Wrong reasons for changing your business software


I’ve lost count of the prospective clients that I’ve met that want new software because ‘we are in a mess’. Putting in more sophisticated software will not help you if you don’t follow the processes you already have correct now. In fact it will make things a thousand times worse and may be the end of your company completely. Why will your people follow the undoubtedly more complex and therefore harder to follow processes the new software needs if they cannot follow the simple ones you have now? When you learnt to drive you didn’t start on a powerful racing car, did you?

I understand the effort of sorting things going wrong puts on your people, as well as threatening your customer relationships. But be aware that changing the complete business process that your people follow is much harder and takes far longer than switching from one piece of software to another. The corporate sector talk about the change management required to make this successful, and while that may be overkill in a small company, you still have to get your loyal staff to understand what to do (and importantly why) in the new world and quickly, as instinctively as they do now.

That’s going to take time and practise. Please don’t do that for the first time on new system ‘go-live’ day. If you do you will be sorting out the mess for the next few years and stuck with long term compromises because of data created at that point that cannot be easily changed later. Companies change their systems on average every fifteen years these day. If you will be able to live with yours that long fair enough – if not get it right now.

Author: James Crowter

I’m passionate about how businesses can improve their efficiency by getting process optimal more of the time. For the last twenty five years I’ve worked to help organisations of all sizes and types implement the ERP & CRM software that typically they decide they need when things are going wrong. I’ve seen that work unbelievably well and enabled those organisations to rapidly grow but I’ve also had some hard projects over that time where it’s felt more like warfare at times. Since 1996 (and version 1.01) I’ve been working with a small Danish product called Navision that’s now become Microsoft’s Dynamics NAV and I’ve also been using and consulting around Microsoft CRM since 2005. As managing Director of one of the longest established first Navision and now Microsoft Dynamics partners I’ve been involved in the complete history including numerous product councils and system design reviews. It’s my privilege to know many of the key Microsoft executives and product designers and have insight into both where the products are now and their future direction. So colleagues & clients have asked me to start this blog to share some of the insight that both this knowledge (obviously where not restricted by NDA’s or client confidentiality) and experience can help. Specifically I want to concentrate not on the specifics of how (there are some great blogs already for that) but why. If any user helps their business make better decisions or consultant can give better advice then that will be objective achieved. I founded Technology Management in 1992 and have led from the front ever since. Helping clients use technology to grow their business is my passion through explaining technology in terms that everyone can understand. My interest in computing began at the age of eight, long before my school had the equipment to cope. Throughout school and university I developed software commercially. I hold many IT certifications, such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV (for over 17 years), Microsoft Dynamics CRM (for over 10 years), as well as Microsoft Windows Server, Exchange and SQL. In October 2015, I was awarded the title of Most Valuable Professional (MVP), a title given to a select few individuals (31 currently) across the world specifically for Dynamics NAV. After years of working with a range of distribution and manufacturing software for hundreds of organisations, I focus on understanding the business requirements of an organisation, what it will take to deliver the systems required to maximise their potential. Follow me online via my other social channels: - Twitter: @jamescrowter - LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jamescrowter Or email me directly at james[.]crowter[@]tecman.co.uk.

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