Blog June 19, 2024

Striking the Balance – Who should adapt, the company or the software? 

By Nicolas Décarie
June 19th, 2024 | 4 min

Business Solutions Implementation: Striking the Balance – Who should adapt, the company or the software? 

Implementing new supply chain optimization software is a significant undertaking, requiring capital investment and adept change management. It goes beyond software installation —demanding a deliberate focus on aligning technology with existing operational processes, nurturing user adoption, and fine-tuning overall business operations. 

In an era where technology is fundamental to success, integrating the right software (properly) becomes key for competitiveness. The diversity of available software, each promising a unique solution for various business challenges, adds new layers of complexity to the decision-making process. In the midst of this complexity, a crucial question arises: Who should take the lead in adapting—your company’s established practices or the capabilities of the software? The answer to this demands a thoughtful balance between the right solution and implementation partner. This equilibrium is essential to safeguard capital, mitigate risks, and ensure the long-term effectiveness of the desired business solution. 

However, achieving this balanced approach is not always as easy as it might sound on the offset. Below are a few elements that should be carefully considered to ensure the effective implementation of business solutions. 

Supply Chain Optimization Software & Scope Management  

Implementing new software can be enticing, like a shiny new toy, tempting stakeholders to add numerous features that may not be necessary for the intended solution. However, this allure can lead to scope creep, where the project objectives expand beyond the initial scope. To avoid this, it is important to maintain focus on the system’s primary objectives during implementation. Proper scope management is essential when implementing new business solutions. It’s like navigating a complex puzzle, where each piece needs to fit seamlessly into the bigger picture.  

Here are a few ways to course correct and ensure project scope it tracking as planned.  

  1. Step back and examine your entire software portfolio. Ask yourself: Does this feature align with the purpose of our intended system? This evaluation ensures that any new addition not only integrates smoothly but also enhances the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your operations. 
  1. Consider the interconnected nature of various software solutions. By carefully assessing each feature, you can prevent redundancy and optimize resource utilization. This thoughtful approach paves the way for a seamless integration that elevates your organization’s technological landscape. 

Take, for instance, the integration of a Warehouse Management System (WMS). The primary goals here are clear: to enhance warehouse operational processes and increase inventory accuracy. The implementation team might encounter requests to include additional functionalities, such as customer management features, invoicing capabilities, or even HR tools. While these requests might seem valid, it’s important to evaluate them against the core purpose of the WMS. 

In such cases, deviating off course by attempting to integrate unrelated features can be counterproductive. The key is to remain resolutely focused on the fundamental goals—optimizing warehouse operations and ensuring inventory accuracy. Each added feature should be scrutinized to assess its alignment with the core objectives and its potential impact on the project timeline and budget.  

By keeping your eyes on the prize and carefully evaluating each feature, you’ll ensure proper scope management. 

Keep it Simple 

Most business software solutions come equipped with out-of-the-box features. These features are specifically designed to align with common business processes and industry best practices. These features aren’t arbitrary; they reflect the culmination of industry trends and have proven effective across various companies. So, why would you want to deviate from established industry standards that have already proven successful? 

By leveraging these industry-tested features, businesses can tap into a wealth of collective knowledge and experience, benefiting from tried-and-true methods that provide a solid foundation for their operations. It’s important to recognize that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel when there are already best-of-breed options available that have been proven to work for numerous businesses. 

Choosing a software solution that aligns with industry standards not only reduces risks but also saves costs by avoiding the need for extensive customization. By selecting a system that has already demonstrated success in similar businesses, you can streamline the implementation process and focus on optimizing your unique business needs, rather than starting from scratch. 

Go for the long run 

Customization may address immediate business requirements, but it also opens the door to potential hurdles during future system upgrades. As your system deviates further away from its core product, each subsequent upgrade becomes progressively more complex and demanding to support. While customization offers short-term gains, it can lead to enduring consequences in the long run, hindering scalability, increasing maintenance complexity, and potentially impeding the integration of emerging technologies. Striking a balance between tailoring the system to immediate needs and maintaining alignment with the core product ensures a more sustainable, adaptable, and future-proof technology infrastructure. 

Instead, view the implementation phase as an opportunity to refine and optimize existing processes. By aligning them with the selected system’s design, you improve efficiency and establish a foundation for seamless future upgrades. It’s a dual benefit — immediate operational improvements and long-term sustainability. 

Concluding Thoughts

When it comes to supply chain optimization software, the journey is as crucial as the destination when it comes to business software implementation. Navigating the complexities of implementation demands a strategic approach that extends beyond the mere installation of software. The key lies in striking a balance between standardization and customization. While standardization ensures alignment with industry best practices, customization allows businesses to tailor the software to their unique needs. The challenge is finding the sweet spot—leveraging standardized features for efficiency while carefully customizing to optimize processes and add distinctive value.

Ultimately, the decision of who should adapt, the company or the software, relies on finding the equilibrium between standardization and customization. A thoughtful balance ensures capital preservation, risk mitigation, and long-term effectiveness of the desired business solution. To achieve this balance, partnering with a trusted advisor becomes essential. A reliable partner can optimize efficiency and guide customization efforts to enhance the unique value added by the software. This collaborative approach transforms the implementation journey into a well-directed process that aligns with industry best practices and delivers tailored excellence, paving the way for long-term success.

Reach out to the LIDD team to learn more about business technology solutions and optimizing your warehouse operations.

Supply Chain Technology


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