In a previous post entitled How to Achieve Maximum Payback from an ERP System Demonstration, we looked at role pre-demo discovery plays in leading to effective ERP demos.
That’s the “up front” work that goes into providing thorough insight and shared understanding for both a manufacturer and an ERP vendor to create a relevant and effective ERP demonstration that focuses on what a manufacturer is searching for during an ERP selection project.
It’s during this up-front work that the Ultra team gains a keen understanding of the culture of the manufacturer’s organization in order to know what to search for to achieve effective ERP.
Every organization has a culture. Experts describe organizational culture as “an integrated system of learned behavior patterns which are characteristic of the members of an organization… ” (E. Adamson Hoebel)
Preparation for an effective ERP vendor demonstration begins with an on-site vendor discovery session. Prior to this session the vendor will be provided the tightly focused script prepared previously along with coaching on the client’s needs and culture. When a vendor team is on-site for a discovery session, they are focused on learning the frustrations and pain points that an organization experiences with their existing business system and thinking of solutions that their ERP solution can provide. These sessions are fast-paced and intense. The sessions also serve as a window into the organization’s culture. These sessions are facilitated by an Ultra consultant taking into consideration styles of communication, individual roles and responsibilities, chain of authority, styles of decision-making and other aspects of the organizational culture.
As a result of these discovery sessions, we learn the nuances that make up the behavior of individuals on the project team as well as any idiosyncrasies of the team decision-making process.
Effective ERP & Time Well Spent
Why does it pay to spend time gaining this insight when it comes to the ERP selection process?
Taking into consideration the organizational culture is a key ingredient of successful ERP selection. Culture reflects how team members behave and how things are done. Specifically, our consulting team does the up-front work to understand:
- The degree of responsibility, independence of the ERP project team
- The degree of management support
- The degree to which the team can tolerate uncertainty, risk
- Organizational communication patterns
- Organizational decision making styles
Working Toward an Effective ERP Demo
Part of the value Ultra provides is spending time coaching the vendor demonstration teams so they have a clear idea of what the manufacturer desires from a new ERP system and how to tailor the demonstration to effectively address the manufacturer’s needs. Our consultant team passes along any tips that will make the demonstration more effective, given the manufacturing company’s specific organizational culture.
This facilitation often continues into the demonstration itself. If a vendor message seems to be missing a key point, or if there is a “cultural mismatch,” the Ultra consultant will guide the discussion back to topics that meet the manufacturer’s needs.
In all, the Ultra consultant serves the role of an unbiased liaison between the manufacturing team and the vendor team prior to and during the effective ERP demonstration project.
Manufacturing project teams benefit from a demonstration of the vendor’s effective ERP solution that has been tightly focused on specific needs, minimizing the chance of good solution coming across with a confusing message.
Vendors can count on the Ultra consultant to provide straight talk and clear insight into how best to communicate with the ERP project team.
When thinking about effective ERP, Ultra keeps our focus on the end result: to effectively demonstrate the most relevant vendor ERP solutions so our manufacturing clients can select the best and most effective ERP solution that fits their needs.
Please share any thoughts you might have about effective ERP. You can also visit Ultra’s library of educational white papers for additional information.