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The 10 Principles of ERP Selection Success & How to Apply Them: Communicate and Deal with People Effectively

The 10 Principles of ERP Selection Success & How to Apply Them: Communicate and Deal with People Effectively

Goal #9 in Selecting Your The Best Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System:
Communicate and Deal with People Effectively

The 10 Principles of Success

We continue to review the 10 Principles of Success and how they’re applied to ERP Selection with the 9th Goal for Success: Communicate and Deal with People Effectively!

The 10 Principles of Success are:

1. How You Think is Everything! 

  • Always be positive.
  • Think success not failure.
  • Be aware of a negative environment.

2. Decide on What Your True Goals Are!

  • Write down what your specific goals are.
  • Write down a plan/time line in how to obtain your goals.

3. Take Action!

  • Goals/Plans are nothing without action.
  • Don’t be afraid to get started – “Just Do It”, it doesn’t need to be perfect to start, nothing ever is!

4. Never Stop Learning!

  • Get on-going training so use to better your organization.

5. Persistence and Hard Work Pay-off!

  • Success is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Never give up on the goal/plan that you created in number 3 above, original or revised!

6. Learn How to Analyze the Details!

  • Get all the facts/input you can – Learn from your mistakes.

7. Focus Your Time And Money!

  • Don’t let other things and people distract you!

8. Don’t be Afraid to Innovate and Change – Be Different!

  • Following the way that it’s always been done is a sure way to achieve nothing.

9. Communicate and Deal with People Effectively!

  • Learn to understand what motivates the people you work with and what they need to be successful. No person is the organization or is indispensable.

10. Be Honest and Dependable!

  • Take Responsibility – Otherwise 1 through 9 above won’t matter.

As a disclaimer, these 10 Principles of Success come from Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) newspaper aimed at helping stock market investors understand what good growth stocks to invest in, based on what the current overall market conditions are.  EstesGroup believes that a company can apply these 10 Principles of Success to ERP systems; that is selecting, implementing and using them.

How does the 9th Principle of Success apply to:

Choosing the Right ERP System for Your Business?

Principle #9:  Communicate and Deal with People Effectively!

  • Learn to understand what motivates the people you work with and what they need to be successful. No person is the organization or is indispensable

Communication and Dealing with People Effectively in your organization when selecting an ERP system should be fairly obvious, but you’d be surprised how few companies actually do it properly or even at all.  What happens is that most companies start out in their ERP selection process in a disciplined way by creating an ERP review team, with a leader (typically a person from IT or Finance) being in charge of the group and the ERP project.  As the review of ERP systems proceeds, more and more of the review team start to lose interest or are not kept apprised by the ERP selection leader of the details of what’s taking place throughout the selection process.

It’s imperative to have weekly written status updates as well as weekly meetings with the entire team to communicate where the group is at with selecting a new ERP system; in relationship to the timeline that was defined at the start of the ERP system selection process.  Keep in mind what we discussed with the 8th Principle of not being afraid to innovate and change your company around the new ERP system’s “Best Practices” comes the need to over communicate to your review members what is taking place and the changes the organization is going to need to make when the new system is selected and more importantly why it’s beneficial.  Also it’s important to remember in your communication to the review team members most people in your organization will be very apprehensive about change; with the majority feeling that a new ERP system will create more work or eliminate jobs.  Therefore it’s very important for the leader of the ERPselection group to choose their words carefully as well as positively, since the review team members will come from all areas of the company and they’ll have a tendency to share what’s taking place in the ERP selection process with other people in the company, prior to management wanting that information known.

So to effectively deal with each ERP system review team member, it’s important to over communicate efforts/results in writing as well as to meet regularly (weekly).  Below are some of the communication points that an organization (ERP system review leader) should be doing to ensure they’re effectively engaging its ERP review team members.

