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What You Need to Know About Implementing an Inventory Control System

09 May 2014
Choosing and implementing a business inventory system requires a strong understanding of how these systems work. Here's your overview.

Transcript

[00:00:02.100]
If you are thinking about selecting a new POS inventory control system, this is important information for you to have. This video is not about any particular software. It applies to implementing any POS inventory control system. At this time, the success rate for implementing business software is somewhere between 60 and 70 percent. And that's just pitiful. The truth is, what people do or do not understand about implementing the software has as much to do with the success rate as the systems themselves.

[00:00:34.770]
As long as the system is a reasonably constructed best practice system, then your implementation is likely to work. If you understand how to do such an implementation and it is likely to flounder or fail if you do not. I'll just briefly introduce myself. My name is Andrea Hill and I own a company called Hill Management Group. We have several brands serving small businesses, including StrategyWerx, SupportWerx (renamed WerxMarketing in 2016), MentorWerx and JewelryWerx. I've spent most of my career running midsized corporations and learning my own lessons about how to run a business and grow it.

[00:01:08.630]
Then in 2007, I launched my own consulting company so I could apply those skills to helping small business owners. I'm a business strategy expert and in the course of helping businesses improve their strategy, we often have to improve or upgrade business software. I've managed implementations of everything from Great Plains, Oracle and SAP to POS systems for retailers and production inventory systems for manufacturers. In the process, I've developed a methodology for improving the success rate of the implementation process, and I'm sharing the structure of this methodology with you.

[00:01:44.360]
This is not the first methodology for implementing software, but most of the methodologies are written for engineers and software developers and they are very difficult for small business owners without an engineering or technology background to decipher. This methodology is very simple, very straightforward, and it gets the job done. The specifics must be adapted to each business and software, but the framework is the same. And if you understand it, you'll have a much better understanding of what you're getting into and you'll experience much greater likelihood of success.

[00:02:19.440]
Here are a few things that I'm not. I'm not a software developer, nor does my company sell software. We have no software company affiliations and we are not a value added added reseller sometimes called a VAR. I put this video together simply to give small business owners a better shot at successfully planning for and implementing software. Why? Because it's critical to small business success. This is the way we think about running our businesses. It's a very common sense and organic thought process.

[00:02:54.230]
We have the customer at the center of everything and then we do a bunch of stuff for the customers. We take orders, we make things for them. We give them service. And everything gravitates around this customer and the customers experience.

[00:03:10.290]
And then we go to implement an inventory control the sale system, and suddenly it seems like everything we are doing in our business is wrong. It's as if the software was developed for a company in an alternate universe, and it's hard for us to understand why. The problem is that inventory systems think about running a business very differently than that organic customer centric approach that you and I are accustomed to. The approach to managing business from a software developer standpoint is very rigid and hierarchical.

[00:03:45.380]
This is primarily a limitation of code or at least what has been possible with code up until now. Things are changing and code is becoming far more organic and intuitive. But we are still, at the very least, several years away from anything significantly different from what's available today. All software available right now has the same limitation. Inventory control systems, even when they're attached to an accounting system or provide accounting within them, even when they provide modules through the point of sale or customer relationship management, they're all based on this idea that inventory is the foundation of the system and that customer management is at the very tip.

[00:04:27.280]
This is not just a reverse of the organic system that you're accustomed to. It's an entirely different structure. And this throws most non developers for a loop. Inventory information is the heart of an inventory control system, if the inventory information isn't in the system and if it isn't correct, then nothing else works properly. This is the main problem for companies implementing POS and inventory control systems. The POS aspects of the system are relatively intuitive, but the inventory systems are not.

[00:05:02.970]
Add to this that most people are interested in focusing on the customer aspects, so they try to skip and avoid and ignore the inventory parts and we end up with very imbalanced implementations. So remember, without the inventory information, the rest of the system will always fall short. These systems are concerned with combining raw materials and labor and everything that it takes to make finished goods. And if those parts of the system aren't set up properly, the system simply won't work.

