Is Your Business Ready for Change? It Should Be!

Author: Brett Rozell

Do you remember Eastman Kodak Company? If you’re familiar with high-volume industrial printing, you might know them as a leading provider of commercial digital printers and film for motion pictures. They were the premier provider of film and cameras for consumers not too long ago. It might seem strange to use the words ‘film’ and ‘consumer’ in the same sentence, but that’s how it was.

Almost everyone who took pictures used a Kodak camera and film. It was a standard operating procedure to snap your photos, take the film to a developer, and retrieve printed photographs several days later. At one point, Kodak completely dominated the consumer photography space, but that was years ago.

The Kodak story is a cautionary tale of a company not prepared for change and ultimately paying the price for it. What used to be a $16 billion company at its peak in 1996, with 90% and 85% share of film and camera sales, respectively, is now a company whose niche is commercial digital printing, with approximately $1 billion in sales and almost no presence in consumer photography.

So, what happened? Kodak was not ready to take advantage of the digital camera revolution (which has since been overcome mainly by smartphone cameras), even though they invented the technology. What happened to Kodak should be required reading of every decision-maker in small, mid-size, and large companies. The key takeaway is that if your business isn’t ready for change, change will eventually occur and overtake you. The results could be devastating, whether surviving at a fraction of your previous size or filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The book Digital Transform in a Nutshell, by Vishwanath Kokkonda, Ph.D., expands on the notion by MIT Sloan Cap Gemini: 90% of CEOs believe that the digital economy will impact their industry, but less than 15% are executing. We saw that Kodak executives were not ready, and the reality is that most companies are not.

What can companies do now to ensure they are ready for change? First and foremost, companies must incorporate solutions that allow them to run their businesses with the utmost efficiency and a constant eye on the bottom line. This can be done by incorporating technology designed to introduce efficiency and remove waste and redundancy.

For 25 years, Frank, Rimerman Consulting has been helping organizations through the assessment, selection, implementation, and long-term support of leading Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions – with a primary focus on Small to Medium Business (SMB).

We’ve built a strong reputation as a leading consulting organization, and our initial client engagements often start with a simple question – why change? No ERP project is undertaken because companies have extra time on their hands or extra cash to spend. Excess time and capital should never be drivers to implement an ERP solution. Instead, ERP should be implemented because there are pain points organizations want to address, inefficiency is rampant within the organization, the company can’t grow and take advantage of opportunities, and a clear vision for growth is being hindered by outdated systems.

This information may be a lot for some organizations to digest, but one thing is certain: we listen to our clients. When we ask specific questions of our clients, we understand that the answers are different across organizations and situations. The key is to help our clients explore the drivers of change and understand its process.

When considering ERP selection and implementation, there are queries we walk through with our clients to help determine the right approach.

The Team
· Has a project sponsor been identified?
· Are all the key stakeholders present?

The Functional Needs
· Have requirements been laid out in advance?
· Are current processes well documented?
· Have risks with current systems been identified?

The Timeline
· Has a project timeline been established?
Project evaluation
Project kick-off
Project Go-Live
· Is the timeline realistic?

The Budget
· Is the board needed to weigh in?
· Is there an executive sponsor?
· Is the process to approval mapped and approved?

· Does the team have experience?
· Are the team’s expectations realistic?

While not an exhaustive list, the above is an excellent start to assessing where an organization is on its road to change.

If your organization is considering a change or upgrade in its operating systems and your CEO is among the 90% that believe the digital economy will affect your business, you must ask yourself – are you ready? If you would like a free consultation on readiness, please contact Frank, Rimerman Consulting, and we’ll help you build your plan and guide you on the road to readiness.

Finally considering a change? Let us assess your situation and get you set in the right direction for future success. Contact us!