  1. Weekly mandatory ERP review meetings; that includes upper management.  A “meeting agenda” needs to be included so the ERP system review team knows what to expect.
  2. A written report that includes the list of the potential ERP systems that are candidates for selection.  Demonstration dates of each system that your company is considering and the reasons why should be included/updated in this written correspondence to everyone on the review team.
  3. A written Pros/Cons list for each ERP system being considered should be included in the weekly written communication and updated as discovery happens.
  4. Individual review members should have their own weekly written instructions on what they’re specifically tasked with in selecting the right ERP system for the organization.  These written instructions should be updated weekly with new tasks that need to be done for each review team member as they are known.
  5. Individual ERP review team members need to respond in writing, weekly, to the ERP selection team leader (copying the group) with what they’ve accomplished to keep the overall ERP system selectionprocess moving along.
  6. Upper management should not be excluded in the written weekly communication by the ERP review leader as well as be assigned/completing tasks/homework for the selection of an ERP system.
  7. Continually communicate the ERP selection timeline and the tasks that have been done as well what needs to be completed and why.  This should be updated weekly and emailed to everyone on the review team.
  8. Nicely communicate weekly to team members that have not completed their review tasks/homework they need to have it done by the next weekly meeting or it will be assigned to someone else on the team.
  9. Schedule well in advance the ERP system demonstrations and communicate that weekly to the review team members when the demonstrations are, so no one misses the demonstration.  The ERP system demonstration is one of the most important tools available to the review team to select the right ERP system.
  10. Schedule follow-up calls with the ERP software vendors for each team member after the ERP system demonstration to ask questions and communicate the answers back to the other team members in the weekly meetings.

If you’d like to learn more about what and how to effectively communicate to your people while you’re selecting an ERP system, prior to buying it, give EstesGroup a call, we can help!  We’ve been providing this type of help to the manufacturing/distribution industry for years.

Pick up the phone and call 888 300 2340 and together we will:

Simplify Technology, Improve Operations, and Gain Efficiencies…

Learn From Our Experts:
Access Our Epicor 10 Out Of The Box ToolsVideo Series.

Download our “Get Ready For Your Epicor 10 Upgrade” Worksheet.

Security Admin vs. Network Admin – Is a fox in your henhouse?

Security Admin vs. Network Admin – Is a fox in your henhouse?

Network Administration.

It’s a tough act to follow, after all, network admins have the unenviable job of keeping servers running, users to make happy, bosses to satisfy, budgets to meet.  If I can just keep the henhouse running smooth, playing good cop, the good bits flowing where they ought to go – that’s my happy place. All in all, if I get home without any major disasters, it’s beer-thirty and time to chillax.

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The 10 Principles of ERP Selection Success & How to Apply Them: Don’t be Afraid to Innovate and Change!

The 10 Principles of ERP Selection Success & How to Apply Them: Don’t be Afraid to Innovate and Change!

Goal #8 in Selecting Your The Best Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System:
Don’t be Afraid to Innovate and Change!

The 10 Principles of Success

We continue to review the 10 Principles of Success and how they’re applied to ERP Selection with the 8th Goal for Success: Don’t be Afraid to Innovate and Change!

The 10 Principles of Success are:

1. How You Think is Everything! 

  • Always be positive.
  • Think success not failure.
  • Be aware of a negative environment.

2. Decide on What Your True Goals Are!

  • Write down what your specific goals are.
  • Write down a plan/time line in how to obtain your goals.

3. Take Action!

  • Goals/Plans are nothing without action.
  • Don’t be afraid to get started – “Just Do It”, it doesn’t need to be perfect to start, nothing ever is!

4. Never Stop Learning!

  • Get on-going training so use to better your organization.

5. Persistence and Hard Work Pay-off!

  • Success is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Never give up on the goal/plan that you created in number 3 above, original or revised!

6. Learn How to Analyze the Details!

  • Get all the facts/input you can – Learn from your mistakes.

7. Focus Your Time And Money!

  • Don’t let other things and people distract you!

8. Don’t be Afraid to Innovate and Change – Be Different!

  • Following the way that it’s always been done is a sure way to achieve nothing.

9. Communicate and Deal with People Effectively!

  • Learn to understand what motivates the people you work with and what they need to be successful. No person is the organization or is indispensable.

10. Be Honest and Dependable!

  • Take Responsibility – Otherwise 1 through 9 above won’t matter.

As a disclaimer, these 10 Principles of Success come from Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) newspaper aimed at helping stock market investors understand what good growth stocks to invest in, based on what the current overall market conditions are.  EstesGroup believes that a company can apply these 10 Principles of Success to ERP systems; that is selecting, implementing and using them.

How does the 8th Principle of Success apply to:

Choosing the Right ERP System for Your Business?

Principle # 8:  Don’t be Afraid to Innovate and Change!

  • Following the way that it’s always been done is a sure way to achieve nothing.