[00:05:34.590]
One of the reasons these systems seem so complex is that they're designed to meet the needs of a lot of companies, the core part of the system will be used by nearly all the users. But then there's always a lot of functionality that will only be used infrequently or by very few users. And this makes a lot of noise. It's tempting to get caught up in feeling overwhelmed by all the options. Instead, focus on your core needs to figure out which elements are essential to proper business function and ignore the rest.

[00:06:08.280]
You will find uses for many of the elements, though certainly not all over time. But get the core down first and tune out all that noise. When you buy software from a software vendor, you pay a fraction of what it would cost you to develop it and keep upgrading it, so the trade offs are money and time. The pros are that the software company invests in the software they keep upgrading and they get ongoing input from all the other users, they're upgrading not only their code, but ideally if it's a good software company, their underlying technology.

[00:06:47.310]
You get a lot of benefit from their investment in the software and also from the exposure to all the other business processes and innovations resulting from the combined brainpower of the community using the software, the cons are that sometimes it forces you to learn more functions than you need and that this rigid hierarchical approach that the code has to do to achieve the result can complicate processes that might otherwise be very simple if you were just doing the processes outside the system. There are always trade offs.

[00:07:18.450]
The tradeoffs are different from software system to software system, but there are always tradeoffs. Most small businesses can't compete anymore without complex software. So the big leap is to accept the challenge and take your business to the next level. What we're going to talk about now is how to make this process work for you. As you can see, there is a flow chart here and we're going to talk about how to get from software selection to implementation. This particular flowchart is really starting after the software has been selected up until the point that you go live or turn the switch on.

[00:07:56.090]
So we're going to start with identifying a software champion or group of champions, learning to use it, charting your business processes, inputting the data that needs to be in the system all the way through training and being set up and ready to go. Now, whether you invest in a major ERP system like SAP or Oracle or Great Plains or when you do part of your purchase price, figure of fifty thousand dollars plus will include expert support from an implementation specialist.

[00:08:27.390]
That doesn't mean that you don't need the information in this video. In fact, you really, really need the information presented here just so you can have proper expectations and participate in an effective way. But the value added reseller or implementation representative from the software company would actually be leading you through it. But for most small businesses, the business software investment is much lower, say between five thousand and twenty five thousand dollars. And those systems don't come with extensive implementation services.

[00:09:00.390]
Instead, they come with some one on one, usually train the trainer, training, terrific documentation, training videos, and that's it. Small businesses often suffer when implementing software because they must accomplish all of the complex implementation steps required for success. But they don't have the expertise and the software doesn't come with the support network. Any successful software implementation begins with a software expert, if you have someone who really digs learning new software and they're good problem solvers and they can think logically, then you're halfway there.

[00:09:39.830]
The caveat is that this person also needs to understand the hows and whys of your business processes. And this is where a lot of companies fall flat. They try to hand the software implementation to an IT person or a bookkeeper. And in most cases, those people don't have all of the business process knowledge that they need to be successful. They may understand it from how we turn on software and make software works or how the accounting works in the background of the business perspective.

[00:10:11.060]
But they can't deliver on all the underlying reasons why we do some things within the business. So remember not to treat major software implementations as an I.T. process. They're not. It is there to support the software itself, but it's a business process and it needs to be run by a software champion in your organization who becomes the software expert. But one of the things I've learned over time is that shortcomings in organizational understanding of the whys and hows of business really undermine the implementation of any software system.

[00:10:47.290]
In other words, small businesses often don't have a single person who has a sophisticated understanding of the business processes. So when we implement complex software, it forces us to sophisticated the way we think about our business. Everything you do in your business right now, not just when you get into the new system, but everything you do in your business right now has implications for your accounting system, your profit and loss, your balance sheet, your operating costs.

[00:11:16.960]
Sometimes it's not the software that's the problem, but rather an organizational need to understand the business elements that's missing. Implementing software will teach you this in a very harsh way if you're not aware of and prepared for it. So you start with your software champion, someone who really gets software, they know your business processes, they're good thinkers, they like problem solving and they become the experts. And you may need to do it with a team of people who together provide all of those skill sets.

