Following on from last month’s blog, when we looked at that famous phrase ‘In theory it should work,’ we are looking at why selecting a new business system yourself is not advisable, i.e. why not all DIY is good DIY!
Of course, you will be sitting there thinking they would say that, as it is a service they offer! And you may well be right. Unfortunately, however, we have seen far too many clients who have learnt the hard way. Here are our thoughts to help you avoid their mistakes.
What are your objections?
The chances are, if you are reading this, you have had some objections before about using a service such as ours, and that is only natural. We want you to ask questions in order to be confident we are a good fit for you. If you did not, we would be worried!
Are you ready? Shall we start with the biggest objection first?
“We have the skills to do this.”
We see this in many businesses. You look at how much our service costs you realise that Fred in accounts has been through several different software implementations, and he believes he knows his way around an ERP/CRM/accounting system.
He can do this! Suddenly the DIY route becomes even more attractive.
But what do you really mean?
“We want to save cash.”
Offering up Fred is usually done with great intentions, but the driver is normally about saving your business some money. Yes, Fred could do all this. This is not about doubting Fred’s skills; he is amazing at his job. But choosing a new software system is not about one person’s role though; it is about the whole business. So, as much as Fred may know the current accounting system inside and out, he is likely to have a biased view about other disciplines in your business.
He will make choices based on his experience and view of the world. He will have preconceived ideas about what makes something good, bad, or indeed ugly. We all do when we are close to something. But that can also lead us to make choices based on a perception rather than fact. It’s also unlikely Fred will be fully up to date with the current ERP marketplace for solutions.
“But you don’t know our business!”
No, we do not, and that is the point, and it is what makes us great at what we do. And it is a lot more efficient for us to learn about your business (we’ve done it lots of times before and have tried and tested methods) than it is for you (including Fred) to learn about all of the ERP systems available out there.
And all ERP systems are not the same.
We are not invested in the way that you have always processed month end accounts, or how you reconcile your inventory. We are interested in how you need to run your business to make it smooth and efficient, what your strategy is for the next few years and how best to achieve it. We look at which solution will be the best fit, and how much change is likely to be involved in implementing it.
“But what about the cash saving?”
OK, we get it; you do not want to waste money.
So, what happens if you go down the DIY route and Fred heads up the project?
Everything is trucking along greatly, then something crops up. Someone in the sales office forgot to mention that they needed something to work in a specific way. Fred did not know they did this, so none of this was mentioned to the vendors.
Cue a load of red faces.
So, what do you do?
The already tight budget is likely to be blown. If you are lucky, the process that is needed is catered for in the software you have chosen. If not, then you are looking at some serious scope creep and some additional lines on your invoice from your software vendor!
That’s not exactly saving cash, far from it!
And, because we already know the vendors and their systems in depth, you will save time and money not going through the same discovery process with each of them (and they with you).
“Are you making this up?”
Absolutely not. It is important to tell you that we are not making this up for dramatic effect! We have seen it happen a lot. And we have also seen many companies who have gone down the DIY route, realise that knowing when to call in the experts (at the beginning, not the middle or end) pays back in dividends, sometimes literally.
We understand. The intentions are right – saving money and time, but we must tell you that it is only likely to be a short-term gain, and most often not even that.
And it isn’t because your team are no good either. They are going to be a vital input for us; you would not be employing them if they do not know what they do. But they are not experts in selecting a new solution from the wide range that is out there.
“OK, so what can you do for me?”
First, this always starts with a conversation. You will have a call with our Head of Transforming, Pete, to see if we are a good fit for each other. This is the most important part of the process. Both sides need to know that they can work well with each other. You need to know that you can trust us.
If you’re happy, once we’ve agreed terms, we then will talk to all the stakeholders to find out what you need. This activity is thorough, but for good reason – we need to understand your strategy, as well as finding out about the processes that must be done in a certain way. Depending on the size and complexity of your business, this can take a couple of weeks to complete. But it will enable us to provide a detailed statement of requirements specific to your business.
Once this is all agreed, we then go out to the vendors on your behalf. Based on their responses to your requirements, we can help you select the ones which we are confident will be the best fit for your business. They get to come and present their wares to you, and you are firmly in the driving seat when it comes to the final choice.
Finally, we support you through the final selection and implementation process as little or as much as you need. We can provide Project and Change Management and/or auditing services if needed, or if you have an in-house PM team, we can work with them to ensure good governance, risk assessment and change management is in place
…and the cash?
Yes, it costs money to work with us. But overall, we save our clients’ money.
Not just in getting new software selected and implemented but also in looking at your processes. A fresh pair of eyes on your business can help you spot the bottlenecks (check out our blog on that here) address them and save you cash!
So if you want to ditch the DIY and get some expert help, why not get in touch?