Living on the EDGE!
Living on the EDGE
Paddy O’Brien, the ERP Manager, was having a frustrating day at LIVING ON THE EDGE STORES, a chain of retail stores that specializes in selling unique gifts and gadgets. Although sales had been down over the past year due to the pandemic, Management saw this as the perfect opportunity to assess their legacy technology and increase the direct-to-consumer channel.
Paddy was 100% on-board with this mandate and perfectly ready to dump the ERP system which was circa 1990. It had been highly customized over the years and there was no reasonable way to upgrade to the newest release of the software without tremendous new customizations.
The bi-weekly Management Meeting was coming up and the agenda was all about systems. Paddy was anticipating the anguish of a group decision. He already knew his recommendation, and it was comprised of but one word - REPLACE.
Paddy would need the Luck O’ the Irish to be heard in the boisterous Management Meeting. Everyone was an expert! But Paddy knew that the best solution was to go new and the reward for the company would be a Pot O’Gold at the end of the journey.
Paddy made his rounds to meet with the other Management Team members before the meeting. He brought the tasty Shamrock Mint Cookies being promoted in the stores for St. Patrick’s Day as his reason for dropping in on them.
As he shared the snack with each member, Paddy kept hearing the same comment: the company could not afford to go overboard in buying new systems since sales had yet to recover. This was not what Paddy wanted to hear. How could the Management Team be so short-sighted not to know that you must spend money to make money!
As Paddy left his last meeting, he glanced over to see his able analyst, Ryan, who had only been with the company a few months and had proved himself to be a pragmatic thinker.
Ryan had heard the rumors circulating through the company that change was in the air, and he was itching to share his own ideas. He started right in, telling Paddy he had the most 'over the rainbow' idea that would help the company add functions without costing an arm and a leg. Ryan’s ideas were a bit ‘edgy’ but sure to help the company.
That got Paddy’s attention.
What was the magic that Ryan had for Paddy that would give Management what they wanted when it came to new features and functions without costing the company a fortune?
Ryan pulled out a tablet and began annotating with several circles and supporting bullet points. Clearly, Ryan had been paying attention to store operations and systems.
Paddy listened to Ryan’s outline of the strengths of the existing ERP which he had observed in his short time with the company.
On the tablet screen, Ryan displayed a list of features that were sorely missing in the current ERP system. Paddy readily agreed that they needed to explore these, as well.
Ryan flipped to a page that had the words 'Edge Solutions' boldly written at the top.
Paddy made a face. “That’s really patronizing. Are you using ‘Edge' because it’s part of the company’s name?”
“Not at all,” replied Ryan, “that’s what these solutions are called. 'Edge Solutions' are those apps and systems that plug into ERP to fill what the core ERP does not do well.”
Paddy got it. “You mean we could shore the processing ‘gaps’ with these 'Edge Solutions' and have some quick wins?”
“Yup!” Ryan smiled and swiped to another page with budget numbers and priorities suggested.
It was simply presented, and it was clearly a better approach than Paddy’s one-word strategy of REPLACE.
Paddy made a decision. Use Ryan’s few pages at the upcoming Management Meeting. This would be the winning strategy. Not only would the solution cost less, but the time to implement and realize some of the needed benefits could be months instead of years.
Some of the solutions Ryan highlighted included:
EDI to introduce electronic transactions with Trading Partners.
Demand Planning and Forecasting to minimize stock-outs and improve store fulfillment.
Business Intelligence and Analytics tools to make the Decision-Making process more Visual.
Supplier Compliance software to better manage supplier purchasing.
AP Invoice Automation to overcome the mounds of paper invoices and associated data entry.
Although Paddy might not get to replace the ERP, the overall cost and risk to the organization would be more manageable.
It was good that Paddy had hired Ryan.‘Twas the Luck O’ the Irish! Smart cookie!
Are you considering new ERP solutions but want to keep the budget low? You are in Luck! We know all the ropes.
We are experts at finding solutions and keeping current processes that work while adding functions that you need in order to grow and to meet demand.
We help you to identify process improvements, select the best software systems, and integrate ‘edge’ systems effectively.
We bring structure into the project and engage the staff to create an enthusiastic Project Team who are looking to the future for ways to operate.
We specialize in ‘best practices’ to help you to implement the systems that will help your company to grow.
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We excel in managing the steps for ERP Systems Selection, ERP Implementation, Operations Improvement, and overcoming the impossible while keeping projects on-schedule. We work to create a cohesive Project Team that will be the champions for the new processes within your company.
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Rubenstein / Justman Management Consultants (RJMC) assists mid-market companies to evaluate, select, and implement ERP solutions including Financials, Manufacturing, Distribution, Warehouse Management, Supply-Chain Solutions, CRM, and Data Analytics. We are skilled and experienced consultants who provide the Project Management that gets the project done. To start the dialogue, give us a call at 310-445-5300
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