It was a cold December day in 2008, almost Christmas. My first meeting at Scabal’s headquarters in Brussels. Scabal is a producer of exclusive cloth and suits within the luxury fashion segment. That’s where I heard about Tailor Hoff for the first time, the German Scabal division that produces those luxury suits. The suit is following a trail like a snake throughout the production factory. Hundreds of employees are working there in Saarbrücken. The legacy IT system did not register this, SAP should. It was the start of 6 amazing years, 10 to 20 visits each year in Tailor Hoff.
11 05 2015
When I tell my friends and family I’m working as an SAP consultant, I often hear that the company they work for also uses SAP. And that they dislike it. Why? Because the user interface looks horrible. Quite a lot of people get lost in the complexity and working with SAP sadly becomes a frustration. SAP is very much aware of this issue. Chairman and cofounder Hasso Plattner mentioned this when announcing S/4 HANA: “Users told us, ‘Your UI sucks.’”.
30 04 2015
Typically, the following topics are considered as common traps of ERP implementations: process flow definition, program management, globalization/localization, underestimating technical architecture, underestimating the necessary resources, too much customization and insufficient testing.
Although these are certainly traps to take into account, it is striking that almost none of them consider the human impact.
A couple of months ago, the New York Police Department (NYPD) fell victim to a hashtag hijack. Combining law enforcement with a good public image isn’t always easy in a city like New York. That is why the NYPD launched a Twitter campaign as an attempt to boost their public image. In their tweet, they encouraged people to post pictures of themselves with a member of the NYPD and the hashtag #myNYPD. They hoped to get overloaded with pictures of smiling citizens and friendly cops.
From Windows to Yosemite
I recently bought a MacBook Air. As I have worked on Microsoft Windows laptops my entire life, I was a bit apprehensive about quickly getting the hang of the specific Mac user interface. Making abstraction of the fact that the store offers a free 3-hour training course with the purchase (which I still need to schedule by the way), the 30-minute demo given by the sales clerk in the store enabled me to start working right away.
The interactions between me – the user – and the laptop are actually quite intuitive. It does take some practice to get used to it. Sometimes, I still find myself trying to right-click to get the menu of options displayed, but this habit is quickly fading. In fact it is slowly reversing. Sometimes, I now try gestures that work on the Mac but are useless on a Windows laptop.
Why am I telling all this? Well, there is a clear parallel between my transition from a Windows laptop to a Mac and the introduction of a new system in your company. Granted, the analogy doesn’t hold completely, but the similarities are significant enough to make this comparison.
Many businesses use barcode scanners somewhere on their shop floor. Do you use scanners to manage your stock or to track production? Quite often, it is the same worker who has to both scan barcodes and move the object that was scanned. To do so in a safe manner, he has to put his scanner down after each scan. Wouldn’t it be easier and more efficient if he could just scan everything hands-free?
Operational Excellence is a hot topic and is used in different contexts. In this article, I will focus on some practical examples within Maintenance or Enterprise Asset Management, to help you achieve excellence in these domains.
Improve your hands on tool time
Do you like shopping in a grocery store? I don’t. I can strongly recommend you to try online shopping. It is a piece of cake, and it saves you loads of time. Go to the web shop and order what you need. Your items will be delivered in time or you can collect them at a collection point of your choice.
25 06 2014
The Mount Everest among projects
If projects were mountains, then implementing an ERP system surely would be like climbing Mount Everest. When you implement an ERP system, you touch all elements of the organization (people, processes, systems) at all levels. Unsurprisingly, the percentage of ERP implementations that achieve the full expected benefits is only slightly higher than the success rate of reaching the summit of Mount Everest. According to a study by Panorama Consulting in 2013, only 44% of ERP implementations achieved 50% or more of the expected benefits. The success rate for achieving the summit of the Mount Everest is 29,4%, for 100% of the benefits.
Never tell your client that his requirements are more or less the same as those of everyone else. Every customer is unique. Special. But what about his employees’ holiday requests, expenses and HR hiring process? In most cases, this is not part of the core business of your customer. So, how should you deal with it?