In my opinion the ability to Innovate and Change is the cornerstone of why your business would want an ERP system to begin with.  As a business Innovation and Change is the lifeblood of you continuing as a business. If your business is going through the process of trying to Select an ERP system based on what your current system(s) allows you to do today without a close examination of why, what, when and who’s doing it you’re doing your company a big disservice.  Selecting a new ERP system or your first ERP system is a great opportunity for your company to innovate/invigorate your business by learning what “Best Practices” the new ERP system has to offer and how it will positively impact your business.  As I mentioned in my last blog, a good, tightly integrated ERP system will touch every aspect of your business (i.e. from how you handle a sales lead to how you maintain your facility/equipment as well as everything in between).
I’ve been in literally hundreds of manufacturing/distribution companies over the 30+ years I’ve selling/servicing ERP systems and what I feel that’s really missing from the ERP selection process, from a business owner’s perspective, is understanding how and what needs to change in their organization to be better.  Business management gets locked into the mindset of “this is how we’ve always done it and we’ve been in business for 50 years, so I guess we know what we’re doing”.  That’s true to a certain degree, but if you really are trying to determine how a new ERP system can help you change and innovate your business when selecting an ERP system (instead of when you’re implementing or using the system you purchased) you should be interested to know from the ERP Vendor what they can tell you about how their system will make your business better.  If the software vendor knows his system, knows your industry then they should be able to tell you, create a list for you and then show you specifically how their system can make your business better.  On top of that, the ERP software vendor should be able to identify gaps in your current business processes Vs “Best Practices” of their system and then be able to clearly show/tell you how to change your current business mode to take advantage of their new innovative ideas.
So what are a few ways a manufacturing/distribution business can change and innovative themselves with an ERP system?

  1. Let’s start with Marketing!  Are you tracking the marketing dollars you’re spending to specific marketing campaigns that then identify the leads that are generated from those marketing campaign, that turn into sales quotes?  That then turn into orders?
  2. At the time your company completes the manufacturing of a part(s) are you able to clearly understand what parts, product lines or customers you’re the most profitable doing work for based on what you initially quoted?
  3. How many times do people in your organization reenter information into your current system(s) in order for you/them to understand where things are at (i.e. quotes, orders, jobs, purchases, receipts, shipments, invoices, etc?)
  4. How often do you experience unplanned machine down time?
  5. Are you scheduling your manufacturing shop with a whiteboard?
  6. Are you still mailing your customers their invoices?
  7. Are you manually reporting labor time on cards and then collecting those labor cards for input the next day?
  8. Do you allow your customers the ability of entering their own orders on your website or do they have to call in to get the status of their business with your company?
  9. How many Excel spreadsheets do you have and use throughout your business to pass information from one department to another?
  10. Are you reentering shipping information into your shipping providers systems or manually filling out Bill of Ladings and Packing Slips?

There are literally hundreds of more examples I can provide you in what changes you should be looking for when you’re company is going through the selection process of choosing an ERP system.

If you’d like to learn more of what and how an ERP system can help you innovate and change your business prior to buying it, give EstesGroup a call, we can help!  We’ve been providing this type of help to themanufacturing/distribution industry for years.

We would love to talk with you about HOW an ERP system can Innovate and Change your business to be better. Pick up the phone and call 888 300 2340 and together we will:

Simplify Technology, Improve Operations, and Gain Efficiencies…

Learn From Our Experts:
Access Our Epicor 10 Out Of The Box ToolsVideo Series.

Download our “Get Ready For Your Epicor 10 Upgrade” Worksheet.

The 10 Principles of ERP Selection Success & How to Apply Them: Focus Your Time and Money!

The 10 Principles of ERP Selection Success & How to Apply Them: Focus Your Time and Money!

Goal #7 in Selecting Your The Best Enterprise Resource Planning(ERP) System: Focus Your Time and Money!
The 10 Principles of Success

We continue to review the 10 Principles of Success and how they’re applied to ERP Selection with the 6th Goal for Success:Focus Your Time and Money!

The 10 Principles of Success are:

1. How You Think is Everything! 

  • Always be positive.
  • Think success not failure.
  • Be aware of a negative environment.

2. Decide on What Your True Goals Are!

  • Write down what your specific goals are.
  • Write down a plan/time line in how to obtain your goals.

3. Take Action!

  • Goals/Plans are nothing without action.
  • Don’t be afraid to get started – “Just Do It”, it doesn’t need to be perfect to start, nothing ever is!

