If you google pictures with employees you see lots of smiling, handshaking, high-fiving, applauding and motivated people. It looks like they are enjoying what they are doing. Is this representing the reality of everyday life? Probably not.
I like to watch TV series like House of Lies, Suits, The Office and Dilbert. The employees and bosses in those series are probably also not representing the reality of everyday life in the office.
Is it possible that there is a colleague, employee or boss that is actually not motivated or is in a mid-life crisis, ill or depressed? Can it be that one of these is not as productive, goal oriented, driven, patient, detail focused, passionate, positive as you? Do you believe that ‘if you want something be done well, you should do it yourself”?
And the most important question, is there a possibility that one of your employees, or yourself for that matter, is not as smart as the ERP implementation consultant who you just asked to design a solution?
I’ve been in many implementations. The one thing that offsets a junior consultant from a senior consultant is – how the solutions are designed. When I started with implementing Dynamics AX, I was proud to deliver a modification that I designed together with one of the managers of a customer. It took me many sleepless nights, many testing rounds and I was as proud as a peacock when the modification finally got delivered; It was a modification that in the end did everything the customer asked for, and more.
You can imagine my disappointment when the employees in the end didn’t use the functionality. Why? It was simply too complicated to use. The employees made combinations of settings that weren’t logical. They weren’t wrong, but the combination of parameters simply didn’t represent how the company worked.
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”- Albert Einstein
Today I still encounter these solutions. Most of the time made by smart consultants and smart managers who simply do not take into account which users have to use the functionality. And most of the time, we have to redesign and simplify the solution. Unbelievable cases I have encountered are:
– Trillions are posted in the general ledger after warehouse scanning was introduced. Why? Employees were scanning the EAN code again instead of entering the quantity that should be picked.
– Items got delivered at the wrong store or are lost in the warehouse. Employees scanned an item, and scanned a location but they put the item somewhere else. Why? There was no barcode present at the location they were putting the item.
– A company got in cash flow issues. Why? The automatic invoice scanner couldn’t find the ‘terms of payment’ and the default happened to be ‘paying after 0 days after invoice date’.
– A company got issues with vendors. Why? The automatic invoice scanner didn’t recognize the IBAN number since RABO was registered as RAB0 so no payments were made.
– A company had no idea what the value of their inventory was. Why? Employees forgot to do an inventory close, in order to recalculate weighted average. This might not be an issue if caught right away. However, after 3 years of not doing an inventory close, Dynamics AX 4.0 needed 2.5 days of processing time to recalculate everything. This ended up in a court case.
– A retailer ended up with almost empty stores. Why? The ‘optimal inventory calculation software’ that is normally used for warehouses optimization was also used for stores.
Even if you have implemented an ERP system within budget and time, and it is doing exactly what you are asking for, you might still end up with issues. If you are encountering issues today and your ‘gut feeling’ is telling you that something is wrong in a procedure or your ERP system, then your gut is probably right. Kaya Consulting can help. We are masters in delivering simple solutions in complex organisations!
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