be overwhelming. You need to think about the migration of all your history, data and all the other mumbo jumbo that goes with a change. I would like to guide you through this process by sharing two industry driven case studies.
A manufacturing company contacted me recently with about their current business system (ERP). They were using a system they had purchased from an office superstore 10+ years ago. It got them through each business day for years until the time of their call. With the rebirth of manufacturing happening industry-wide, their business had tripled. Great problem to have, right? Yes, all businesses want to grow. Due to this growth the software could not keep up. Many employees created processes in Excel and other products outside their business system. Inconsistencies and inaccuracies started to happen.
The system they were using wasn’t structured to handle such a rapid increase. The caveat here is if you can’t handle the business you may have to face losing it and that was not an option here. I was able to work with my team and after many contacts with them, we all decided it's now time to take action. We delivered a formal analysis with plans to respond to future growth, in stages. It is what I call “a blueprint” for their company business ERP system. The triple threat of success is something manufacturers need to keep in mind. Satisfying customers, guaranteeing quality and keeping costs under control are crucial. Our blueprint address this and is the toolbox they need to keep their business on track and soaring.
Based on the delivered blueprint we implemented a customized integrated business ERP system. Our professional services consulting team targeted all the needs of their growing business. With this plan in place we eliminated all the employee type non-secure spreadsheets. All which may or may not have been correct at the time were prone to error.
The money spent on the blueprint and software solution and services was well spent. They increased sales , cut costs and obtained full control of their manufacturing process . They even had a 50% return on their investment within the first 18 months of putting this plan in place.
Wholesale Distribution Difficulties
Recently, a wholesale distribution company contacted me about getting their warehouse automated. I jumped at the chance to see what their current processes were and how they could optimize. It was time to dig deeper after several calls with this distributor. We had a basic understanding of their business but need to get to the nitty-gritty. An approved site visit for our master consultant happened. This distributor used the full analysis to target their company obstacles. E-commerce and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) have become more prevalent. By implementing these, it brought their business to the next level. It opened new deals for them increasing sales and market share. No longer were they in the shadow of their competitors but now the forerunner.
I found that supply chain management has changed over the years. Warehouse automation is no longer a choice but a necessity. Customer service is the major factor in retaining accounts. Their customized blueprint covered this and more providing a full plan of action. The minimal investment helped to increase their sales. In fact, they increased sales by 20% with limited new hires. All this happened within 18 months of putting this blueprint into action.
When working with a technology consulting firm, you need to make sure they know your business. They need to understand how to target the problems you are facing.
I’m hoping these two examples are reduce stress. When you think you’ve hit a brick wall with your current business system don’t panic and take a deep breath. Remember the greatest success never comes from within your comfort zone. Use the resources you have and find the resources you need.