Automating your business processes gives you the opportunity to gain a distinct competitive advantage, but all your hard work can be undone by an inferior implementation or a lackluster integration.
“Since the software implementation ended, we’ve literally never used it,” sighs an Accounts Payable Supervisor for a chain of Midwest manufacturing plants.
He sits back in his chair as his eyes slowly rise towards the ceiling.
“We purchased our current solution six months ago because it checked all of our boxes. Unfortunately, we have not had enough help implementing it to actually use it properly. That’s why we called your team.”
Another man, dressed neatly, sits across from him taking notes on a legal pad. “It’s just sitting on the shelf?”
“Well, not literally,” the AP Supervisor laughs. “But it might as well be.”
“Well first, let me start by saying that I’m sorry your business had a poor experience with your last vendor. However, I’m happy to say that we can help! We aren’t going to leave your side until your system is fully functional and you’ve observed an appreciable ROI. How does that sound?”
“Sounds like we’ve got a deal.”
When our Solution Engineers hear horror stories like this from our customers, which, unfortunately, is more often than we care to admit, they are flabbergasted. Whether you’re looking for a simple fix to address a single issue with your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system or a robust solution to transform your business, it is the vendor’s responsibility to ensure that your purchase is not only integrated securely in your existing work environment but also generating the ROI your company needs to justify its purchase.
When it comes to automation, you cannot afford to waste money on an unusable solution. Comprehensive, industry-leading features are important, but not if they’re locked away behind a wall of complicated code. Therefore, it is paramount that businesses keep implementation and customer service top of mind when shopping for an automation solution.
Caution: Companies Purchase the Wrong Solution All the Time
Let’s face it, shopping for enterprise software isn’t easy. When you start your search, you’re going to be confronted with hundreds, possibly even thousands of software options, but only a handful of those will have the features you’re looking for. Among those, maybe two or three will be compatible with your ERP system or line of business application – if you’re lucky.
It’s not uncommon for a company to purchase the wrong solution. In fact, it happens more often than you might think. Sometimes, it results in a situation similar to the scenario described above. In other cases, a solution might yield positive results but fail to live up to its true potential or the potential of a different solution. There’s an opportunity cost when you implement the wrong software integration, one that can undercut your bottom line for years.
The software implementation phase is your chance to test your system, ask questions, train your employees, and ensure that you have everything you need to successfully automate your company. Here are three reasons why you can’t afford to make a mistake:
Reason #1: Seamless Integrations Require Intimate Familiarity With Your Core Business Processes
Most businesses are seeking a seamless integration with their existing ERP system. In other words, a solution that has been carefully architected by an expert who understands the vulnerabilities of the system, how to work around them, and how to get the highest level of functionality from the integration – but that’s only the beginning. Let’s set aside the technicalities of a seamless software integration and focus on what matters most – your business. You need to be able to answer a lot of questions before you can be certain that your proposed solution is the right fit, chief among them:
Can the solution emulate my core business processes perfectly?
At IntelliChief, our Solution Engineers are trained to answer this question, and because IntelliChief has the rare distinction of universal compatibility with all ERP systems and line of business applications, our team’s implementation experience is unparalleled. Here is a brief summary of some of the steps that must be taken for a perfect implementation:
- Detailed analysis of top vendors, processing time, and opportunities for business process optimization
- Robust testing and validation of AP automation with top vendors
- Automated OCR testing using real transactional content
- Integrated training using live samples in the actual working environment
- Daily engagements to answer questions and address challenges
- 30-60-90 milestones to validate independent metrics against testing metrics
Reading #2: Only an Expert Can Provide Evidence of ROI Before Launch
Models and statistics do a fantastic job of conveying what should happen following your software implementation; however, many businesses find that their results differ drastically from their expectations. It requires a unique talent and a gift for working within the fabric of a client’s company to guarantee ROI that meets their goals.
There is only one way to truly know whether your software integration can meet your requirements, and that is by testing it live with your authentic business data. This will give you an unrestricted look at how your solution operates within your existing ERP environment. You will know precisely what to expect on Day 1, ensuring that there are no unexpected surprises as you begin to work faster, smarter, and more accurately than ever before.
Reading #3: Planning for Future Projects Begins During the First Phase of Implementation
Another reason why the software implementation phase is a strong determiner of future success is that it gives you the opportunity to establish a long-term plan. This is one of the major benefits of a software partnership as opposed to a faceless software vendor. There are only a handful of vendors who offer this level of service, IntelliChief residing chiefly among them.
With IntelliChief, you can automate one department (i.e., Accounts Payable), reap the benefits, and then use your new-found capital to continue automating other departments. For example, automating Accounts Receivable is essentially the inverse of automating Accounts Payable, which means you can essentially double your savings. It’s worth noting that a software partnership with an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) vendor like IntelliChief will give you the ability to scale your solution according to the needs of your growing company.