This is number 6 in our series of blog posts exploring 10 key steps in successfully implementing an ERP solution for small-to-medium manufacturing businesses.
We hope you find them useful; don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!
“Once it becomes demonstrable that new technology will make many operations and tasks easier, many employees buy in to the initiatives and become enthusiastic supporters.”
Change Can Involve Fear
Businesses have to adapt to the rapidly changing technological demands of its customers and its business partners, and luckily, it often isn’t as daunting a task as it may have been in the recent past. Whether it’s software changes every couple of years, or a complete systems overhaul, customers now expect that the companies they work with maintain a current technological standard. What customers don’t see, though, is the very human adjustments to these changes that must inevitably follow within the companies they depend on.
Although not as huge a hurdle as perhaps 10 or 20 years ago, thanks to the rapidly moving environment of technological innovation and software updates that any computer user is now used to, enacting any changes to procedures, processes, software, and “how we do things” will inevitably involve a bit of fear.
Human beings are always reluctant to change: we get comfortable in how we do things during our days, how things are organized and, even when we realize that it’s not the most efficient way, perhaps, it’s still the easiest for us, because that’s how we’ve always done it.
Communication is Key
In our previous commentary, we’ve discussed other aspects of the work that goes into making the decision to improve business software solutions, and after much research has been done, those involved in the decision-making process will have a good understanding of how it will positively affect the company. What is more difficult to remember is communicating that message to the rest of the staff, whose work may be significantly impacted by the changes. Helping them see the long-term strategies that can be achieved through a new technology will be a solid investment in a positive outcome, by alleviating some of the natural fear that comes from change.
No doubt potential pitfalls and employee concerns may arise and will seem overwhelming without proper support from both inside the company and from external help. The consulting that we provide is unique to your circumstances, follows the conversion process from start to finish, and helps to transform potential obstacles into opportunities. We can help you talk with your staff about the best ways to accomplish company goals, and provide experienced, objective guidance on solutions for improving your key metrics.
While some anxiety can help keep those involved in the task of switching ERP systems alert and focused, it is important to turn fear of the unknown into an opportunity to learn and grow. For example, the planned conversion is a perfect opportunity to allow staff to examine workflows, thinking through potential issues before they happen and learning about how their activities impact the company as a whole. This demonstrates your confidence in your staff and their abilities, drawing on all of the human resources you have at your disposal.
This brings us back to the lead quote, which highlights the importance of including the entire staff in the process as much as possible and the need to demonstrate how the implementation will ultimately benefit not only the company, but all employees involved. This mindset will help make the sometimes slow process of learning new procedures more bearable. Yes, changing software and business procedures includes stress, but with some patience, assistance, and your goal firmly in mind, you can overcome the perfectly normal fear factor involved in a new software implementation.
Let us help you find the perfect business management solution for your distributing or manufacturing business. Call us at (440) 498-9920 today.
Mary Jo O'Neill