According to a recent survey, 80 percent of CEO’s believe they deliver superior customer service. But only 8 percent of their customers agree. Increasingly, customer dissatisfaction is caused by organizational complexity. Think about outdated processes, manual operations and the impact of multiple versions of the truth. When companies are about to purchase a new ERP/CRM system, they compile a list of demands and wishes. The more departments and employees are involved in this process, the higher the selection standards will be. The consequences are often a new system that is too heavy, includes unnecessary customisation, a long implementation time span and therefore higher costs and risks. But most of all – it maintains the complexity. Time for a new approach?
Companies are used to describe their demands and wishes with regard to their new ERP/CRM software in a detailed manner. Usually all departments get the chance to supply their share of wishes. These realise that they should exploit this opportunity, because otherwise they will have to wait for long years once again. Therefore they ask for far too much. “Some prospects want to communicate with the moon via XML”, is a popular saying that perfectly characterises this process.
It is remarkable that end users are allowed to indicate their desires without any insight in the cost/gain ratio. Desires that will strongly influence complexity. And without occupying themselves with the consequences for the release flexibility. Does it still seem strange that in practice, companies are only using a small part of the available functionality? After all, by the time that this work of art finally is operational, it turns out that the dynamics of the market have changed to such an extent that the selected configuration has already become obsolete.
Less is more. Ensure that your organization knows how to control itself when it comes to defining requirements and wishes. Staying close to the standard functionality of your favourite solution will help you to benefit from all the innovations that you can expect in the coming years.
And simple is better. In today’s fast changing world, simplicity in your business processes is a huge advantage. It makes you an attractive partner for your customers. On top of that it makes you less dependent on the handful of senior employees that understand the current complexity. And finally, it will make your organisation more scalable. It is therefore advisable to carry out a simplification process internally before you start selecting your new software.
If you are down-to-earth while compiling your list of requirements and wishes and if you focus on reducing complexity, this will become the first victory for your new ERP/CRM system!