[00:11:47.510]
But don't just assign it to the bookkeeper or the IT guy. It can take years to fully learn a software system. And you're not going to spend years getting ready to implement, or at least I hope you're not, you only need to get fully trained in the most critical elements, but you really need to be trained in those inventory systems aren't like learning Microsoft Word or Excel. They're complex and they require us to treat specific buckets of information, which they call fields in very consistent ways, or they don't work and they break down.

[00:12:21.980]
So the logic that's in the code behind all those fields expects certain types of information to be entered in those fields in order to work the way it was designed. And if you don't understand what type of information the software is looking for, you'll put the wrong data in. This is not as simplistic as garbage in, garbage out. It's more an issue of fit for use. A good example would be a swimming suit is a perfectly acceptable wardrobe item to wear on the beach or at the pool.

[00:12:52.340]
But a swimming suit is absolutely not fit for use at a black tie event. So you will need to learn to use the system and its fields the way they were designed, or you'll be putting the wrong type of data in certain fields and then wondering why they don't work. Get your software vendor to provide you with two complete walkthroughs. The first walkthrough should be the practical user facing experience. For instance, walking through a customer order from beginning to end, including producing inventory for that order.

[00:13:23.120]
Another walk through would be the production manager creating a job bag all the way through to closing out the job bag and entering the finished item in the system and checking the cost calculations this walk through is so you understand how the user will use the system. The second walkthrough should be to go through the system set ups and learn how to put the correct information in the correct fields. You will probably have to pay for this training. There's a lot of good software and there are a lot of good people selling software, but software vendors don't like to tell you the following thing.

[00:13:58.090]
They don't like to tell you that you should plan to spend whatever you spend on the software itself, again, on set up and training. In other words, if you spend ten thousand dollars on software, figure another ten thousand dollars on set up and planning and training. This is the absolute truth. The bigger the software, the higher the user count, the bigger the investment is and getting ready to use it so that one hundred percent fee on training and setup scales.

[00:14:25.470]
In my opinion, this is the biggest mistake that software vendors make. They don't want to inflate the price any more than necessary, so they don't tell the truth about the training and implementation costs. And the result is users who are left trying to figure out systems that are not intuitive and they haven't budgeted the time or the dollars to properly implement them. And then they become rapidly disillusioned. So be prepared to pay for implementation and training and set up and any complex software is going to require that you do this so.

[00:15:00.450]
You do the calculation yourself, don't wait for the software vendor to tell you you're going to need to spend all this money on implementation and training. You do the budget for it. And if you do a better job of implementing it and it comes in under that 100 percent, you know, equal to the cost that you spent on the software, fantastic. At least you'll come in under budget and you'll be in good shape and your expectations will have been proper.

[00:15:22.710]
So learn to use the system. Your software expert or your little team of experts are going to play with the system and really get used to using it. They're going to have the vendor give them a full walkthrough of how to do the processes. They're going to have the vendor give them a full walkthrough of how to do the set ups. And I always advise that you set up a test system or a dummy system so you can play to your heart's content.

[00:15:46.530]
And then when you're ready to set up the live system, set it up nice and clean from the beginning. Now we're going to talk about business processes. I have a favorite saying when it comes to business processes and it's first you solve the process, then you solve the people. At the heart of any successful software implementation is sound business practice, you cannot put good software on bad process and expect it to work. You start by documenting your processes and I mean every single process, sales orders, returns, sales, look, UPS, customer history, look, ups sending a make order to the shop, managing the production schedule, assigning raw materials to seeing final pieces, et cetera, et cetera.

[00:16:34.490]
Is this a lot of work? Yes. Will it help you implement your new software? Yes. Is it essential and good for your business? Yes. I never feel bad expecting companies to go through this step. I just feel bad that they almost never realized they had to go through it and they didn't budget for it in time or dollars. Once you document your processes, compare it to how the system works, your software vendor should be able to provide you with user workflows to aid you in this process.

[00:17:07.940]
You shouldn't have to pay for these. They should be part of the vendors documentation. And what you're going to do is compare the things the software does to the processes you have and you're going to identify where the software won't help you and where you might be missing processes that the software will require that you do. What you end up with are both desirable changes, meaning changes that you want to make because you recognize they're going to be good for your business and required changes, meaning changes that you will need to make because they are required for you to use the software.

