Knowing when to Pull the Trigger on ERP

For more than 20 years I have seen manufacturers and distributors struggle with the decision of selecting an ERP system. And I understand why.

ERP is like a marriage, there will be ups and downs, and it will involve a lot of hard work and commitment to make it work, so you need to trust that you make the right decision the first time.

But, fear of commitment can limit your success, both personally and professionally. When you choose the right partner, the journey is so rewarding.  TRUST is that ephemeral feeling you get when you have found the right one.

For business critical systems like ERP many people do their own research on how to make their own work easier, thus building an informal, unstructured case for a business system from different departments, but directed at the same broad goal of solving a problem. Then there is the shock that is felt by many, if not all, departments when:

  • your best customer isn’t getting what they want when they need it;
  • your suppliers are unmanageable and your supply chain is too complex to know where to get the right things at the right price, when you need them;
  • you are spending money on keeping inventory you’re not selling;
  • one of your key people is sick, or on holiday, and no one can find the right piece of information.

It tends to be only at this stage that you realise your current technology is hindering growth and no longer supports the day-to-day needs of your business across many departments.

When enough pain is felt by all, meetings are held and the will to look at changing business systems strengthens.

Despite the pain, this is often where the project stalls, for years sometimes, until the need is severe and immediate. You have already suffered and maybe even lost customers. And now you can’t give the project the time and care it deserves.

All of these delays and hurried timelines affect the bottom line and morale.

So, how does a company pull the trigger on selecting a business solution before it becomes urgent and managers feel desperate?  The key is being committed to the selection process and having the resolve to get it done.

Successful ERP selection projects have one thing in common, a definitive end-date. Whether the business selects SYSPRO or not, these businesses always have a structured approach that involves: all departments, responsibility assigned to tasks, and goals and expectations detailed, and a committed-to timeline.

If there is enough pain in getting work done that productivity is stalled or worse, declining; and your business has decided to embark on an ERP project, then make the commitment, trust the process and feel confident that you are pulling the trigger at the right time.

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