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Growing your Business… Are your people coming with you?

Recently, I had to troubleshoot stock related issues for a client. On investigation we found out that the users didn’t really understand how inventory items worked within Dynamics NAV and probably didn’t even know how important it was to get it right. Within NAV they used incorrect units of measure, and sometimes even incorrect stock codes, to receive items into the warehouse. As a result, their inventory was overstated as well as their cost of goods sold, resulting in lower reported margins. Needless to say that it’s been very expensive for the client to fix these issues but more than that, they are also realising how important it is to disseminate their vision and strategic guidelines to the lowest level within the organisation.

With most implementations, only senior managers get involved. They make decisions on behalf of the people who actually use the systems on a daily basis. While there is nothing wrong with that approach, the danger is that the senior managers might miss the details that only end users know. Getting end users involved early not only provides the implementation team with valuable process information but also makes the users feel valued and more inclined to accept the new system and processes.

The question then is: ‘Why is end user acceptance so important?’

The chairman of Fenwick Software, Peter Fenwick, once said to me ‘If I keep my staff happy, they will automatically keep my customers happy’. Senior Managers make strategic decisions about the business but it’s the staff who execute these decisions on a daily basis and interact with your customers and business partners to make sure that the necessary transactions are completed properly. Staff loyalty is a great asset and once won can take the organisation a long way towards achieving its long term objectives and goals.

So how aligned with your organisational objectives are your people, processes and systems?