Onboarding a whole new business software like JIWA was a big decision. Particularly for smaller businesses, who likely made the big investment in hopes it will boost their capabilities, operations and – ultimately – profits.
A lot of research would have gone into choosing the software that would be right for your business – finding the right functionality at the right price point. Potentially hours and hours went into one single software choice.
But how long did you spend thinking about how the software provider will support you during and after the software implementation process?
The truth is, no matter how well a website, demo or salesperson has sold the functionality of a particular software to you, whether you actually achieve those capabilities comes down to how it’s set up to run in your business. I’m here to argue that software implementation is more important than the software itself.
It’s frighteningly easy to end up with a software setup that doesn’t work for your business
There are around 200 ERP options on the market for small-medium sized businesses. And while they will all sit in different places on the functionality/price scale, when it comes down to it, they are all very similar in the features they offer.
What’s not similar is how they perform for different businesses.
No doubt you invested in JIWA because you saw it could deliver certain functionality you were looking for. But simply buying the software doesn’t guarantee flawless functionality on installation. Just because it offers (for example) great inventory management, it’s the implementation, setup and preparation that actually determines whether great inventory management will actually be achievable after the go–live.
The results the software produces are not necessarily valuable if the inputs have not been qualified and understood to give a realistic output. Unless you understand the question you are trying to solve, and how it could be solved, you will end up with software that results in:
- Limited functionality
- Minimal operational improvement (in some cases, it can even make it more difficult)
- Spurious report results
- Business decisions made based on false information.
Let’s look at an example. Say you use JIWA to set up restocking to be based on sales quantity. By all reports, sales are going incredibly well and you’re frequently restocking. But your system hasn’t been set up to recognise the price differentiation between your stock pieces. What’s actually selling is small pieces with tiny margins.
These sales aren’t making you money – they might not even be covering operating costs. And because important points weren’t communicated during implementation, you’re not seeing the right data, so you’re not investing your capital in the right place. This ends up costing you sales and growth opportunities.
How does it happen and how do you stop it?
There’s likely a reason you chose JIWA software for your business. There was a function of it that you were attracted to, and made you believe it was the right fit for how you operate.
But did you end up with all the functionality you originally wanted? What about as your business changes – has your software adequately keep up, and will it continue to?
Software that doesn’t live up to its potential happens because of a generic – or non-customised – implementation or optimisations that lack expert guidance. Without support from a JIWA expert, the process won’t account for your unique business needs, the way you operate, what specific outcomes you want to achieve or how the intricacies of your business might affect outcomes.
While JIWA can be used for many businesses, that doesn’t mean all businesses are the same. Today’s ERPs are made to be flexible but “the flex” needs to happen during the setup process.
To ensure this happens, you want to seek software setup and training processes that include information specific to your business, such as:
- How the software works
- How to use it to achieve your desired results
- What parts might not be suited to your business
- Any changes you will be required to make to your current processes
For example, sometimes with systems changeover comes a change in accounting processes, requiring businesses to change from cash accounting to accrual accounting. This needs to be adequately explained to and understood by business accountants before going live.
Weigh up the effort and the outcome
While ending up with a piecemeal implementation is unfortunately quite common, making sure you get the bespoke, value-added setup or optimisation doesn’t need to be difficult. To ensure you’re getting a business-specific service and the best chance to get the most out of your JIWA software (whether it’s new or you’ve had it for years):
- Work with a support provider like Attkey that can meet you in the middle. You need to find a consultant who can offer common ground – someone who will learn your business and guide implementation and optimisation accordingly. Attkey, for example, has been providing JIWA support for longer than nearly any other company. We know JIWA back to front and can work with you to get to know your business too, resulting in completely customised support.
- Talk with a real person and help them understand the goals you are seeking. You want to be able to ask questions – and our consultants will want to ask questions about your business, too.
- Focus on the data. This is what drives your ERP. When optimising your JIWA software, you want to make sure you have the right data in the right place and make sure it’s delivering the right results. The right support provider should have a support process in place to help you with this.
At Attkey, we offer clients customised implementation and ongoing support for your JIWA software. But – more than that – we offer our experience and understanding, discussing what your business actually is and what you aim to achieve. We’ll then use that information to ensure the best use of the software.
If you want more information on the support you can receive and how to make the most of your JIWA software, contact me on (02) 9648 3323 or at email@example.com