In an ever changing market businesses are constantly looking for ways to be more sustainable. One area might be in investigating ways to decrease inventory holdings and correct market mix, while retaining high quality of service. For many businesses one answer is unlocking a more accurate view of future demand utilising demand forecasting tools. The challenge is that many solutions use generic algorithms based on the notion that demand can be predicted uniformly for all companies and across all industries, product lines, and geographies. Whether you are embarking on a new forecasting project or currently have one, here are a number of aspects that may impact the results.
I had the opportunity to attend the Gartner Business Intelligence Summit last month in Sydney. The two day event offered a great insight into the challenges that many Australian businesses face on their path to BI fulfilment. There were lots of roundtables, 1:1 meetings, presentations and networking opportunities to talk with others about things we can all do to get better adoption, utilisation and benefits from the tools that many of us have invested a lot of money in. It was a great event – and one that I’d recommend you check out next year.
Last year I published The big 5 ERP selection errors a CEO should avoid and when Bob, a colleague in the USA saw it on LinkedIn, he was quick to confirm from his experience the veracity of my observations and in subsequent conversations gave me great material for this article from a recent project which I happily plagiarise here with his permission.
Having selected software to run your company the next challenge is getting it implemented and not surprisingly there is a strong correlation between the issues that cause grief in the selection process and the issues that can derail the implementation.
The big 5 for failed implementation projects are:
• Lack of clarity of the objective
• Lack of ownership
• Lack of proper resourcing
• Scope creep
• Ineffective change management
The latter is so destructive that even if you get the others perfectly executed you could still dismally fail on this point alone. It is an insidious fact that people typically don’t like change and will do whatever they can to avoid it or minimise its impact on them personally. No wonder so many companies report less than satisfactory outcomes from ERP Implementation projects.
As part of my job at Pronto Software, I receive Requests for Proposals (RFP) from companies that are in the market for ERP systems. Usually a RFP is not a short list of questions. A recent one had more than 5,000 questions to be answered, some so broad that it could be answered in a hundred different ways, some so technical that I needed the help of a specialized engineer to answer, some so vague that the answer didn’t matter anyway.
That made me think – why do companies want a new ERP?