Efficient and productive are not terms utilized with software implementations. And there are so many reasons why.
Supply Chain Managers trying to resolve the problems of the day have to turn that aside for short while to contemplate the future so that in that future, a better job can be done, Among the goals to explore to see the software lower cost, making the organization more efficient, and customer friendly. This is hard to do, with emails, texts, and calls all coming everyday, all the time.
Sometimes deciding on an advance software is part finding a better way. Software sales people tell their managers or more likely the top manager of the company their company’s software will make everything better. When top managers hear these pitches, it would be wise right from the beginning that involve appropriate staff people, to help guide the decision process. Lower level managers, once they start considering a process change, need to get top management involved early on.
As a practical matter, no software is going to be introduced in the company without top management approval. That approval includes the hard part of actually authorizing the payment of hard earned cash. Potential savings may never show up. Hours will need to be devoted to implementing the software. Unexpected and sometimes large costs will show up. These risks should be weighed.
And don’t forget the field, the potential actual users of the software. Without their support, the software will not work as planned and potential savings will never show, without the field support.
Here are somethings that can help.
For potential buyers of software.
- Figure out what the real need is before seeing an sales people
- Figure out a process to accomplish this at least in basic way before seeing sales people.
- Figure out the potential solution will look to top management
- Figure out how the potential solution will look to actual users (amazingly this step seems to be skipped most often). Include them in the evaluation process.
- Study the software out there and then brace yourself for the sales people.
For sellers of software.
- Know the sweet spot of your software and what it can do. Brush up on actual user experiences.
- Dog and pony shows done on PowerPoint probably need to be done, but do not stop there. Learn what the customer is trying to accomplish. It is easy to talk a good game, much harder to really understand the customers needs and how it relates to the software the sales people are selling.
- If your software might lead to a solution to the customers problem, only them make the sales pitch. Selling software truly is a business partnership and must be adaptable to foreseeable changes in the environment to be of value.
- Help supply chain managers ask the questions, they need to.
- Once the sales is made, be demanding on the implementation team to do the job right. Too often, once the sales is made, a software management decision takes the sales person off from the customer , but the sale is really isn’t done to a successful implementation is done. Nor can a sales person really do a good job on future sales unless that person has feel of how the software actually works.
As a buyer of software, in analyzing choices double the implementation time said by the sales people, and double the payback period of the software to be realistic from the sales presentation.
There are many disappointing software startups in companies. You can minimize that chance of failure, but doing the steps above.