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As a young man I was fortunate to be trained in boxing by an Australian middle weight champion, Brian (Swampy) Marsh, who used to work with my dad in the hotel we had in Brisbane. In those days when my father first took over that hotel, you needed to be good with your hands – the hotel he had taken over was a known bikie hang out and it took some effort to clean it up. I learnt a lot from Swampy over the years. He would say two things to me: 1) boxing doesn’t create character, it reveals it; and 2) if you are in trouble, stay on your feet, keep swinging and look for your opportunities.

ERP projects are similar. It takes character to be successful and it quickly highlights if you are unprepared. Executives looking to undertake an ERP replacement project, which many seem to be at the moment when you consider how busy the software vendors are, need to ensure they are prepared for what’s coming. At a high level ensure you have the following topics covered: 

  • Ensure you have a decisive decision making process in place. Now is not the time for decisions by consensus. 
  • Ensure you have bench strength. You cannot do this successfully part-time no matter how you rationalise it. 
  • Be clear in what you want. A software vendor cannot tell you how to run your business. 
  • Be ready and willing to be challenged. 
  • If you don’t already have it, start developing a culture of accountability and delivering results. This is critical over the next twelve months of an ERP project. 

I outline all the areas you need to prepare for in my book, The 14 Deadly Sins of ERP Implementation, available here:

If you’re an executive or owner of a mid-sized or large company and want to discuss ideas on how you can use systems and technology to dramatically improve efficiency, decrease costs, and increase profits and enhance scalability, give me a call. 


© David Ogilvie

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