Many companies got hit with a hammer during the COVID-19 crisis. This is also the case with organizations within our field of work: the food industry. Where food companies that supply the wholesale & retail sector often manage to control damage or even show growth, parties that supply the catering and foodservice industry are really struggling now.
Over the past few weeks, we have all seen wonderful initiatives emerge that show how resilient we can be in adversity. We saw foodservice focused wholesalers as well as other wholesalers setting up webshops in no time to be able to also supply B2C, especially in the fresh food segment. Although these initiatives are unlikely to save the budgeted turnover, they do help companies achieve (often) long-delayed growth plans.
“Your most important employees are available now, so make use of them”
One of the projects that is often postponed because daily business is too hectic, is an ERP implementation. It has been on your agenda for so long. So why not do it NOW? Your key employees (the core users) are available now. Utilize them in a useful way and get out of this crisis stronger.
In addition, some ERP packages are offered as a cloud-based solution. Most, of course, not as a real public cloud solution. FoodQloud for Oracle NetSuite is, however, available as a true multi-tenant cloud application. And for food wholesalers, we have very extensive out-of-the-box, niche-specific editions available.
Your key users can fulfil their part of the project from any location if an internet connection is available. And as long as the kids have their snacks, their online schooling is organized, Netflix is available to them and your neighbor is not blasting Metallica all day, your key users should be able to work well on the project. By the way, NetSuite courses are available to them online as well.
Remote projects? We’ve been doing them since 2005
At Quistor we have been doing large remote international projects since 2005. Our infrastructure and project methodology are fully equipped for this and our people are veterans in successfully managing remote projects. We have been working with Skype-for-Business, SharePoint, Teams and similar tools for a long time. From the office, from home or from any other location. It’s just a matter of planning, making agreements and sticking to them.
I admit, personal contact is and remains important at times. But it looks like that 1.5-meter society will continue for a long time to come, so we all need to cope with that.
Our consultants are currently working remotely on a number of FoodQloud implementations, from their homes in the Netherlands, Spain and the Czech Republic. An additional advantage: no extra travel costs and they work more effectively on the project because they do not have to sit in a car or plane for two to four hours!
Phased project with a scalable application
For years people are yelling that we need to phase ERP implementations in order to reduce stress on the daily business and mental health of the project leader. Yet we always opt for a big-bang-like scenario. Why? Just start with the basics. Of course, what the “basics” imply differs per company. Our advice: start with accounting plus purchasing, sales and stock management. When this foundation is laid, you then tackle CRM, Product Specifications, Webshop or Quality Management. Depending on how the restrictions associated with the COVID-19 crisis evolve, you can finally take the project to the work floor with Production or WMS.
NetSuite is the most complete, scalable and modular cloud solution currently available. During phase 1 you do not yet have to pay for functionality that is due in phase 4. You purchase modules at the moment of need and not a day earlier. We also offer a defined scope and price for the services in each phase.
How to finance the project?
Now I hear you think: “Everything sounds great. Paying for the NetSuite Cloud licenses fees, that’s feasible… but less money is coming in now and NetSuite needs to be implemented. And the implementation of business management software is commonly known as an expensive activity. Am I able to finance this?” Yes, even for the implementation costs, there are several financing options available. This way you can spread the costs of the implementation over a longer period.
So: if possible, do it now, it is the perfect moment for an ERP-project. We are more than happy to help you, including the financing of the project. This way your company will emerge out of the crisis battle-ready, without directly affecting your cash flow.
Everyone: stay safe and think about how you can make the best of a difficult situation.