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White Paper: Changing the Game

How the traditional approach places risk on you, not the vendor

Traditional ERP selection doesn't work

Innovation and change comes almost without exception from young, small companies and not the traditional players. Big companies either don't have the mind set to take a fresh look at products and services or, more problematically, are hostage to those already in place where making wholesale change, especially given its potential short term financial consequences, is just too easy to leave for another day.

Small companies, by contrast, especially in the technology sector, more often than not owe their existence to having seen a particular issue or set of issues in a different way and developing the means to deliver them. The next challenge is getting market acceptance, and here the battle can be much greater than coming up with the innovation in the first place.

A further complication is that the battle is much more challenging in respect of the big and long-established companies rather than other small companies, which, by definition have also owed their existence to the same open-mindedness.

In the software sector, as an example, the trend is towards simplicity of use without sacrificing content and to increased self-reliance - exemplified also by the approach taken in the iPad and similar products. It's also to avoid the hazards of dependency on outside agencies that have their own agendas for generating a return that may sometimes (and not very clearly!) be at the expense of rather than to the benefit of the client.

What the new methods prescribe is transparency, ease of understanding, pricing flexibility, self-sufficiency and balance-sheet friendly absence of major financial commitment. And here's the paradox, which is that bigger/traditional organisations seem to have major problems in reaching for the simple and obvious as opposed to the cluttered, distracting, time consuming approach to which they are accustomed.

Touching the very core of a company's operations, it is not surprising that traditional system implementation failures have been reported as being as high as 30 per cent

The world of ERP/MRP systems puts all this into sharp relief. Touching the very core of a company's operations, it is not surprising that traditional system implementation failures have been reported as being as high as 30 per cent. The problems and uncertainties are there from the first move. Make a shortlist of potential providers, but which ones? Create a requirements list, but is it really accurate and comprehensive? Should we employ a consultant, but who and on what terms? Invite suppliers in for presentations, surveys, but are they really catching all the nuances? Do we actually understand their products and what the differences between them? Are we competent to negotiate a contract or do we need outside help for that as well? Or, at the end, do we just ignore all the confusion and fall back on the salesman we liked best the first time round? And if everything goes wrong what recourse can we have - and can it possibly cover all the hidden and uncompensatable damage to your business?

So, if there is a better way why don't those considering implementing or re-implementing an ERP/MRP system always jump on it? It comes down to inertia, clinging to the old inefficient but comfortable methods, illusionary safety in numbers, external service crutches and probably not being aware of the considerable risks. In other words, acquisition methods have simply failed to keep up with changing and much more effective provisioning methods.

123 Insight is in the new wave, already offering a non-committing monthly subscription where everybody also knows everything before any sort of commitment, a precursor to full cloud-based availability that some features of 123insight already provide.

A typical reaction to full transparency, to knowing everything, to being allowed to know everything, is that it is too good to be true. Well it isn't, it's how it should be and should always have been. But constructing complex systems that no one but the insiders can understand has been a default design standard (or deficiency) to keep buyers away from being able to make truly informed decisions. Further confirmed by the fact that the traditional business supply model depends as much on follow up services as provision of the original software.

There is another trick that traditional suppliers use which is to modularise everything. So there is confusion and uncertainty on what you should have to start with and the door has to remain open for spend on future changes and upgrades

123 Insight has experienced at first hand the consequences of this delusional approach where (amazingly) existing users have even been persuaded against all better judgement to take a chance on an alternative approach only to come back to the fold after wasting tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of pounds on experimenting with and trying to get another system going (that, again, they actually didn't understand).

123 Insight has an implementation success rate that is the envy of the industry. It's virtually impossible to fail because of the way we work.

In fact, 123 Insight has an implementation success rate that is the envy of the industry. It's virtually impossible to fail because of the way we work. Modularisation is simply taken care of - there isn't any. Everything is always provided and as much used as needed. Making changed or expanded use as future adjustment to the changing business painless and cost-free.

And there is more - much more. By doing away with all the traditional paraphernalia such as specifications, factory surveys, reports, reference visits, proposals, presentations, contracts, heavy and long financial commitments, the software is left to speak just for itself. Which is also the perfect protection for the user. There isn't any hiding place. If it isn't any good it will simply not survive in this supply method.

The supplier also needs discipline, sometimes uncomfortably, not to get sucked into conforming to the old methods. Despite sometime invitations to join the herd 123 Insight sticks to its guns. The workshop and training and implementation cycle works. It's been proven over and over again and fully serves the best interests of all concerned.

So there is a better way - faster, more efficient, non-disrupting, with total understanding, self-sufficiency and control and no financial risk. It works for every type of manufacturing, big or small. At the larger end of the scale, even the most experienced could reap the multiple advantages available from an open-minded approach that avoids the stresses, imponderables and risks inherent in the old way of doing things.

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white paper on why ERP system implementations fail