[00:17:43.650]
A required change is something you wish you didn't have to do, but it makes sense to do given the software that you've purchased. There are always required changes in any software you purchase. They'll be different from software to software, but they're always there. Don't imagine that there's some software out there that won't force you to change anything. However, what you don't ever want to make is an undesirable change. And an undesirable change is any change that will negatively affect the customer.

[00:18:14.370]
Learn how to distinguish between required changes, things you don't want to do, but it makes sense to do them and undesirable changes, things you don't want to do because they're going to be bad for the customer. You need to learn how to distinguish between them because customizations are very expensive and they should be done very sparingly. So here's an example of tracing the steps of a special order process. You don't need an expert to come in and do flow charts for you.

[00:18:42.480]
Anyone can do a flow chart. And there are a lot of free flow charting apps online. Or if you use Microsoft Office, the flowchart is built right in. You will also find that many, perhaps even most of your business processes can be flow charted in 10 to 20 minutes. These are a bonus against the ones that take hours or days and a lot of arguing back and forth among your team members. Those are also really good processes to have the discussion about because you will improve your business as you go through the process of analyzing your processes.

[00:19:14.220]
But you will find most of your processes are very straightforward. In this example, the black stars indicate steps that will be taken that have nothing to do with the software. And the question mark represents something that you're not sure whether or not the system can accommodate. Now, here's a bonus, if you don't already have an operations manual going through, this process will create one. Remember, you're not investing in the software, you are investing in your business.

[00:19:42.290]
And this is really valuable work. OK, this is the part that nobody ever wants to do, remember the pyramid I showed you earlier, the entire system rests on inventory. So if you don't put the inventory in and put it in properly, the system simply won't work. I remember being called in to help with a failing implementation. At one point I was called in as a third party business expert. The business had a lot of retail stores and a distribution center and they didn't want to go through the expensive effort of putting their inventory into the system.

[00:20:16.960]
They wanted their store staff to add the inventory each time they took an order. As you can imagine, that put a huge amount of stress on sales and it also damaged customer service. Instead of being responsible and telling the retailer, no way, you have to put the inventory in the system or the system won't work. The software vendor, afraid of upsetting the purchaser of the software, actually gave the business owner some ideas of how to work around the system and and avoid the hard work of putting in the inventory.

[00:20:47.800]
And you can probably imagine the result. It was a completely failed implementation. There was massive customer dissatisfaction, a deep dive in morale and a full year delay in finishing the implementation. So let this be a cautionary tale to you. Do the work of getting your inventory in the system. It's not just necessary for whatever software you buy. It's vital for the success and management of your business. Once again, getting all your inventory in the system is hard work.

[00:21:16.510]
But you're not doing it for the software. You're doing it for your business. One training element you really must master in this section of getting your inventory in the system is units of measure and understanding the units of measure options in the system you purchase. The units of measure can be anything from inches and feet to ounces and pounds to each is three ounces. Grams could be carrot's with a C and Karatz with a K.

[00:21:45.710]
Not all systems use the same units of measure. Get your software provider to carefully and clearly explain everything to do with the units of measure in your new system. I've seen some implementations terribly disrupted because of poor understanding and setup of this element. What you're thinking about is when I put a piece of raw material in the system, what unit of measure am I using to identify the element? For instance, is it tubing or chain that I'm measuring by the end, or is it something that I measure by the pack or by weight or by volume?

[00:22:22.580]
And how will that raw material or component be converted into the finished goods so that the cost is correct? This is something you really need to dig in and understand. Ask questions of the software vendor until this is really clear to you. It's something you can't get around understanding. And once it's clear to you, a lot of things that the system is doing will make sense. So you're going to put your raw materials in the system, every raw material, every subassembly, every purchased component and any back stock that you're likely to use in the next year.

[00:22:56.150]
If you have old crap sitting in cardboard boxes tucked at the back of your inventory room, your accountant may want you to put it into the system just so you've got a good inventory. It's not going to affect production if you don't put it in the system. Chances are if you haven't dug around in it for a year and a half, two years, you're not going to be digging around in it. So I tell people at least make sure everything that's current inventory that's going into current products gets in the system.

