This past January, Ultra hosted a seven-day webinar series for the Make to Order Manufacturer. These webinar series are a large part of our webinar program, occurring six times per year and catered towards the main manufacturing divisions: Make to Order, Process, and Make to Stock. At the conclusion of each series, Managing Partner Jeff Carr hosts a wrap-up session to reflect on the performance of each vendor, the background of the webinar attendees, and the latest hot topics in ERP.
The Value of a Post-Event Survey
The wrap-up session entails a presentation of the results from a survey we ask all webinar attendees to take. This survey is extremely important, as it allows us insight on the type of audience we attract, the satisfaction of attendees, and how we can make our webinars better. In addition, the survey also shows which presenter and vendor the attendees preferred, how many attendees currently have an ERP system, and how long they’ve had their system. This information is valuable in order for Ultra to truly know our audience.
Make to Order Series Survey Results
The Make to Order Manufacturer series featured six vendors: IFS, QAD, Infor, Microsoft, Epicor, and Oracle.
Of all survey respondents, 86 percent have active ERP projects. This is significant because it reflects that most people attending our webinars do so for a specific, initiated project. We of course welcome any attendee regardless of the status of their project. However, it is telling and validating that the majority of attendees come to Ultra’s Webinar Series seeking help to improve their existing ERP selection or implementation project.
Why Companies Resist ERP Change
One of the most interesting statistics was the amount of time a respondent had been using their current ERP system. Fifty percent of respondents currently operate with an ERP system that is 21 years or older, 38 percent of respondents operate with a system 11-21 years old, and 13 percent operate with a system 6-10 years old. This may suggest that companies and individuals face adversity or resistance to change when initiating or proposing an ERP update.
We have written extensively about ERP change management, including ‘5 Key Considerations about ERP and Change Management’. An ERP project must emphasize and prepare for the changes to both people and processes: while the goal of the process side is to eliminate waste and provide business process improvement, it is equally important to know how your workforce will react to a new ERP system, how to gain consensus from all team members, and how sponsors can lead their people to success.
ERP Education is the First Step
At Ultra, we know the best first step to implementing or upgrading an ERP system is educating yourself on the current offerings and capabilities of ERP. This Make to Order Webinar Series and all other webinars produced by Ultra including our industry-specific, and solo vendor webinars serve to further your ERP education and open your eyes to the types of products out there today.
The Value of an Independent Consultant
The second step is contacting an independent consultant like Ultra. Keeping up to date with the constant changes the ERP industry goes through is a tough job, so we are here to do it for you. Refer to our latest white paper about what it truly takes to Plan for ERP in 2015.