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Summer is Over, It's Back to School Time

9/7/18 10:00 AM


Seek knowledge, solve issues

I hope everyone had a nice summer. Now that all the kids are back in school, maybe you should think about going “back to school” as well. Let me explain.

I’ve never had a customer tell me, “Absolutely everything is going GREAT! Not going to change a thing, no room for improvement here!” The opposite is true. Customers have no problem telling us where they need to improve. They are usually quite articulate in describing the problem and the issues it causes. They can also describe – in detail – how solving the problem would help them.

Yet the problem continues to remain a problem. This can continue for months or years.

Why is that? I’m not going to claim to know all the reasons why, but being around this phenomenon for many years has given me some insight: They don’t know how to get from their current condition (problem) to their desired condition (problem solved). That’s the first issue; and that’s where “going back to school” comes in. Select a problem and learn how to solve it. There is knowledge all around you. ERP has help files, there is a Knowledge Base at Infor Xtreme, there is an awesome Conference in October, and we’re here. Answers aren’t just going to drop in your lap, but they can be found. Commit yourself to getting that done. Do your homework!

My next insightful tip is this: The problem isn’t solved once you figure out a solution. It needs to be implemented. This means everyone needs to agree on the solution; and everyone needs to be committed to the solution. There needs to be a shared belief the problem can be solved with this solution. There needs to be a shared vision of a world where the problem doesn’t exist. You’ll need this momentum because…

…old habits die hard. (My last insight.) Doubt always creeps in during the learning curve phase of the implementation. That doubt needs to be confronted. All steps in the right direction need to be celebrated and reinforced. Stay committed to the solution until the solution becomes the new habit. At that point, the problem is solved.

 You can do this! Class dismissed...

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Jack Shannon

Written by Jack Shannon

Jack is the President of Visual South and has been working with ERP since 1996 when he bought it in his role as a Plant Manager. Since 1998 he has worked for Visual South with roles in consulting, sales and executive management.