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TurtleSpice ERP! (Week 7)

Written By: David Clark
Published On: August 21 2008

Welcome to Week 7 of TurtleSpice ERP! We’re following one company’s software selection process, from beginning to end—with a twist: It’s up to you to make sure comptroller Mike Chelonia stays on track and selects the right ERP system for the company. Cast your vote at the bottom of this post, and next week I’ll move the scenario forward based on the winning answer.


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The story so far: Mike Chelonia, TurtleSpice’s comptroller, has been tasked to select an ERP system by his CFO. Facing pressure from his VP Wade Sharkey to short-circuit the selection process and select Big Gun Software, Mike gets a reprieve when Wade Sharkey is over-ruled by the CEO. When supply issues threatened to derail the entire ERP selection project, Mike pushed ahead anyway with his goal of documenting business requirements for software selection.

Last week, TurtleSpice finally reached the RFI stage of the process. As often happens during the software selection process, one vendor asked for an extension. When we asked you to make a decision, you voted to find out why first.

Which is only, uh, fair.

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BigGun’s product manager sounds sincere enough, thinks Mike. Not too pushy, a little apologetic about requesting an extension for the RFI.

“Listen, Mike, I just got your RFI—somehow it got routed from the sales team to accounting fercryingoutloud and then to me, and I just need some time to fill it out. Give me a week, I’m devoting full resources, making this my top priority. I’m confident our product can meet your needs.”

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Wade Sharkey and the TurtleSpice CEO go back a long way. A little too far back for Wade’s liking. Not that he doesn’t have the CEO’s full confidence—it’s just that the CEO knows Wade well enough not to let him in on all his innermost thoughts.

Well, two can play at that game, thinks Wade.

Wade’s good-ol’-boy network has its tendrils across the industry, which has served TurtleSpice well—if not always ethically—to date.

One of those connections: VenisonBland. VenisonBland is a large and venerable manufacturer and distributor of canned meat, the main selling point of which is that it is utterly inoffensive to just about everyone.

It was about a year ago that his counterpart at VenisonBland first approached Sharkey for a “chat” (AKA way-way-off-the-record-discussions) about various “approaches” (AKA underhanded tactics) toward a “mutually beneficial” (AKA beneficial for VenisonBland and Sharkey) “arrangement” (AKA hostile takeover). And if TurtleSpice's revenue outlook should be temporarily in decline thanks to certain canceled contracts, it would be a far cheaper takeover candidate.

Moreover, the ERP system currently in place at VenisonBland is BigGun ERP. If TurtleSpice should also happen to be running BigGun ERP, that would make integration of TurtleSpice far more convenient following a takeover.

After that? Golden parachute, meet Wade. Wade, meet golden parachute.

Luckily for Wade, he’s got some help inside TurtleSpice.

Lola is also well-connected. To BigGun, that is. Her brother is BigGun’s VP of sales, and has been most interested in learning all about TurtleSpice’s business processes and pain points.

So far, the flow of information along the Sharkey-Lola-BigGun channel has been seamless. Now all Wade has to do is make sure Mike doesn't get in the way.

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Mike doesn’t think of himself as a shark. If anything, he’s more of an owl—he usually has to turn his entire head to change views.

So when Derek from HR happens to “accidentally” slip Mike a copy of numerous curious e-mail threads between Sharkey and Lola, he’s all eyes.

The e-mails are vague and oblique, but they do point to one thing for sure: Sharkey’s not going to let BigGun lose the contract if he can help it.

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If you were in Mike’s shoes, what would you do? Most vendors have returned their RFIs, although there are still a few vendors of interest who haven’t.

Bear this in mind: Although Wade Sharkey’s shenanigans are a big reason Big Gun is still on the list of ERP vendors, that doesn’t mean Big Gun isn’t suitable for TurtleSpice. Or does it? I want to know what you think. Vote carefully—and leave your comment below!

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Note: Voting has closed 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 writing team. Particular thanks this week to Denis Rousseau, TEC’s project delivery manager, and Josh Chalifour, TEC’s director of knowledge services.
 
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