[00:23:22.490]
And if you need to enter the old and moldy stuff later, because suddenly you're using it in a part that you didn't anticipate, find, set that up in the system then. OK, labor costs, this can be another challenging aspect, it's required for the software to deliver intelligent results, but you don't do it for the software, you do it for your business. You need to understand the average amount of time it takes for you to make every piece of inventory.

[00:23:49.750]
Don't include your initial development time or the making of the first piece, because those are time consuming and you're never efficient on your first piece. The exception to this is if you're doing one on one custom work, then you should always include all the time. But I'm sort of digressing into inventory theory. OK, you will add on an appropriate load for overhead. Many industries use 30 percent, but get guidance from your accountant or CPA so that you can set the proper labor units.

[00:24:20.260]
Some systems will have you put labor in in minutes per piece. Others have you put the time in and dollars per piece. But the bottom line is you have to know what your labor per product costs you. If you don't already know these costs, then the big job is getting it done the first time. After that, you should be able to set a schedule so that you're reviewing the production costs of your inventory on a rolling, you know, semi-annual or annual basis.

[00:24:47.770]
Once you do all this work, don't let your costs ever get outdated again. And of course, one of the benefits of having an inventory system is that it makes this work easier to do and finding costing problems gets easier to do as well. If you're outsourcing any of your production, treat this in the same way that you treat your labor attribute, outsourced cost to each piece and analyze each vendor, well, first of all, attribute the outsourcing cost to each piece to set up the items in your system.

[00:25:21.620]
And then while you're at it, make sure you set a schedule to analyze each vendor two times annually to ensure that their costs are coming in. As expected, your business may demand that you do that more often, but two times annually is at least how often you should be looking at vendor costs. So the first part of this work is what you need to do to set up your software. But as long as you're at it, you want to set yourself up for good business process going forward.

[00:25:49.500]
And at this point, it starts to get easier, every legitimate inventory system has some functionality, I say it gets easier because the biggest part of this whole project is getting all your inventory in the system once all of your components and subcomponents and raw materials. Once everything's in the system, then the rest of the steps go a bit faster. So every legitimate inventory system has some functionality for linking raw materials or subcomponents to finished goods. They may call these routings or kits or jobs or assemblies.

[00:26:24.480]
The more sophisticated systems actually track the conversion and manage the conversion of raw materials to finished goods. And they deduct the raw materials from the raw material inventory and they actually create the finished goods with its associated costs. The simpler systems require you to do the manual step of conversion from raw materials and components to a finished good. But either way, you need this information. Every finished good needs to be attached to its raw materials and labor, or you won't be able to see your true costs.

[00:26:56.160]
OK, just another important digression here. After all, I am a strategy consultant. Pricing should not be a direct calculation from costs. If you just calculate up from your costs, there's no accounting for art or differentiation or specialness. Raw materials. Plus labor is your base cost. You may be able to charge more for your products than just cost. Plus, you may not, but if you can do so, don't just set up your system to automatically calculate your process or your prices for you.

[00:27:27.960]
Do the work of analyzing your costs and do the work of understanding what the market will bear and set the prices that keep you and your business flowing along with nice profits. OK, so you're going to set up your routings or jobs or assemblies or kits, whatever your system calls them. And what you do is you document the build for every piece of finished goods and then you'll set up the build in your new system for every finished item. And this is a really good time to analyze your pricing and make sure your pricing is right, because you should have the costs right in front of you.

[00:28:01.990]
Once you've set up all your finished goods with their routings, you're ready to flesh out the rest of your finished goods inventory set, each finished item also needs to have a unique item number, a description and a wholesale and or retail price. And sometimes you'll have multiple price levels. Remember before when we talked about the unit of measure and how important it is to master your understanding of unit of measure? This same advice goes for item numbers, you need to invest in understanding the true value of item numbers and using them properly, setting up a unique item number for every item is critical.

[00:28:42.480]
That doesn't mean for every piece, it means for every item. So if you're selling a red t shirt and it's one size fits all, then you're not going to assign a new number for every piece you sell that's called Serializing. That red t shirt that you sell will have one item number. If you sell it in sizes small, medium and large, it's going to have three separate item numbers. It's red t shirt, small red t shirt, medium red t shirt, large.

