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Even the Big Guys Struggle with System Implementation
3 April 2008, by , in Data Management, No comments

I think there is a common misconception among smaller organizations that somehow "big" companies don't have the same kinds of challenges with systems implementations. That is, while smaller companies struggle with selecting and implementing new systems, big companies don't because they've got so much more in the way of resources.

The reality, of course, is that regardless of your organization's size, system implementation can be a challenge. Here's just the latest example: "Waste Management Sues SAP Over 'complete failure.'" (First seen at Panopea Consulting's iMIS blog.)

In the article, Waste Management claims SAP delivered software that was "untested, undeveloped, and defective." I've heard similar claims made among my clients, on occasion (though none have ever led to a lawsuit). 

Without knowing the details of this particular engagement, I'd be willing to bet there's a lot of blame to be laid on both sides of the project. And I can say with near certainty that neither party will be happy with the outcome of this dispute. 

So the next time you think "Man, this would be so much easier if we were a bigger company," think again. 

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“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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