“What do you mean that’s best practices Mr/s. Vendor, that will ruin our competitive advantage if we do what everyone else does.” And that’s a fact! Your company is in business because they are unique. They do certain things; “Bigger, Better, Faster, Smarter”. To “bend” your business to fit ERP software will remove the very reason you’re in business.
Let’s talk about how the words “Best Practices” were introduced to the ERP software industry. Best practices was introduced to customers as a way to shoehorn them into the way the software worked. Most companies building software never ran a business and certainly never ran your business. How do they know what’s “Best Practices” for your business? So they built a software product to fit “theory of manufacturing” or “theory of constraints” or “theory of whatever” and when you as a customer told them that wouldn’t work in your business, their response was, “We’ve sold this software to hundreds (or thousands) of other customers and they all agree this way is ‘Best Practices'”.
And the customers’ response was, “Hmmmm, well if everyone else does it that way I guess we should too.” Not realizing the other customers eventually paid thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to modify the software later. That’s why and how ‘Best Practices’ have changed over the years, customers paid vendors to modify their software, vendor then added it to their package, and all of a sudden best practices were changed.
Clearly it’s not that simple. Fact is, best practices do change over time and you have to change also or your business will stagnate and die. But the road to best practices and their changing landscape do work something similar to what’s described. And quite frankly, by using the software “out of the box” it will save you a significant amount on the implementation. The question becomes, is it worth jeopardizing the business and have the business fit the software, or is it worth the investment to change the software? In both cases, the only one the benefits is the vendor. They either install your software “out of the box” and move on to what really makes them money, selling more software, or you pay them large sums of money to modify the software that then goes back into their software for them to sell to someone else.
This becomes the foundation for further discussion on how to get by with a less than 100% fit and using the process driven approach to selection. More discussion will follow.