Sales UP but Systems DOWN
3 Signs you are Running on 'MuseumWare'!
“I can’t get enough of these chips!” laughed Brenda, the CFO at Bites. She was passing around the yummy snacks that her company produced, touting the cheddar cheese and spicy TacoBites - little triangle and square shapes perfect for dipping and snacking with no added sugar, gluten free, and just a few calories per chip.
What was not to like! Adding to the fun was that sales had taken off during the lockdowns, and Brenda was enjoying not having a cash crunch situation anymore.
Taylor, the company CEO, was also at the party and, although very proud of what his team had created over the past few months, he recognized that TacoBites, the company's venture into more health-conscious snacks, was just one product line out of nine other traditional snack product lines. After many years of flat growth, Bites was now growing quickly, hiring more people to manage the boom in sales. Access to information remotely was critical – customer information, inventory levels, shipping status, payment management, and all the analytics around the business.
Taylor needed timely information in all these areas, and he wasn't getting it. The reason? The company was running on old software, the 'latest' version added 8 years ago. Taylor jokingly called it ‘MuseumWare.’ The systems were only understood and managed by a few senior employees, and the key person was close to retirement.
How was he to make decisions now that the market was surging?
Here are three signs that you are running on ‘MuseumWare’
· Inability to access data and generate reports without a programmer.
Report requests take 3 weeks instead of immediately.
Standard reports take days to receive, if they are even accurate, and run in a batch mode with no ability to perform real-time analytics.
· Recruiting technology staff and analysts from another consumer product company is met with a cynical smile when you explain the systems that you have in place.
Resources are aged in all categories: hardware, software, and employees with dated skills.
Difficult to recruit new technology professionals because they don’t know your legacy tools and they are not interested in dinosaur technology
· Integrating state-of-the-art modules requires custom-developed code, is expensive, and takes months.
Difficulty integrating new software for Warehouse, Manufacturing, Distribution, Payables, CRM, HR with the existing ERP.
Dependent upon legacy custom code and legacy expensive technology coders who are not aware of best-practices in business.
Resistance to looking at options to upgrade to a new ERP solution.
Taylor recognized the signs that his systems were outdated. He knew he would be running the company into the wall when demand would not wait for their dinosaur 'MuseumWare' systems to catch up to real-time business. The way things were going, they would have to revert to walking into the warehouse to visually tell if they had enough product.
Fortunately, sales had been so good that a project to upgrade the information systems was now affordable. Taylor acknowledged he knew of no standout member of management who could spend the time needed to manage such a project. Moreover, there were many ‘legacy’ procedures that the staff would not easily part with. Both of these were going to be impediments to using better systems.
Leaders gotta lead and Taylor could not wait for the IT staff to retire until he could bring in some fresh ideas.
He decided to start now. His first step was to hire a talent, either as an employee or a contractor, to take the company through the process of assessing the systems, helping with the selection of systems, and guiding the implementation. The process took time but ended up allowing the company to keep pace with the modern era.
Fast-forward a year later: sales were still strong and, with the new systems in place, the salespeople were making more sales with the retailers and marketing was more in touch with consumer preferences. Financials were available quickly and the daily dashboard was a view of the present.
If you look for these three signs, you will be super motivated to leave your ‘MuseumWare’ and implement new software that lets your company glow and grow!
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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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