Tag Archive: invest in people

Even The Best System Will Fail Without Talent

September 8th, 2017

As an ERP expert, it is quite clear to me that even the best systems will fail miserably if they don’t possess talent. Don’t even bother to select and implement an ERP system if you don’t have the “right” people on the bus. Start with executive support and continue on down through every position – everything is a team effort.

Teamwork is everything

It’s paramount in business to have the “right” people at the table.

Since we’ve worked with many clients on ERP projects, it is crystal clear what impact people will have on your business’s success. Throw out the notion that ERP is a technical topic! Instead, start thinking of it as a transformation initiative of substantial importance to business success.

Talent Leads the Way to Success

There are countless ways in which talent will affect success. To name just a few:

  • The sales team at the ERP software provider. Let’s start with the people selling the system. If they aren’t geared to educate you on their system and its fit, you can be sold “a bill of goods”.
  • The implementation team at the ERP software provider – there is little as important as the particular resources you partner with to implement your system. Set it up sub-optimally and you’ll have enduring issues.
  • Your ERP team – since ERP can be such a time intensive process, the temptation is to assign non-integral people to the team since the day-to-day must carry on; however, this team is designing your future!
  • Your executive sponsors – these folks are in a critical position to understand the status, make critical decisions, consider the fit with strategy, supplement resources as required and much more. It is not for the faint of heart!

If you’d like to ensure success with your ERP system, you’ll START by considering the people.  Put more time and thought into your talent. As much as or more than you put into evaluating functionality and you’ll be grateful down-the-line.


Did you like this article? Continue reading on this topic:

Why ERP Success Has Little to Do with Systems


Are You Investing in Service?

May 9th, 2017
customer service

Unanimously, our clients have seen an increase in customer expectations. Are you finding ways to exceed customer service expectations and stand out from the crowd?

Unanimously, since the recession, our clients have seen an increase in customer expectations. Excellent customer service has become expected. Instead, we must stand out from the crowd to keep the business. What must we do to maintain our preferential position in our customers’ eyes?

A few questions to think about include the following:

1. Are you investing in customer service like you invest in people, systems and programs? How much do you put aside for this critical endeavor?

2. Who is responsible for customer care? Is it a Customer Service or Sales Manager? Why isn’t it a part of each person’s performance? Does the CEO consider himself/herself ultimately responsible?

3. Are all customers created equal? Do they receive equal priority? Or, do your top customers that do not complain receive less attention because the squeaky wheel gets the attention?

4. Do your customers know they are important to you?


Did you like this article? Continue reading on how to be the Strongest Link in your organization:

Why Customers Rule

Obsession with Your Customer


Leverage as a Multiplier

December 5th, 2013
Excellent leverage opportunities are easy to overlook, and a powerful advantage for those who look for them.

Excellent leverage opportunities are easy to overlook, and a powerful advantage for those who look for them.

If you had the opportunity to make $1,000,000 with 100 hours of work or 10,000 hours of work, which would you choose?  It sounds like a no-brainer; however, if that’s true, why do so many supply chain businesses ignore the vast power of leverage?

Utilizing leverage can achieve substantial results.  Leverage is the advantage or power gained by using a lever. A classic example is the story of David and Goliath, where David was able to defeat Goliath because David used the power of leverage (by using a slingshot to defeat a giant). In my experience consulting with clients across multiple industries, geographies and company sizes, I’ve found that those companies that valued leverage achieved greater business results than those who didn’t.  A few keys to using leverage for success include:  1) Think leverage options, 2) People leverage, 3) Automation.

1.  Think leverage options:  There are many forms of leverage – money, resources (people), machines/equipment, systems, etc. The key is to take a step back from your situation or issue and think about leverage options. Although it will take additional time vs. beginning the task, it could save significant cost and/or produce significantly quicker, more sustainable and significant results. I’ve found this to be the critical step that is often overlooked. It is a common problem to have many more tasks requiring completion than is possible to achieve within the specified timeframe, and so employees are often overwhelmed and don’t have time to “put their feet up and think.” One of the most powerful forms of leverage is the power of your mind. Sounds too simple to be true? Be radical and experiment with this concept on one project….the results will likely be staggering.

2.   People leverage:  People leverage is powerful.  In one example in working with a company to improve profitability, the finance leaders suggested labor cost reduction as the key to success – a common “helpful suggestion” regardless of industry. However, in this case, labor costs were miniscule in comparison with other cost elements such as materials and freight.  Of course, it was possible to reduce labor costs and improve profitability; however, the effort spent on this significant effort would achieve only minor benefits. On the other hand, if we increased labor cost in strategic areas (such as investing in people who could impact material costs), we would achieve vast benefit with minimal effort.

 3.   Automation:  One of the key purposes of equipment and systems is to automate processes (hand packing boxes vs. utilizing an automatic packing machine). Therefore, utilizing equipment typically speeds up the process, reduces the likelihood of human errors, and reduces the cost of production (increases your return). In this case, you’ve used leverage (equipment) to automate and achieve significant benefits.  There are countless types and uses for automation.  Think about what will work for your business.  Do not automate for automation’s sake; however, strategic automation can be pivotal.

Leverage doesn’t have to require significant capital investment or complexity. Will you take a fresh look at your organization for leverage opportunities?