[00:29:12.930]
If it is available in blue, then you're going to have three more item numbers for blue, small, blue, medium and blue large. The only time you need to set and a unique number for every single piece of an item that sells is if you have some reason to track the exact piece that came from the manufacturer and went to your customer. A good example of this would be a Rolex watch. Every Rolex watch has a serial number in addition to its item number.

[00:29:46.800]
So learn to understand item numbers, that unique item number is the system's sole identifier for any discrete item of inventory from its raw material to from raw materials to finished goods, raw materials. Also, get item numbers. Once you set an item number for an item, you should never, ever change it. Why? Because you have history attached to that item number. And if you change the number, you distort the history. Never just change an item number if you make changes to the item in the future.

[00:30:21.960]
For instance, well, let's see if if you're substituting an item or a raw material like a component or a raw material that has absolutely no effect on the buyer of the item, if they won't notice or they won't care, then you can just keep the same item number. But if you are changing the item in any way that is noticeable, don't just change the item number of the old item, actually create a new item number. Following this discipline will preserve your history.

[00:30:48.180]
You'll be able to see that point in time when the item changed. And if you create the new item, you'll also be able to compare and learn from a sales and profit differences of the new item in the original item. This is a really important principle and for some reason people have trouble embracing it. Another benefit of doing this correctly is that once you get your system set up and you're good at using it, say after the first year you can start to learn more sophisticated merchandising skills and you'll be really glad that you're using item numbers in the proper way.

[00:31:21.290]
Some systems offer one type of description and some offers several, it's not unusual to see a long description and a short description option. Make sure you learn which description will show on the invoice and how you want the customer to perceive that description. Ask your software vendor to tell you where each type of description appears or if you have the option to be select and be thoughtful in deciding how to set up your descriptions or which field to import your current descriptions into.

[00:31:50.760]
You're going to live with this decision for a long time. And finally, we get to the customers, ideally, the system you're using now will make it possible to do a data transfer of your customer files. But I have encountered situations where the data was so bad it was messy or outdated or impossible to export, et cetera, that it made more sense to have a few temporary workers come in and just knock it out manually. You have to make important decisions about customer history.

[00:32:22.370]
In most cases, we suggest that the new system start date is a line in the sand. You use old systems to look up history and you begin your new history with the new system. Data conversions for history are extremely hard to do cleanly, and much of what you have in history may not ever be relevant in the future if you can do it cleanly, simply and inexpensively. And that's a big one. If you can do it inexpensively and not import dirty data, then great.

[00:32:52.390]
But if you can don't stress over it, 90 percent of your customer lookups take place for things that happened within the past year. So once you've been in the new system for a year, 90 percent of what you need will be in the new system. Just use the old system as a look up environment. You'll use it a lot the first month and then quite a bit for the next two to three months and then less and less until you're barely going to it for reference at all.

[00:33:18.470]
One challenging thing, particularly if you're going from one system to the next, is to transfer information related to credits, so produce a really good list of credits, gift certificates, any outstanding obligations, and be prepared to enter those items manually. And this has to be done at the last minute before you take your system live. This is also a terrific time to push for closing out old receivables and get your accounting up to date. It's also a terrific opportunity to update your customer list.

[00:33:49.340]
You can send out a postcard to all your customers, telling them that you're updating your database and giving them a postage paid return post card and asking them to correct any information that needs correcting on that card. Also use this as an opportunity to push for email addresses. Email addresses are so key to successful marketing that you need to get the email addresses any way you can, even if you're not comfortable with email marketing at this point. Get the email addresses and I'll give you information and another video that will talk to you about how critical it is to automate your marketing and use email as part of that.

[00:34:25.880]
So this is your customer piece of the implementation process that you're going to update their contact information. You're going to make decisions about which whether or not you're going to keep your history or bring your history into the new system. You're going to create your big list of all the outstanding credits and use every opportunity you have in this to get your data nice and clean and updated and get those email addresses. The final step in setting up your system is to work, work, work, the system from a sales standpoint, brainstorm together a list of every single sales thing you do, from simple sales transactions to taking orders for custom items to taking returns, to giving discounts, to processing gift certificates, doing appraisals, create a list of all of it, and then rehearse how you're going to do every single one of those things in the new system.

