Every day I help customers to get the most out of their business through the use of smart software solutions. And what I’m really convinced about is that the right 'attitude' can really make the difference. A critical, open and honest attitude of both the customer and myself as a consultant is absolutely necessary to achieve the optimal result.
Why the consultant must be critical
As a consultant you should not give the customer what he asks for. That may sound strange, but it is easy to explain. If you really want to help the customer, you have to give him what he needs. This means that you have to examine every process of the customer, weigh out every requirement or wish of the customer with regard to the system and critically ask for the why behind the customer's opinion. As a consultant, you know best how processes run optimally and whether the customer's requirements regarding the software are justified or whether a process change or workaround are more appropriate. This can lead to heavy discussions, but this is necessary to achieve the best project result. As a consultant, you have to take on a professional attitude, do not shy away from discussions, do not focus criticism on the person but on the process, and vice versa, do not take the customer's criticism personally.
Why the customer must be critical
An ERP system affects the entire organization and the choices you make during the implementation affect the organization's success for the coming years. Therefore, use the ERP implementation to take steps forward. That means that you should not copy your current processes 1-on-1 to a new system, but that you have to be open to changes and improvements. New ways of working that you probably have to get used to, but that will benefit the organization. Make sure that internally you all look critically at the business processes and find out where improvement is possible. On the other hand, you also have to be critical of what the consultant tells you and not simply accept everything he or she says. If a certain process step or feature in the software is of great importance to your company, you have to work hard and defend that customization.
The shortest route to success
ERP software can really make the difference for organizations. If you choose for a quality system supported by a partner with expertise, your company will achieve a clear competitive advantage. But the software is just a tool, your way of working is much more important. And that requires a critical attitude from both you and the software partner. Be open to criticism, be critical yourself, dare to tell the truth and you will see: this is the shortest route to success.
Luuk Busschers is Consultant at Dysel and helps customers to achieve their goals by using industry-specific ERP software.