If you have a company, it means you have processes to optimize, even if your company consists only of you. The only difference is that the more people you have, the more complicated the work flow becomes and there is always a part of the process that can be done better. Good companies want to do what they do excellently, not just well. Excellency is what Translas is going for and, in order to achieve it, you first have another major task – to connect your team with the idea of change. This is not an easy task. Marcel Hamoen, who is responsible for the implementation of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) at Translas, has outlined the steps of the process below.
As a company that always looks for improvements, we have noticed a few significant benefits.
Customer benefits – by using the new ERP add-ons, we are expecting to achieve shorter delivery times by the end of the year. The other benefit for the customer is that ERP is one of the main reasons Translas can maintain its price range while still delivering high-quality torches.
Internally, we are happy to notice a shift in attitude. People within all of our departments are now more open to change. This will make it much easier to implement future improvements and to achieve additional customer benefits. “First we started with ‘Lean’ but now we realize that the more you think of improvements, the more you see improvements.” This change in attitude is what keeps us on top.
First of all, there are initial steps to be taken. Before anything else, you need to convince yourself how badly the change is needed. If you’re not convinced, you have no chance of convincing others. This is how it works at Translas:
1) Make a clear flow line – the first step is about analysing. You need to make a clear and detailed line of a process flow within your company. Only after you have this down in black and white can you say whether there are any steps that are unnecessary or repetitive. Very often two departments repeat the same step. It is a shame to be wasting your time in such a way. This step will define what kind of ERP solution your company needs.
2) Don’t just jump into a solution – after understanding which ERP solution you need, don’t just jump in and start implementing it. It is very important that the solution you find fits the workflow within your company. ERP can provide add-ons that are a good fit for one company but may not be the right fit for your company. This can have a tremendous effect on your Return on Investment (ROI). Technology is an expensive investment that can also earn you a lot, but only if used intelligently. Don’t blindly trust any one, particular ERP adviser.
3) Be honest about it – after the analysis is completed is the best moment to discuss your findings with the team. Don’t stress them out. Explain to them what the potential benefits would be and make it clear that there will be testing before any final decision is taken. Otherwise, you might find resistance from the other side straight from the beginning.
4) Create a demo environment – a demo environment consists of copying your database into the particular ERP solution you want to try. Most of the time this solution is an add-on to your software. Then, start testing it with the people who will be using it the most.
5) Implement (after a successful demo) – the last step is, of course, to implement the add-on. In this step, you need to provide further training for those who took part in the demo. After they have the hang of it, it will be much easier to transfer the knowledge to the rest of the department.
It is human nature to avoid change. Therefore, it is very unlikely that you’ll NOT hear questions, such as: “But is it really necessary?” For the same reason, there is no best time to introduce a change in the workflow. You just have to know how to get people’s commitment.
Know Your Numbers
As mentioned before, there are two important questions to answer before you share anything with the team: The first question is – “Is it really necessary to have this?” The second question is – “What does the business case show? Do I get the ROI I am looking for?” After you have this information and you have convinced yourself, you can back up your words.
Involve The Influencers.
Start with the demo in order to interact with those who will be using it eventually. Always pick people that are respected and have formal or informal influence on the rest of their department. If they’re convinced, then it will be much easier to implement the solution down the line; the need for this increases when you have conservative eyes observing you.
Ask For Feedback, And Especially Negative Feedback.
Why is negative feedback so important? Everyone gets used to the things they like much quicker than to the things they do not like. If you can eliminate or modify the process so that it best suits your team, you will see less resistance from them.
Take Your Time.
“If it takes a long time, that doesn’t matter. I have to see in their eyes that they’re ready for it. Because you can have the greatest software, but it’s the people who make it work.”- Marcel Hamoen.
Welding torches and welding equipment from Translas are distinctive in ergonomics, durability, performance, shape, and appearance.