Continuing with part 2 of our Overcoming Fears of ERP Software series, we will analyze how to Overcome the Fear of Manufacturing Software Time. As a culture, we are completely obsessed with time. We have the ability to tell time on our watches, our phones, our computers, in our cars, on the stove-top, the microwave, the refrigerator, on billboards, and on every bank LED-board we pass while going down the road (banks & billboards must not have gotten the memo that every car for the last 25 years has come with its own perfectly good clock inside). Suffice to say, I think it is pretty obvious how important time is to us.
That is why it also stands to reason why so many businesses are doing all they can to track, save, and create as much time for themselves as they possibly can. For years, businesses have been increasing the speed at which they do business through computers, cell phones, high speed internet, electronic record keeping, laptops, tablets, Google glass (kidding), email, web conferences, ERP software, and the list goes on.
While most businesses utilize all of the above to save them time, some are still very fearful of the time that it takes to select and implement an ERP software solution for their business. Let’s take a look at the top fears of time and how to overcome them.
1. Our business is too busy to evaluate manufacturing software – This is a very common objection to beginning an ERP evaluation, we simply don’t have the time to begin. Truthfully, there is never a great time to begin evaluating ERP software – either your business is too busy and resources are thin, or your business is too slow and resources are forced to be thin. Rarely does that happy medium of success and timing present itself. Instead we try to convince ourselves that we simply don’t have the time, but consider this:
If you were on a rapidly sinking ship in the middle of the ocean, would you look at the lifeboats on deck and say, “We know these boats would dramatically increase our chances of survival, but we don’t have the time to untie the ropes.”
To overcome your fear of time, you must approach ERP software with a sense of urgency. If you don’t, your business, like the ship, might be headed for an unfortunate fate. Make the time, do the work, and untie the ropes. (View ERP Demo)
2. ERP implementations take years to complete – Unless you have hundreds or thousands of locations, most small to mid-size ERP implementations are completed in less than 4-6 months. This obviously is a far cry from the 3-4 years that you hear from multi-billion dollar companies.
A recent 2013 ERP Manufacturing Software Time Report shows that implementation times have decreased by 13% over a 3 year period. This trend proves that ERP software implementations are getting faster, not slower.
So, what size is your business? Take the time to evaluate the scope of the project yourself, don’t let the project just be dictated to you by your vendor. ERP implementations should always be performed as a cooperative initiative to achieve optimal results.
3. It’s not the right time of year to purchase manufacturing software – Lest we forget: The international laws of business prohibit any and all time and money saving ventures from being started until the winter and spring (sarcasm). While its true that businesses do typically ramp up ERP initiatives near the winter and spring, this does not mean that they are the best times to conduct them. These simply happen to be the times that companies realize that they should start an ERP initiative, because after peeking at their Q3 books they want to start saving more money.
Remember the first point? The same applies here. Instead of waiting until the end or beginning of the year, consider starting your ERP software initiative in the summer and fall. Doing so will prevent your project from getting consumed with the other Q4 and Q1 projects that will be starting up around that time.
Conclusion: While its true that ERP implementations do take time, the benefits cannot be denied. Don’t let the opportunity to own a life-boat pass you by because your business was ‘too busy’ to cut the ropes. Make the time, approach it with a sense of urgency, do the work, and experience the benefits.