Tag Archive: ACE

The Value of Implementation

August 5th, 2016
change initiative

Successful project implementation requires leadership and hard work to pick up the pieces when something goes wrong – because something always will.

Strategy and plans do not fail in formulation; they fail in implementation.  Time and time again, my clients prove this statement.

Although I am an expert in helping clients select the best ERP system to meet their objectives (and have developed a proprietary process for just this process – ACE), system implementations go awry during implementation. I also happen to be an expert at significant change initiatives in complex organizations (whether merger and acquisitions or culture change) – undoubtedly, they go off the rails during implementation; not formulation.  Thus, it is quite critical to consider the value of implementation.

Because these initiatives are core to success, it is worth thinking about what has the most impact on results. The problem with implementation is that it requires hard work and leadership. There aren’t short cuts on this path to success. For example, when going through a merger, acquisition or selling the business, it is important to think through how you’ll handle issues that arise.  If there is one certainty with these types of projects, it is that issues will arise.  If you haven’t figured out how to address them so that the team aligns with the path forward, damage will be done. Synergies will disappear. Margins will decline. Morale will drop. Customers might hit the road. Thinking through how to handle these scenarios in a way that aligns with “what you said you’ll do” and the company philosophy is important.

If nothing else, consider “thinking before you act” when it comes to implementation. It is easy to slide to the 80% fail rate to meet expectations.  You must be on your toes, proactive and fully understanding the value of implementation for success to consider following you.

 

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Why ERP Success Has Little to Do with Systems

April 28th, 2016
ERP Success

ERP success depends on the quality and understanding of the people involved, from suppliers to team members.

After partnering with dozens of clients to help them select the “right” system that best fits their business requirements and partnering with many more to design the “right” processes in conjunction with their systems and people to achieve their objectives, it is clear that ERP success has little to do with systems! Counterintuitive but true!

As with almost everything, success boils down to people! That is a large part of the success of selection to cut through the “red tape” associated with ERP demos to look solely at critical success factors in conjunction with the ERP partner. If the supplier doesn’t understand the critical success factors, there is no point in collaborating. That means the people involved didn’t dig into enough detail to understand their potential partner.

In ERP success, suppliers are not good enough. It is hard enough to gain success with ERP as it is a major change initiative; whereas, there is no hope if you view your ERP partner as a “supplier” vs. a “partner”. The same is true if your ERP “supplier” views themselves as a “supplier” vs. a “partner”.

Next, choose your ERP team carefully. It will be time consuming and so dedicate the resources upfront. Figure out how to back up your resources.  Assure them of their career path. The ONLY way to ensure success is to have a high-functioning, dedicated team. It will involve the big picture, details and everything in-between. Make sure to have diversity. Leverage strengths.  Get the “right people on the bus” (as one of my mentors used to say), and it will all fall in line.

If you want to learn more about my new proprietary process ACESM — how to select the best system for your particular needs and/or how to design the “right” processes for your business in conjunction with your system, people/culture and strategy — please refer to our webpage or contact us.

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Serving up an ACE in Your ERP Selection and Design

April 19th, 2016
ACE for ERP selection and design

ACE(SM) is a tested proprietary process that helps companies align critical success factors with business processes and supplier partnerships to achieve endgame results through improved ERP selection and design.

Our most successful clients are constantly thinking about where they are headed. They think about why they are going there — how does it fit with their vision? How does it have meaning for their customers? Employees? Supply chain partners?

They also think about emerging trends — what is most likely to impact their business? What do they have control over? What opportunities can they leverage? Can they turn lemons into lemonade? How?

Our role is to stay ahead of the curve so that I can help my clients achieve dramatic results. Thus, we’ve incorporated the following best practices and thinking into the development of our proprietary processes:

  • Best practices across industries (ranging from aerospace to building products to food & beverage to distribution) and company-sizes (from small, family owned businesses to facilities and divisions of multi-billion dollar, global enterprises)
  • Expert advice from our collaborations and alliances of clients and colleagues inclusive of top-notch trusted advisors, communities of executives and business owners, and trade association experts and professionals.
  • And, most importantly, we’ve bounced these against “what works” and is immediately pragmatic.

ACESM is our proprietary process that serves up an ace and “hits the spot” with ERP selection and design.

Since I played tennis in high school, I particularly enjoy this proprietary process. Serving an ace can be as hard in tennis as it is in business. You have to hit the ball with the “right” strategy vs. your opponent, in the “right” spot, at the “right” speed, at the “right” angle and at the “right” time.

Our ACESM process hits the bull’s eye by matching the critical success factors of the business in combination with best practice business processes, unique system differentiators and supplier partnerships to achieve endgame results with ERP selection and design. Endgame results include:

  • Scalable infrastructure to support business growth
  • Improved profitability
  • Accelerated cash flow
  • Superior customer service
  • Increased productivity and automation
  • With dramatically reduced risk!

Please refer to our webpage to learn more and contact us if you are interested in leveraging ACESM at your organization

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Evaluate ERP Systems with an Eye towards Your Supply Chain

April 18th, 2016
erp as part of supply chain

A lot is required from an ERP system. Select and design one that aligns with your company’s critical success factors and helps your supply chain perform smoothly.

I frequently help clients select the “right” system to help them achieve their business strategy. One of the keys is to evaluate with an eye towards your supply chain. In today’s marketplace, the supply chain is often a core consideration. If we want customers to be happy, make sure your supply chain performs expertly.

In today’s Amazon-impact world, customers expect extreme service levels.  We need to anticipate their needs. Deliver rapidly. Be accessible. And the list goes on… Thus, to achieve these lofty objectives while not breaking the bank, we must create nimble and efficient supply chains – from your suppliers’ suppliers to your customers’ customers. What system functionality should be considered?

Throw best practices out the window! Many systems tout that their system has “best practice processes” and so everyone should conform to it. Not if you want to stand out from the crowd. Instead, identify your critical success factors and align with the right system to achieve endgame results. I’ve recently introduced my proprietary process ACE for just this objective. Contact me if you are interested in learning more about ACE. 

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Why ERP Selection is a Strategic Topic

April 8th, 2016
ERP success

LMA’s ACE process matches a business’ critical success factors in combination with best practice business processes, unique systems differentiators and supplier partnerships to achieve end game results with ERP selection and design.

ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems are the backbone of every manufacturer and distributor. Just take a look at what happens if the system is down for a few hours. People pack up and go home. That is a bit discouraging as we should know how to run manual processes; however, that’s a topic for another day. The bottom line is that we use ERP systems to place customer orders, purchase materials, plan production, ship product and invoice customers. They are cornerstone to success.

Not only do we use ERP systems for these core functions but there are also opportunities to leverage advanced functionality to drive business results:

  • Scalable growth
  • Supports new customer types such as e-commerce
  • Improved customer service levels
  • Higher margins
  • Accelerated cash flow
  • Increased productivity and levels of automation

My most successful clients see their ERP system and the use of their ERP system as a strategic business topic. My new proprietary process, ACE aligns critical success factors for endgame results with ERP selection and design.  Please contact me for more information about how to use this process to elevate your business performance.

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