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Posted by: briansittley Comments: 0 0 Post Date: November 1, 2018

Eight years ago we first published a white paper – divided into about a dozen single-page, easy-to-read sections — on how to choose a business software system (often called ERP today).

The concept was simple: After 20 years of implementing systems, we would provide some concise strategies and tips, corroborated by others, that would help folks looking for clear-cut, objective advice on software selection.  We felt that will all our experiences and trials and errors, we could share what we’ve learned with others, without recommending any particular brand or type of software.  Our goal was simply to give folks food to think about, while distilling the best advice we’d learned over many years.

Since that original publication in 2010, we’ve had many reads and downloads.  Since that time, a lot has changed and yet, remarkably, so much of what we knew back then remains true today.  We updated our paper in 2015, incorporating key changes we’d seen, mostly of the software-delivery nature, while revisiting our tried and true principles.

Well, it’s now three years later.  A lot of folks start thinking about new business software at this time of year.  So we thought it was time once again to reload and release our thinking, fully eight years since we first wrote our pamphlet, titled “Software That Matters.”

So beginning this month of November, 2018, we’re using our blog again to share what we’ve learned, updated for the times.  The idea is to pass along one or two key ideas per post, so that by the time you reach the end, you’ll have a clearer picture of what really matters when you set out to replace your business management system with new software (hint: it usually isn’t the software).

We hope you find the dozen posts that follow useful in your own search.  While full disclosure requires us to admit that we do, after all, sell and install software, we’re confident you’ll find our posts factual, objective and largely unbiased – just the way we intended them.

And so, updated for 2018, we give you… Software That Matters.  Thank you in advance for reading.

Simply put, we do ERP.  And after 25 years of doing it, we believe buyers of ERP systems can learn from our experience.


ERP is Enterprise Resource Planning, a fancy moniker for the software that keeps businesses running.  Broadly speaking, we’re talking here about accounting, inventory control, MRP (Material Requirements Planning), manufacturing workflow, shop floor control, managing throughput in the warehouse or on the shop floor, as well as other critical business areas like customer relationship management and web store development.

We think of it as “software that matters.”

In previous blog articles, we’ve touched on some of these elements.  We’ve talked about CRM in a multi-part post here: http://wp.me/pBCDO-8X and extensively about WMS (there’s another one – Warehouse Management Systems), including a number of articles you’ll find here: https://pssiusa.wordpress.com/category/general-wms-warehouse-mgmt-articles/

But let’s step back first and look at the bigger picture: What is this stuff, and why is it so mission critical to any company that wants to grow, prosper or these days, even survive?  What good comes from it?  Who — and what — is involved?  What are the costs and what are the benefits to be gained as a result of that investment?

At its core, ERP software is, above all else, a strategic investment.  It’s an investment of your firm’s most precious resources — cash and people’s time — in what is best described as a long-term business improvement strategy aimed at substantially, even dramatically, improving your return on that investment (your ROI) in the years following a successful deployment.  ERP is front and center in business to improving your operational flow, reducing expenses, eliminating waste, removing redundancy (and the curse of all those spreadsheets), and continuously improving your processes.  It’s the on-the-ground implementation of “lean.”  And perhaps most importantly, it’s the platform for business growth.

In our next post then, we’ll take a look at where to start, and the one critical question you need to ask in order to get started.  Stay tuned…

The remaining dozen posts in our Software That Matters series can be found here…

 

Part 2: On the Way to a Better Answer…

Software That Matters: 2018 (Part 2)

 

Part 3: Motivators (for ERP)…

Software That Matters: 2018 (Part 3)

 

Part 4: Success Stories I & II (Electronic components manufacturer -and- (ubber gaskets & seals manufacturer)…

Software That Matters: 2018 (Part 4)

 

Part 5: Success Story III: Paint Manufacturer & Distributor…

Software That Matters: 2018 (Part 5)

 

Part 6: Who Benefits…

Software That Matters: 2018 (Part 6)

 

Part 7: How Much (Costs)…

Software That Matters: 2018 (Part 7)

 

Part 8: More on ERP Costs: How Much (Part 2 of 2)…

Software That Matters: 2018 (Part 8)

 

Part 9: Start Small and Discrete…

Software That Matters: 2018 (Part 9)

 

Part 10: Key Indicators: Taking Action…

Software That Matters: 2018 (Part 10)

 

Part 11: What Your Business Management System Should Provide…

Software That Matters: 2018 (Part 11)

 

Part 12: What About the Cloud…

Software That Matters: 2018 (Part 12)

 

Part 13 (Final post): Key Conclusions About ERP…

Software That Matters: 2018 (Final Post: Part 13)

 

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