Tag Archive: team

5 ERP Selection Pitfalls

April 27th, 2019

ERP

 

We get “too many” calls to help resolve problems associated with system upgrades and/or new system implementations.

How can some of these disasters be avoided upfront?

 

  1. Navigating ERP sharks – ERP software suppliers must be some of the most aggressive salespeople I’ve seen. Even when you are careful, they’ll likely focus more on the bells & whistles of their system rather than important details of key functionality needed to drive results.
  2. Standard functionality – Standard functionality is the downfall of ERP selection projects. In my experience, 20% of the time should be spent on standard functionality since core suppliers will have it. Reverse the order and spend 80% on unique functionality.
  3. Lopsided team – Although there will be some disciplines more interested than others in the selection project, if they decided for everyone, you shouldn’t be surprised if you end up with a great system in that particular area with the rest left to luck.
  4. Losing track of features – Although it seems obvious while sitting in the demo, it becomes amazingly difficult to figure out which feature went with which software a few days later. Note follow-up questions and compare notes immediately following the demo.
  5. Focusing solely on functionality – Don’t get lost in functionality and forget that the software supplier will be your business partner. They will make or break your success.

 Interested in avoiding these pitfalls? Check out our ACE ERP proprietary process to avoid these pitfalls and achieve endgame results.

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The Resilient Supply Chain: Do You Have Resilient Employees?

October 24th, 2018

Resiliency isn’t easy,  If it were, every organization would have already perfected it.  Yet, in today’s volatile, Amazon impacted, disruption-heavy environment, you must build resilience.  

What is Resilience
Let’s start by talking about our meaning of resilience.  In addition to having the ability to adjust and recover quickly to changing business conditions.  A company must also have the capability to proactively think through the most likely disruptors and develop strategies to thrive amidst the chaos.   

Are your employees resilient?
If a customer changes his mind, how does your team handle it?  Do they see it as a challenge or a chore? Do they complain or start asking questions to understand what’s behind the change and whether it is likely to impact future orders?  Do they communicate upstream and downstream so all parties are in the loop and aware of what is coming?

If a supplier runs into a capacity issue and is late to deliver, what do your employees do?  Actually, let’s back up – do they know about the delay in advance? If so, has it been communicated?  What approach is taken with the supplier in these circumstances? Do you know whether your demands are realistic or not?  Or are you overloading your low cost supplier so you don’t get beat up for purchase price variances? Think about these questions and then go back to answering the resiliency question.  

Learning from Failure
Here is another key question:  What does your team do if they fail?  Do they look for the person to blame? Does the leader blame the weakest link?  Or does the leader blame “them” (next level management)? Or does the leader accept responsibility even if it isn’t his/her fault?  No matter who is at fault, how does the team react? Do they jump on the situation and look for solutions? Will they be more likely or less likely to collaborate upstream or downstream to find answers or ideas to test?  Perhaps most importantly, will they hide under a rock or spur into action?


Start by understanding your resiliency culture.  Then, you can purposefully change it to focus on resiliency.  



Are You Ready for a Surprise Inspection of Your Service?

March 14th, 2017
Who is responsible for service in your organization?

A commitment to stellar customer service is an ongoing process in which resources need to be dedicated to continuous improvement and exceeding customer expectations.

In almost every client, trade association and trusted advisor meeting I attend, service emerges as a hot topic. In today’s Amazon-impacted world, our expectations are high. Although we might not complain, good service is no longer sufficient.

If you don’t meet and frequently exceed expectations, you will lose customers. There are countless options available and loyalty runs only so deep. Thus, it makes sense to put aside time to think over key questions with your team:

1. Who is responsible for customer care in your organization? Are they able to impact service?

2. How do you measure servicing success? And how does it align with how your customers measure it?

3. Are your employees empowered to handle requests without annoying approvals that delay the customer?

4. Do you view ALL people who interface with the customer as key to customer satisfaction? For example, the truck delivery personnel, the technician and the doorman?

5. Do you know what your customers value — delivery on-time, in complete, quick turnaround, frequent communications, suggestions that aid the customer, etc.?

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How Effective Is Your Cross-Functional Collaboration?

March 7th, 2017
cross-functional collaboration

Teamwork, communications and shared objectives are essential for cross-functional collaboration and project success.

Cross-functional collaboration can make or break success. No matter how well a particular department or team performs, it is largely useless if done in isolation. Just like a car won’t go if you press the accelerator and the engine isn’t connected properly, a company won’t achieve results if the units and people aren’t connected properly.

Here are a few questions to ponder:

1. On a cross-functional project with two department teams, can one team/department be viewed as successful if the other one isn’t?

2. Do your teams attempt to talk in the other team’s preferred style or in their own?

3. Do the teams understand the objective and why cross-functional collaboration is required?

4. Are team members rewarded for individual success or for cross-functional success?

5. Are there opportunities provided to learn collaboration and communication skills?

 

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Top Tips to Ensure Execution Success

March 7th, 2016
project execution

Project execution is an uphill battle. Ensure success by devising a blueprint from executive commitment to follow up.

  • Executive commitment – start with executive commitment. Otherwise, you might as well hang up your hat, as it is really unlikely to succeed. Provide a compelling case to senior leaders on why your particular initiative should be pursued. Put your energy here before anything else!
  • Choose your initiative leader carefully – since leaders make or break success, it is important to choose carefully. Find a leader who is willing to go the extra mile to keep executives up-to-speed, and one who will share success and accept blame. A good leader will create success; whereas a so-so leader can kill even the best of teams.
  • Explain the why behind the initiative – team commitment will also make or break success, especially as team members have multiple conflicts on a daily basis. Make sure your team understands why the initiative matters.
  • Develop a plan – even the best of teams will fail if they don’t have a well-thought out plan. Make sure you look at the critical path, assign task owners and understand sequencing.
  • Follow up – last but not least, follow-up. Check in with team members. Find out what issues might occur. Ask about them. Find out how you can help avoid potential pitfalls. Don’t leave it to chance; follow-up!

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