Services related to Inventory and Warehouse Software.
Software is an integral part of inventory management and warehouse operations, and many of my services involve assisting clients with improving the way their software works with their operations. I have extensive experience with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Material Requirements Planning (MRP), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), and other software used in Manufacturing, Distribution, Fulfillment, and Warehousing. But there are some limitations on my services related to software.
I don't offer formal “Software Selection” services. So if you're looking for someone to actually find and recommend software packages, I'm not your guy. That said, I do offer related services that are very helpful in the software-selection process. For example, I help clients understand their business needs for these types of systems, and understand functionality. More importantly, I help to identify specific functionality requirements that may not be included as standard functionality in a typical business software package. I’m able to do this because I have a lot of experience in what I refer to as “generic” ERP/MRP/WMS software.
The term “generic” is not meant to imply an inferior product, but rather, it describes software designed to work in a variety of industries. These are the software products that most businesses buy, and are designed around “standard business practices”. Therefore, the core functionality is very similar from one software package to the next. When evaluating your own functional requirements, it’s important to be able to distinguish between functionality that is likely to exist in a typical software package, versus functionality that is unlikely to exist in a typical software package. And especially, to be able to identify functionality that is a critical to your operational needs, but may not exist in many of the software packages you are evaluating.
Setup and Implementation.
When it comes to implementation, I can help guide you through some of the key setup decisions you will need to make. Many software implementations fail (or go very badly) because assumptions were made when setting up the software that simply were not correct, or because critical parts of processes with simply left out. I know, because I’m the guy that gets called in to help clean up the mess after the failed implementation. It’s much easier to take a little more time and get the implementation plan and system setup right, than it is to try to clean things up after your business is in chaos.
I don't offer full implementation services (I don't implement your system or offer project management services). My role is smaller but can be of significant value. I frequently have to deal with the mistakes people make with their software, and I can help prevent you from making those types of mistakes.
Because I have extensive knowledge of physical operations (warehousing and manufacturing) AND the systems use to run these operations, I can be of great help in making sure everything works well in the end.
I’m not a “software-specific” consultant.
When I started my consulting business back in 2000, I decided I was not going to be a software-specific consultant. Meaning, I was not going to specialize in specific software packages. I did this because I wanted to focus of my business to be on “operations”, and also because I wanted greater diversity in the types of businesses and projects I would be involved with. Ultimately, I felt my knowledge of operations, combined with my knowledge of software (as a general term rather than a specific package) would be more valuable to clients than my ability to troubleshoot the detailed setup issues of a specific software product.
This is why I’ve also gotten away from doing hands-on work on clients’ software packages. As much as I enjoy doing this, I eventually came to the conclusion that it just doesn’t make sense to pay me to learn your software system. I’m a very quick learner, but the reality is I rarely see the same software twice and there are limits as to how much of this detailed information I can retain. So while I am fully capable of learning your system to assist you with some immediate setup needs, I will pretty much forget most of what I learn about your system shortly thereafter. The better solution is for you to learn the details of your specific software package, and for me to help guide you through understanding functionality and the types of setup issues you should be investigating.
This service works well through E-consulting.