Last week we wrote a post about some problems finding the right ERP software. This week we are going to focus on common problems inherent in the search itself. Let’s begin with a story.
You, the CEO/President/VP of Operations/CFO, are extremely busy. You work for, or own, a small business and chances are you are involved in many aspects of daily operations. You understand the importance of keeping the business running smoothly but at times you are too busy fighting fires to make changes necessary to maintain efficiency. So it is a Saturday afternoon and you have found an hour of spare time between helping your children with their homework and finishing up work for a client meeting on Monday, so your turn your mind towards to finding new software. You jot down a couple of vendors, fill out forms on their sites and eventually have a brief conversation with them on the phone. Then your head starts spinning and you figure you cannot continue the process because you are too busy, so you drop all communication. You continue with the status quo, knowing all-too-well that your current software is compounding the daily problems that keep you pre-occupied.
Does this story sound familiar? It is certainly very common from our perspective.
The good news is that, as a small business, there is a way to get around how busy you are – implementing new software! The first step to making the software the search process easier is by understanding how important it really is. Think of it like this: how much help would it be to have another efficient employee at your beck-and-call? A proper software system can be at least that effective – reducing strain on current resources by eliminating manual work, fixing errors, duplicate data entry etc. Thinking of a new software system as a full-time employee can be a very motivating mindset and can help with budget setting. You can spend $35,000/year on a new employee or $30,000 once on a new system. No-brainer decision, right?
It may seem impossible to add another item to your ever-expanding list of things to do, but avoiding “I’m too busy” is crucial to eventually implementing a system (that will save you a great deal of headaches and free up a lot of time in the future). Think of it as an investment in your mental well-being as well as your business.
The 4 steps to avoiding “I’m too busy” are to:
- Understand the benefits of the new system
- Stick to a firm process/deadlines for making decisions
- Decide on a short-list of vendors
- (Last and most definitely not least) Make the search a priority