Have you heard the buzz words: People, Process,
and Technology? To reach business goals, each must
be addressed and each must be appropriate. So, what
does that mean? And, how do the puzzle pieces fit
This thing called Technology
Technology consists of hardware and software. The
wrong technology decision has the boomerang effect
of adding stress to the process and people
components. Large companies are able to throw
resources, usually money, at the problem to make
things work. Smaller companies don’t often have that
luxury, so they have to endure the pain. The smaller
the company, the more risk you take on by not making
an appropriate selection.
Do you have the right cost effective hardware?
Example: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is
all the rage and in some cases may be required or
mandated by others in your supply chain. But in may
cases a bar code solution that you may already have
Is your software appropriate for your organization
Example: You may have chosen the name brand software
solution that covers all the basic functions and
works well for most companies. But perhaps you’re in
a specialized industry where a more targeted
solution would be most appropriate.
A look at Process
Often business look to technology to solve a process
problem. Sometimes this works. Technology companies
try to incorporate best practice processes into
their products. Modifying your processes to work
with the technology can bring about improvement of
On the other side of the coin, a thorough
understanding of your current processes can help you
make better technology decisions. Surely there is
wisdom in lots of your processes. But like anything
that has been modified and enhanced over time, it
probably is less efficient than it would have been
it the current / future state had been planned for
in the beginning.
Other pieces to the puzzle are legal and regulatory
considerations. Forward thinking companies will want
to proactively monitor and address pertinent issues
even before legal mandates are imposed.
- Sarbanes Oxley requires that processes and
procedures be in place in order to demonstrate
compliance and oversight by top level executive.
Documentation and technology are keys to success in
- As a result of natural disasters last year,
business continuity planning legislation may be on
- Concerns about bioterrorism and disease
epidemics underscore the need for lot and batch
- Global electronic companies must consider
European Union (EU) compliance issues born out of
- Effective July 1, 2006, the Reduction of
Hazardous Waste (RoHS) directive prohibits the use
of certain chemicals in electronic products.
- The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
(WEEE) directive requires companies selling
electronics in the EU to recycle and to absorb the
cost for so doing. Companies must be in WEEE
compliance by January 1, 2007.
First question is: Are we legal and in compliance?
Then, Are the corporate strategy, mission and
priorities clearly articulated and understood by
all? These answers drive your organizational
structure, your products, your processes and your
People are Pivotal
You have the technology and you have the processes,
but nothing happens unless they are utilized by
people. There are lots of debates about the
attainability of a return on investment for an ERP
system. Reasons that ROI may seem elusive are:
- Mismatch between process and technology
- The wrong technology solution was selected, for
- Does not match your corporate goals or your
- Cannot handle compliance requirements.
- Inadequate documentation
- People have not been adequately trained to
take advantage of the technology
- Technology was not set up and/or implemented
correctly for your business
- Lack of collaboration within the organization
and /or throughout the supply chain.
People are expensive but crucial resources. The
purpose of process and technology are to help your
people add value to your organization.
Get IT Right!
What is the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)? The
obvious project costs are for hardware, software,
systems integration services, data conversion. But
the TCO concept encourages a consideration of all
direct and indirect costs, incurred throughout the
life cycle of an asset or technology, including
acquisition, deployment, operation, support and
Rising demands of regulatory compliance coupled with
the relentless pursuit of profitability require
corporations to find innovative ways to increasingly
add value to the business without adding additional
Many times businesses don’t want to take the time to
properly analyze their requirements, goals and
objectives before they embark on new projects. But
you can’t afford not to take the time. Either you
invest the money up front to get the right solutions
or you pay later for maintenance costs, ineffective
operations, poor employee morale and inability to
make effective decisions.
Addressing all these pieces of the people, process,
and technology puzzle will reveal the hidden
potential in your organization. Having these pieces
in place provides a panoramic view which empowers
you to execute a strategy for success. Shouldn’t
your goal be to maximize and accelerate ROI, and