“ERP is just IT, right?”
Quick thoughts by a non-IT professional.
Ahem - actually, wrong.
Although an ERP is software written by IT professionals….
It is also so much more.
For a very long time, I categorized ERPs as IT and thought no more of it. However, working for a software house (as a psychologist), I found myself thinking about ERP installations more carefully.
Choosing an ERP is like choosing a school for your child.
School is a place where kids learn to read and count, and learn loads more facts.
But as you well know, that’s only a fraction of school experience.
A GOOD school helps children REACH THEIR TRUE POTENTIAL.
For this, children will also learn to make plans, interact with each other, set and achieve goals.They will experience hard work, and how to achieve success. In a good school they learn how to make decisions, and how to use resources wisely.
The gist of this is that you certainly want more for your children than just the ability to read and write.
How does this relate to ERPs?
When you decide to have a new ERP system, investing money, time and effort, you want a distinctly improved company in your hands.
Just like with schools, you should expect more from ERP systems than the “core curriculum” of help with inventory management, sales data and accounting….
In fact, a good ERP and its installation should make transformation a reality, to fully achieve your long-term business goals.
Why isn’t it IT?
The ERP installation process will affect the company in many ways.
For example, it will facilitate conversations about workflows and new standard procedures. Ultimately, the system should reflect and guard the core values and management style of your company. It should also become an ally in Change Management. (These are a few non-tech examples from a long list.)
Would you consider that IT? ...Of course not.
Because ERP is not IT.
Who knows, maybe one day we’ll have a proper description for it!