4. Never Stop Learning!

  • Get on-going training so use to better your organization.

5. Persistence and Hard Work Pay-off!

  • Success is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Never give up on the goal/plan that you created in number 3 above, original or revised!

6. Learn How to Analyze the Details!

  • Get all the facts/input you can – Learn from your mistakes.

7. Focus Your Time and Money!

  • Don’t let other things and people distract you!

8. Don’t be Afraid to Innovate and Change – Be Different!

  • Following the way that it’s always been done is a sure way to achieve nothing.

9. Communicate and Deal with People Effectively!

  • Learn to understand what motivates the people you work with and what they need to be successful. No person is the organization or is indispensable.

10. Be Honest and Dependable! 

  • Take Responsibility – Otherwise 1 through 9 above won’t matter.

As a disclaimer, these 10 Principles of Success come from Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) newspaper aimed at helping stock market investors understand what good growth stocks to invest in, based on what the current overall market conditions are.  EstesGroup believes that a company can apply these 10 Principles of Success to ERP systems; that is selecting, implementing and using them.
How does the 7th Principle of Success apply to:

Choosing the Right ERP System for Your Business?

Principle # 7:  Focus Your Time and Money!

  • Don’t let other things and people distract you!

Everyone has heard the old saying “There’s only so much time” and “There is only so much Money” to get things accomplished.  Truer words were never spoken as they relate to selecting your company’s ERP system.  Just as you need to establish a budget for the purchase and implementation of an ERP system you also need to establish a budget of time and money you’re going to use to select an ERP system.  So what are the Time & Money elements you need to budget to the ERP system selection process?

  1. The overall timeframe budget for ERP selection is about 3 to 6 months.  This will vary somewhat from organization to organization, but if you string this process out to long, I guarantee you the employees on the ERP Selection Review Team will lose their Focus and the time and money you spend will be for naught.
  2. Breaking down the 3 to 6 month overall timeframe to hours becomes an exercise in how many people (including upper management) you’ll have on your ERP Selection Review Team and then knowing how many hours per week they should devote to the ERP system review/selection.
    • ERP Review Team Members typically are, one person from the following areas in your company:
        • Sales
        • Marketing
        • Operations (production, inventory, maintenance, etc.)
        • Purchasing
        • Finance
        • Human Resources
        • President/CEO/CFO
    • 6 hours/week/person – Internal Project Leader – 15 hours/week on average should be devoted to ERP system selection.
        • That is:
          (20 weeks x 6 hours x 7 people = 840 to 1000 hours -including project leader time on average)
          Note: If this sounds like a lot of time, please remember selecting the right ERP system for your organization is probably the most  critical thing you as a group will do; because the system touches every aspect of your organization.  In addition to this, it’s    also important to know that the employees above will be the    leaders of these areas or the person that knows the most about how their area interacts with the rest of the company.  If you    apply the hourly cost of each of these people to the number of  hours you’re budgeting for selecting an ERP system, you’ll have a  pretty good estimate of the money you’ll spend to select an ERP system.
  • Consulting costs if you’re not going to go it alone or you need a professional consultant to lead your company’s ERP selection process.
    • 20 weeks x 15 hours/week x $175.00/hour (on average) = $52,500.00Note: You’ll still need to commit the employees time listed above    to the ERP Review Team.  A number of company’s feel that once    they make the decision to hire a consultant to lead the ERP selection project the other employees get a pass on being involved.  This is 100% false.  The consultant is hired to organize    the project review/information and provide feedback to upper management based on the involvement of the team, not make    the ERP system selectionfor you. The consultant isn’t going to use the ERP system after they leave your company is.
  • Travel Costs of the consultant and of your internal team should be budgeted for (if necessary).

Based on the Money and Time involved of an ERP system selection it’s critically important to Focus on the task at hand and get it done in the designated timeframe you’re allowing.

EstesGroup can help!  We’ve been providing this type of help to our customers for years.  Our ERP systemselection knowledge and our honesty on your behalf is what makes us different.

We would love to talk with you about HOW to “Focus Your Time and Money” on bettering your ERPselection process. Pick up the phone and call 888 300 2340 and together we will:

Simplify Technology, Improve Operations, and Gain Efficiencies…

Learn From Our Experts:
Access Our Epicor 10 Out Of The Box ToolsVideo Series.

Download our “Get Ready For Your Epicor 10 Upgrade” Worksheet.