Many people attribute this quote to Anthony Robbins and before him Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, and even Mark Twain.  Regardless of the origin, what matters is the point it makes.  If you want to change the end result, you need to change the way you do things. 

I think of this quote a lot when working with companies that are evaluating a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solution or a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution.  Many times, you will find people that are looking to improve the end result but do NOT want to change the process.  Sometimes individuals in organizations even go so far as to denigrate the software saying it forces process change.  The fact is, most companies that are looking to implement a new ERP or CRM solution are doing so as a result of a change (growth, acquisition, decline, new legal requirements, and so forth) or a desire to change.  Those driving factors imply not only looking at how software can help, but also spending the time and effort to overhaul process to achieve the ultimate goal—efficiency and cost savings. 

I know the owner of a small (2 employee) HVAC business in rural North Dakota that has been in operation for over 30 years.  They have a steady flow of business but have never focused on growth.  Therefore, technology hasn’t played a large part in managing this business; there hasn’t been a need.  The invoices are now printed off of their one computer (versus handwritten back in the 80’s and early 90’s) but the process is really the same.  It’s simple.  They now have a plan to dramatically grow this business over the next 5 years.  The business owner is nervous but understands that changing the process and technology are essential or he will fail.   

When looking to implement a new ERP or CRM solution it is important to separate out the businesses key differentiators that need to be maintained or enhanced versus the processes that need to be changed/improved.  Ask yourself, why do we do the things we do?  What makes us different?  Why do certain customers come to us?  What do we offer that sets us apart from our competition? 

Implementing any new piece of technology should always return a positive return on your investment (unless you are legally required to do it).  Technology implementations should always go hand in hand with a process improvement strategy.  It should make your business more efficient, win you more business, or lower your costs.  Technology is about delivering a change to drive these types of results.  Remember, if you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got

For help with evaluating a new ERP software solution or effectively implementing a new CRM solution contact Summit Group Software today!