Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Maybe, its just a dream...

I was thinking about the failures inherent in Business Process Reengineering and Enterprise Resource Planning Implementations. When I was mentioning that BPR mostly failed in 90's, Romas had said "yes, because they didn't implement the technological systems that would support the change". I don't totally buy that although he has a point. I think it's more about difficulty of change, and organizational power dynamics, and difficulty (or unwillingness) of the human beings to learn and adapt quickly that cause these initiatives and others to fail.

On the other hand, Gina Boff suggests in her dissertation that companies implement ERP Systems in order to achieve competitive advantage. Think about it for a minute: How do you obtain competitive advantage by just doing something that is done by the rest of the industry?

But my main point, the a-ha moment I had, wasn't about these. I think there's an inherent copying of other businesses in order to be successful. For example Amazon or Southwest came up with a great business model, right? Why didn't their competitors, who just tried to copy their structure or technology or look failed? Because they missed something that these companeis were doing that was crucial for success. Thus it is crucial to understand ALL success elements and match them and even go beyond them by being open to changing business models, etc. I just think it's not for everybody.

So when we come to ERP implementations. Yes there were some companies who could reengineer their business processes and implement ERP and receive significant ROI. However, it's not for everyone. Some of the questions I would as are: How deep is your pocket? How flexible are your people? How forgiving are your customers?

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