Information about Macola Solutions for Small to Midsize Businesses
Rarely has a budget been seen in a positive light. In personal finance, it is just a yoke that keeps you from doing the things you want like taking a vacation or buying a fishing boat.
In business, it is just an annual, time-consuming exercise that often yields little more than a hammer for your manager to use to justify declining your conference request.
Or it becomes a tool for the sales manager to stir up the sales force that hasn’t “made their numbers”. I am willing to go out on a limb and say that those budgets probably follow the traditional process of “last year + 10% on revenue and 5% on expenses” method. They are just meaningless numbers on a spreadsheet.
The short answer is kind of.
But then this would be the shortest article ever written probably, and some folks might not find “kind of” to be a very fulfilling answer to the question posed.
Over my 15+ years of experience in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) world I’ve worn many hats and done everything from management to consulting to sales engineering, and I have to say that the term "Silos of Data" is probably one of the most commonly used analogies in the business.
It’s especially used pervasively in white papers and sales engagements because the visual image that literal silos full of data evokes is frightening to C-level decision makers everywhere!
In my first post in the series on “Asking Why”, we covered how asking why is the key to unlocking business process improvements. So, once you know that it is important to ask why, the next logical question is, “where do we start?”
That’s right, even today, there are companies still new to the Internet, or at least new to figuring out what’s needed to get orders from their website into their Macola Order Entry system. And the reality is, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but the main considerations for putting your plan together are similar across the board: Customers, Inventory, and Orders.
For manufacturers and distributors, product availability (i.e. inventory) is the driver of almost all revenue-generating activity. Next to fixed assets (property, equipment), inventory represents the biggest outlay of capital.
The great management thinker Peter Drucker has been quoted as saying “you can’t manage what you can’t measure”. True, and if you can’t manage it, you at least need to know what impact it can have on you and your business. But what about the things you can measure?
Then you change one little word and have, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”. But, just because you can measure something, should you? Does the measurement provide value for the organization?
One of my downtime activities is doing dot-to-dot puzzles. Not the ones of puppies or sail boats from elementary school, but 1000 dot recreations of classic art masterpieces or landscapes. I love connecting the dots and seeing a new picture emerge.
Have you ever started a new job, and during the training asked why a labor-intensive task or process was being done the way you were being trained?
Was the answer one of the following?
- “That’s the way we’ve always done it.”
- “That’s the way I was taught to do it.”
- “I don’t know.”
- “Because this is how we do it here.”
- “If we don’t do it this way, what if something goes wrong/the numbers don’t match/I make a
Material Requirements Planning (MRP) can be a daunting concept to discuss for implementation at your company. Many companies have software that has the capabilities to facilitate MRP but the users simply don’t have the knowledge on how to set it up properly. The larger MRP challenge beyond the lack of setup knowledge is how to actually utilize the information the system provides to support “make” and “buy” decisions.