The editors of APICS Magazine recently provided some sound advice worth heeding when it comes to your technology investments, and we thought the outside affirmation worth sharing.
As the article states at the outset: “The task of evaluating and selecting the right technology for your business can be daunting.” To ensure you’re approaching your mission properly, doing your due diligence and “considering the right aspects of the problem and available solutions” they make the following basic and simple, but critical, suggestions.
- Start my mapping out your processes.
- Look at your current state, and what your future state is going to be, and figure out how you’re going to get there.
- At a high level, consider your company’s environment – how your industry is changing, what competitors are doing, and how the economy (here and abroad) is changing – and how these will influence your processes.
- During evaluation, consider the ROI of your purchase. Some tech investments (like ERP) can take years to deliver returns, depending on your economies of scale. Make sure the ROI is reasonable for your purposes.
- Be sure your new technology “speaks the same language” as the other solutions your company uses. Sometimes a new piece of technology may be very attractive based on its performance, but you have to know that you can integrate it into all your other systems. If you have to rewrite routines or add operations to what you’re doing, then maybe you’re not accomplishing the efficiencies you envisioned.
The steps are simple and should be intuitive, but you’d be surprised at how many companies neglect to pay attention to these cautions, or skip some steps, when looking to implement new technology solutions. Don’t burn yourself.