Some time ago you purchased an expensive management information system (MIS) program to manage your company’s information, but somehow most of its components are gathering dust. How’s that working for you?
One of the most interesting parts of my job is getting to speak and work with business owners and managers—all over the country—about the systems they use to run their companies. I’m no longer surprised, however, when I hear that the $60,000 MIS program a company bought months, even years, ago has been only partially implemented—the cause of much of its ongoing operational problems.
I guess you could call me a nerd, but it makes my day to help other companies become smooth operations with peaceful environments, where owners and employees come out of the chaos and begin to thrive using the power of systems.
As you probably know, many of these MIS (e.g., EFI PrintSmith and Logic, Hagen, EPMS, etc.) can be very pricey. It makes sense then, that a company would want to get the most out of that investment.
Yet, I’ve discovered that, for instance, MIS scheduling modules are rarely implemented. After trying them awhile, most companies revert back to their old ways of doing things (Excel spread sheets, schedule boards and other homegrown scheduling methods). Why is that?
Scheduling can be a very complicated system, due to its many variables, and many companies just give up, blaming it on the software.
On the other hand, companies that know the power of good systems will persevere and overcome the resistance they receive from certain employees who seem unwilling to embrace any challenges. The reason, I’ve discovered, is that with good systems in place, workers are necessarily accountable for their job performance and output. Without systems, it’s easy for a less diligent worker to hide in the chaos, and to place blame and point fingers at others when mistakes happen.
Implement an MIS with many modules—estimating, finish goods, shop floor data collections, scheduling, etc.—takes leadership, patience, time and, most importantly, COMMITMENT.
So, why DO companies buy expensive programs and not use them to their full power? Maybe a highly skilled, “Rah Rah” consultant gave the company owner a great demo—or the owner heard of a certain MIS working “beautifully” in other companies. But, after the “Rah Rah” session—then what?
Some buy these programs seeking a quick fix. I’m here to tell you, there is no such animal!
Implementing a good MIS will likely take a company about a year. So, I suggest you implement one module at a time. As the owner, you are the one who needs to make the commitment for full implementation—whatever it takes! Yes, there will be opposition and frustrations, but don’t turn back; the journey is worth it.
In today’s economic times, you can’t afford the cost of chaos!
My company markets a business process management (BPM) solution for quality and service control, document control—a system that actually measures the cost of chaos. The online systems we have developed are married to our MIS. We have years of experience with issues that challenge owners and managers, when it comes to implementing systems that work. We KNOW your pain, and we KNOW there is a sustainable fix for your company’s worst challenges!
I suggest you reopen the operations manual that came with the MIS program you’ve already bought and paid for, and learn again how it can benefit your company.
Don’t expect the company that sold you the system to hold your hand for the entire implementation journey. Yes, they should train, fix any bugs and keep it updated, but you as an owner and manager must make it happen.
No MIS is perfect! However, I’m convinced that—working in concert with other tools such as Daily Routine Checklists and other Control Checklists
—you can fix those system-busting events that cause chaos in your company, permanently!
Did I mention? Great system work!