Presentation of an ERP-system

Presentation of an ERP-system
… You call a doctor to come to your place, and, instead of telling him the way you feel, you demand the "presentation" of a laryngoscope, a syringe and some medicine (to look at them closely, appraise their style and the way they match in terms of design and the general level of coolness), as well as ask the doctor to voice the costs and how long the therapy of a typical illness will take.

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.

Mark Twain 

1.

What can anyone present to you if he/she have absolutely no idea as to what exactly you need?

Just imagine: you call a doctor to come to your place, and, instead of telling him the way you feel, you demand the "presentation" of a laryngoscope, a syringe and some medicine (to look at them closely, appraise their style and the way they match in terms of design and the general level of coolness), as well as ask the doctor to voice the costs and how long the therapy of a typical illness will take.

There you are.

The same holds true for any ERP-system. You will see nothing, apart from some screen forms (one needs more than one week to "show everything" and what is the point, anyway?), and all the "constructive" discussion will boil down to the talk about the "interface" quality, i.e. the color scheme and the placement of buttons.

— Oh! Maybe you would like to "take a look at the functionality?" Like, to understand, whether it really suits you; what is, like, present, and what is, like, not here?

Nevertheless — here are some more thoughts.

What "have" those ERP-system, and what doesn’t, is absolutely of zero importance.

The correctly formulated question provides 90% of the answer, while "what it does and doesn’t have" is a faulty formulation of the question.

Let us get back to the doctor visit analogy: imagine that during the visit you attack the doctor with questions as to what medicine he can prescribe (instead of focusing on your own symptoms and the diagnosis). He can prescribe whatever, as long as it is legal, and he does not care — the person who will pay is you.

The correct formulation of the question is what kind of medicine you need.

Same here.


2.

The audience watching these so-called "presentations", usually, consists of casual idlers. In the first place, there are IT specialists. In the second place — accountants (or "finance people", if we generalize).

People! ERP-system as an analogy to the automated production line of the close value range, is a business tool.

A business tool for achieving business aims.

Which are, in their turn, formulated by share holders (or their representatives: board of directors or a general director).

When opening a restaurant you’ll let the dishwasher, waiter (anyway it is them who will work with this stuff) and accountant (who also takes part in making a big financial decision) decide upon the contents on the menu, what will you have as an output?

It would be more sensible to solve the question about investments in a business tool in accordance with the expected business results and project risks.

 All in all, let’s fancy analogical situation. This time let’s take building.

Imagine you need to build a factory.

The success of the project can influence your business profitability in the long run, and most likely on its survival.

You hold a competition for design organizations.

You phone several candidates, who you’ve found on the Internet, and ask them to give a "presentation". Just, you know, come and somehow "deliver" it. Besides these people who were supposed to work out the projects know nothing about what you want.

So what are they going to deliver?

An Autocad with screenshots? "About us" section with useless information?

A project of a stadium or residential complex they have recently finished?

Or a cottage settlement project? And, at the same time, will dwell on the "functions" of the mentioned stadium (cottage settlement) and you, in your turn, will compare these with your requirements for the future factory.

What form the listed above can give you any rational grounds for reasonable choice of a project maker for your special (as every is) factory?

Additional detail: fancy, that the commission considering the "presentations" consists of a mason, an accountant and a caretaker.
November 20, 2014 by John Galt