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TurtleSpice ERP! (Week 2)

Written By: David Clark
Published On: July 17 2008

The story so far: Mike Chelonia, TurtleSpice’s comptroller, has been tasked to select an ERP system by his CFO. When we asked you what you thought Mike should do next, you voted overwhelmingly in favor of this option: Start learning more about ERP solutions, success stories, failures, and organizational requirements for deploying an ERP solution. Thanks to the (anonymous) reader who submitted this!

Don't forget, you decide what happens next to Mike Chelonia. Cast your vote at the bottom of this post!

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Thursday morning, Mike starts his research online, making notes as he goes along. [see a summary of Mike’s research and notes]

Although there are conflicting accounts of the best approach to software selection, he sums up what seems to be the most logical first step:

I recommend an initial phase consisting of preliminary study, with a definition of our organizational requirements, strategy, and tactics. We should aim to define our overall vision with regard to the ERP system, and the short term and long term objectives and constraints.

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To Mike, all this is beginning to spell “project team,” which is a phrase nobody in the company likes to hear. More than one project has fallen victim to analysis paralysis, bickering, and interdepartmental politics. In any case, morale is not at an all-time high, and internal rumors that the company is being shopped around by the CEO aren’t helping matters.

Nevertheless, Mike doesn’t see much of an alternative. He figures he doesn’t know enough about how the other departments work to figure it all out alone.

He sends an e-mail to the execs to outline his proposal for the creation of a project team and starts to head off home.

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In the parking lot, Mike bumps into Derek from HR. Derek’s an amiable and fast-talking ex-surfer from the west coast who has a preternatural talent for sniffing out behind-the-scenes information.

“Dude, heard about the ERP thing. Hate to see that land on your plate, man. Saw something like that the last company I worked. You gotta prepare a one-year budget for all business transactions, I mean everything, and a forecast for all the activities—don’t forget comparative figures for the previous year. Oh, and you gotta analyze the business processes, figure out the major areas of business transactions you wanna automate—and the blueprints, don’t forget the blueprints—but you’ll get the consultants onto that before you finalize it, right?”

Mike makes a mental note to get his blood pressure checked before the month is out.

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The next morning, Mike arrives to an e-mail from the vice president of the company.

From: Wade Sharkey
Sent: 16-Jul-08 8:12 AM
To: Michael Chelonia
Subject: ERP selection


Mike,

I’m taking a close look at Big Gun ERP. I’ve been told this will meet all our needs. I don’t see why we need to delay the benefits of implementation. Please arrange to meet with their rep John Whistlepup this week (contact details below).

Thanks

ws

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Typical Sharkey, Mike thinks. Deal-maker, wheel-greaser. And, if he’s holding true to form, pocket-liner too.

Ten minutes later he gets a phone call from an ERP system salesman. The salesman breathlessly rattles off a series of what Mike imagines are supposed to be product differentiators. The clincher, according to the salesman, is that the solution has replaced Baan in a multinational, in the UK of all places.

Mike interrupts, and mentions Big Gun, just for the hell of it. The salesman barely breaks stride.

“But did you know our solution is four times cheaper than Big Gun’s? You think your boss’d be happy knowing you spent 400% of the amount you needed to? I can hook you up with a free software demo right now, no obligations, quick and easy.”

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As soon as Mike puts the phone down it rings again. This time, it’s a consultant from a firm called CrownTaurus. Her message boils down to “don’t worry, we’ll take care of everything. Business process modeling, choosing a vendor, software implementation, the whole bit.”

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So, if you were in Mike’s shoes, what would you do next?

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Voting has ended for this episode. Find out what happened next!

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Note: This scenario has been created for informational purposes only. Any resemblance to actual food and beverage companies and products is purely coincidental. Data and outcomes backed up by our expert analyst and project delivery teams, scenario created by our lunatic writing team.
 
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