Defining your needs before you buy

So what do taxes and computer systems have in common?  Well it is not that they are inevitable, because I have seen profitable companies that have very little in the way of corporate software and no, QuickBooks and Excel do not make a software solution.  Well we will discuss that answer in just a bit, but to the point….

So you are thinking that a new TMS or WMS system will improve your bottom line or increase your capacity, but what is it that you really need?  Are you looking to find that ultimate system which will keep your dock, accounting, warehousing, planners and sales people happy?  Are you really interested in the latest and greatest?  Do you need RFiD or even label tracking?

All those are interesting questions, but the real question is if I buy a software package, how do I get the most “bang for the buck”?

Software and computer systems are simply a tool to do the same process faster and more consistently.  Some software does better with certain processes than other software packages do.  Each one seems to have a specialty.

The key is to make sure the processes they are doing are the correct processes for your company.  If you have bad processes or have to change to a bad process, I can guarantee one thing.  The software will do that bad process more quickly and make sure the bad process is consistant.

To understand software, you have to understand processes.  There are no shortcuts.  By skipping the process evaluation, you may save on the short run, but pay in the long run.  Penny wise, and pound foolish.

Just like you have processes in your business, software acquisition is equally and important process.

So what is the relationship between taxes and computer systems?  Well the fact of doing things in the right order.  If I fill out my tax forms as I see fit, the government will not agree with me.  I cannot just place any number in any box, perform math by the numbers that I want, or skip steps in preparing my tax forms.  So for our businesses, we hire professionals to make sure that we do it right.  If we fail to perform it correctly, the government makes sure to separate us from even more of our hard earned cash.

It is the same way with computer systems, but computer systems have the benefit of a higher return for our diligence.  If we do the process correctly, we gain by not having costs for failed systems down the road.  We ensure our success.  We insure that the extra expense of that fancy system is justified for our processes and will work with our people.  We insure profitablity.

If you are interested in a free initial discussion, please contact me.  I have been known to tell people they are on the right path and I don’t believe my services are necessary.  However, it may be that hiring me could save you hundreds of thousands of dollars in mistakes.