"Uncork Your Operational Bottlenecks . . . Boost Your Bottom Line!"

Do It Right the First Time!

Spending time up front, being accurate saves dollars, energy and time.

Experience, sometimes brutal, has taught me that the selection, installation and post- implementation of software systems, e.g., ERP, MRP, and WMS, can be fraught with land mines.  It is so easy to stumble along the way and find yourself in a world of computer misery.   Here is one of my real life stories demonstrating just how debilitating it can be when a company experiences the GIGO . . . garbage in, garbage out . . . reality of software implementation.

After many months of frustration and wasted time/ energy, the owner finally raises the red flag, screaming “HELP!” and asks me to begin working on the problem. Here is what I found in my first assessment. Labels were not printing correctly.  Bills of Lading contained incorrect information.  Data entry was timed in hours, not minutes.  The owner was strongly considering scuttling the newly-installed software, even though tens of thousands of dollars of his hard-earned profits had been invested in the project.  To him the future was anything but rosy.

In reality, it wasn’t so bad.  Many of the reports were wrong and processes were flawed, but blaming the software, as we’re prone to do, was laying fault where it didn’t quite belong.  Yes, the labels were printing wrong information.  The Bills of Lading somehow did not reflect actual shipment weights.  The commercial Invoices were significantly out of sync with the packing slips.  It didn’t take long, though, to uncover the reasons.

The process of implementing a new software system is akin to building that piece of Ikea furniture with the note “some assembly required.”   We’ve all been there.   Specific steps need to be taken.  Skip a step or two and, not only are we left with extra pieces at the end, but the drawer doesn’t fit right, the dresser wobbles, the whole unit tilts to one side.  With software, omit required information, input incorrect data and the output will be simply wrong.

And that is what happened with my client.  It would have been easy for both sides . . . my client and the VAR (Value Added Reseller/ software supplier) . . . to point an accusing finger at each other.  “They sold us a bill of goods.”    “The staff hasn’t listened to instructions.”  After a bit of investigative sleuthing, I discovered that much of what ailed my client was a clear case of garbage in the data files.

I implored everyone to take a deep breath and reassess.  We had a couple of choices.  Continue to update the data on an as needed basis (that is, spot a problem and affix a Band Aid).  Sure, that one issue would go away.

However, that Band Aid certainly would not repair the larger, underlying cause.  Best practices dictated another route: Take the time to thoroughly update the master file fields so that all involved processes would flow smoothly.  And that’s how we carried on. Miraculously (well, systematically), problems disappeared.  Reports printed correctly.  Employees were once again productive.

The Key to Profitability in this case . . . do it right the first time!  Spend the time up front to thoroughly and accurately input/ import all data required to operate the system and your company.  While it might seem overly daunting, I can assure you that this approach will take far less time and energy  . . . and cost less . . . than cutting corners.

If you would like some help assessing your current or next system, feel free to contact me for an exploratory conversation.  I’d be glad to help.

You are welcome to forward Keys to Profitability  to colleagues as long as you credit the Schwartz Profitability Group and its source at www.schwartzpro.com .

If this issue of Keys to Profitability  was forwarded to you, you may begin getting your own by sending a message to moc.orpztrawhcsnull@eel.


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