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I've already discussed the importance of using the soft­ware company for initial setup and consultation. Build­ing on that solid base, now be sure that the system is set up in a way that supports and IMPROVES your current business performance and sales and operations plan­ning. Always remember that you didn't buy a new sys­tem because you had money to burn—you bought it to make an improvement.


You need to get users involved to tailor screens and reports so that they display logically, and to make it as easy as possible to make adjustments and correct errors. The truth is that if a task is not easily done, it won't be done! This is not to say that every task will be as easily done as on your legacy system, but the total package of accuracy, so fewer exceptions will occur and need less work, and the time it takes to make those adjustments should be less than before.


Do not make the mistake of thinking you must im­mediately use every feature of a new system. You don't need to ring every bell and blow every whistle. Use only the ones needed for immediate success. You and your consultant should discuss future options so that the system may be set up to support them, but a new sys­tem is a lot to learn. Focus on first things first. If your want to use other features later, your software company will be there to help. And, it's always a good idea to get them involved the first time you do use a new function to be sure you do it correctly and don't tangle up files that could take weeks to fix if you neglected to make a back-up file.

Don't scrimp on training for ALL the users, either. This increases buy-in, as users get answers to their ques­tions first-hand and learn the easiest way to do a task, and will pay you back for years in better efficiency by eliminating confusion. Remember playing "Telephone"? By the time the message got around, it sounded noth­ing like the original. The same thing happens when you trickle down training. Only the results are less than amusing when you realize that folks using a forecasting system are actually gambling with millions of dollars of your chips.

To Be Continued

For balance of this article, click on the below link:

Lean Manufacturing Articles and click on Series 15

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