[00:35:16.640]
Document your steps one process per page. This will give you a sales manual, which is a really powerful thing to have, once again, an advantage that has nothing to do with the software and everything to do with your business. And imagine how valuable that sales manual will be when you hire new sales staff in the future. Going through this process, we'll also show you where you still need training, where you're still missing some information in the system or even where you might be making your process is more complicated than they need to be.

[00:35:47.740]
Use this knowledge to fill in the blanks and get really ready to serve your customers. Make sure you practice on each other, not the customers. And at this point, you're set up and once you're set up, you're ready to go live. Now, some of the set up steps I just described to you may be able to be done concurrently, particularly if you have one team working on inventory setups and another team working on sales setups. But you'll definitely need to set up some test items with completed, you know, builds or kits or assemblies or whatever just to test the sales function if you split it into two groups.

[00:36:24.160]
Most companies go into this type of software without an understanding that they're going to spend this money and time on preparing, so they're frustrated and overwhelmed and disappointed by the difficulty and that gets in the way of a successful implementation. It's very important for you to view this process as a series of layers. It's not linear. The reality is that learning complex systems takes time and dedication. You'll be testing a process and you'll find out you're missing a piece, and then you'll have to go back and fill in the piece and test it again.

[00:36:59.170]
And some people get really frustrated by that. But think about it. The system is attempting to replicate what we do organically in our everyday actions. And that's really complex. A lot of the things you do, you don't even realize you're doing them. But the system needs to be told everything the system does not have and a human autonomic response. So be patient. Once you set it up properly, it will work for you and you will get faster and faster at using it.

[00:37:30.010]
And at that point, you'll begin to experience a bunch of business benefits that weren't even available to you before. You need to set that now, we've turned the switch, OK? You're you're live in your new system and you need to set expectations, proper expectations for the new normal. All the practice in the world won't guarantee absolute calm and peacefulness. When you launch, you'll be dealing with separation anxiety from the system you were accustomed to and transition anxiety from doing something new.

[00:38:03.840]
It's as if you lived in a perfectly proportioned and appointed little cabin and you'd lived in it for years and everything was just the way you liked it. You could find everything. It was cozy and you felt safe. Then you get married and there are two people in the cabin and then you have a baby and it's getting tight, but it still works. And then you have a second child and now things are getting a little more hectic and a little less convenient in your little cabin.

[00:38:28.500]
And now you're pregnant with a third child and it's just not going to work. So you really need to get into a new house. So you sell the cabin, which is heartbreaking, and you move into the new house and it is filled with potential and excitement. And you have to remember that your perfect little cabin wasn't perfect when you moved into it, it took years for you to perfect it and your new house, full of potential, will require time and attention to.

[00:38:56.760]
And at first, even though it's your same old furniture, you keep bumping into corners and turning in the wrong direction and reaching into the wrong cupboard and bashing your shin against unexpected boxes and end tables that aren't where you expect them to be.

[00:39:12.450]
But eventually you get some muscle memory and soon you're onto the work of making the house your own and falling in love with it. How you handle this change will determine your experience from the time you turn the switch figure that it takes three to four weeks to start feeling confident again and another three to four months to feel proficient.

[00:39:33.060]
And for the first six months, you're going to bump into processes at first very often, and then less so that you didn't think about in your planning stages.

[00:39:41.510]
I could recommend that companies try to get one hundred percent prepared for new software before they launch, but if I did that, nobody would ever launch new software. So my recommendation is to get 85 percent prepared and have a good sense of humor about the rest. You need to be resilient. I love this graphic because it tells you everything you need to adopt in terms of attitudes for the launch process.

[00:40:04.880]
You need to be prepared to solve problems. You need to accomplish your training well enough so you'll be able to punt in an emergency and don't look for perfection. Instead, look for a bit of improvement every day. And if you do these things, you will have a successful implementation.

[00:40:23.780]
I hope this video proved to be helpful for you and that you will have a tremendous amount of success selecting your software if you haven't done so already or implementing your software if you're ready to move forward. Take care. Thank you.

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