There appears to be an opinion shared by many large corporations that Bigger is Better. Time and time again we see Bigger systems, more functionality, higher power, larger databases, faster this, more flexible that oh and by the way it has an app. Beyond the sales jargon there is often a very good system with 1000’s of hours of thought and development rolled into a nice to say acronym. But these “Super systems” always come with a massive cost in the form of implementation, infrastructure upgrades, license fees and the seldom discussed upgrade path.
The point here is not that these systems are not what they say they are, far from it, some of the ERP systems on the market are incredible feats of system engineering. The question is, did it address the things that matter and as a result was it worth it?
Throughout our implementations and experience in both large and small businesses we have come into contact with a number of these systems and the story is often the same. “The system was supposed to be customisable”, “it cost a fortune to implement”, “it doesn’t work properly” in most cases the result is an expensive problem.
A good example of this, was in the reconciliation space where BizWize was called in to address some concerns with the implementation of the current software solution. We undertook an investigation of the processes involved and assessed the best course of action. A key approach here was not to assume that this businesses recons was the same as every other, but rather to understand the problem and attempt to develop a recommendation. What was discovered was that there was a weakness in the current system, not because it wasn’t designed well, but because it wasn’t designed for this business. It didn’t incorporate its nuances and limitations and as a result it struggled to deliver the solution effectively.
In an endeavor to provide the business with some short term lift we were able to develop an excel based solution that morphed into a SQL solution. This “system” was built from the ground up to focus on the effective, efficient and accurate completion of reconciliations for the business. The simplicity of the solution lent itself to rapid deployment times and by focusing on the critical factors, we were able to consistently reduce out of SLA expectations and processing times by 70-80%.
Does Big Business need a BIG SOLUTION? The answer is not yes or no but rather do you understand your problem and do you know if the solution you are being pitched is going to solve it?