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ERP Systems - When DIY is NOT the answer

They say finding a good plumber is tough as all the good ones are always busy. Well I’d say it’s pretty much the same finding Business Consultants – plenty to choose from but not many with the right blend of skills and experience. I was reminded of this dilemma during my recent desire to upgrade our bathroom at home – to DIY or not to DIY.

The question was answered for me when I realised, a bit like implementing a new business system, that yes, I could have a go, probably select and buy the right components, then take an awful long time, definitely make mistakes along the way and, as I was ultimately reminded by my better half, very possibly flood the whole neighbourhood in the process and be without a working bathroom. Not recommended.

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We all know of our favourite stories of in-house system implementation projects that started so well at the launch party and then seemed to fail by degrees – thus wasting time and money whilst slowing business growth - a far worse outcome than a bit of a leak here and there.

So, in the interests of domestic harmony I started my search for outside help and I’m pleased to say had a very successful “implementation”, on time, within budget and wow, that new shower is just brilliant. How did that work then, well I’ll share my observations.

  1. Choosing my supplier – to me the absolute key questions here are – did they respond quickly, did they listen to what I wanted and did I feel I could trust them? Good: What sort of shower would you like, Bad: I can fit this small (cheap) one next week.
  2. Clear pricing – once I’d explained what we wanted then it was important to get a fixed price, clearly explained in English not “Plumberish” – Good: Chrome Shower Head and Taps, Bad: Escutcheon screws – box of 10??
  3. A joint effort – more an acceptance that I could still do some DIY – only using their skills and experience where they really add value and are saving me time and money. Good: Yes of course, you can finish all the painting once we’re done, Bad: We are also painters, carpenters, welders and bricklayers – leave it all to us.
  4. Good, impartial advice – I can have what I want, but always good to know what will work best for me, in my situation, in their experience. Good: Yes, I can fit a bigger tray, but I recommend…, Bad: Computer says “No”.
  5. On time delivery – ah - the bane of our lives. But really important for me to know my supplier will turn up as promised and let me know if anything changes. Good: Just ringing/texting to say I’m on my way, Bad: Did I not mention I’m six days behind because…
  6. Persistence – my favourite mantra in business. So of course some things can and will go wrong, but I really don’t want flakiness or lack of application to fix it. Good: Wrestling and sweating for an hour until the shower screen fitted perfectly, Bad: Well, just giving up when it gets a little bit too hard.
  7. Value for money – sticking to the quote and of course only billing me once everyone’s happy. Good: I’ll call you in a few days to check all’s working well, Bad: I don’t take cards.
  8. Guaranteed – more a case of if something is unfinished or isn’t quite as expected, then they’ll come back in and put it right without question. Good: Of course, I’ll drop in later to adjust it, Bad: Welcome to the O2 Voicemail…

So back to my point, choosing the right partner to help you manage what will be a major change for your business can be risky and difficult but by applying a few key rules and testing your chosen consultancy against these you’ll have every chance of success.

Do give us a call to discuss how we can help with your implementation. If you need a good plumber, then we might be able to help there too.

If you've like to find out more, contact us today for an initial, no obligation discussion about your aspirations and how we can help you and your business deliver your vision for the future on +44 (0) 1282 463710.

If you'd liked to find out more about why you should use Gradient, visit our About Us and Why Gradient pages.

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