Enterprise Resource Planning Is Like Maintaining a Car

Businessman car breakdown, Fishbowl BlogDo you suddenly remember that you need to replace a flat tire only when you’re actually in your car and you need to get somewhere fast? That would be incredibly poor planning. Waiting until the last minute to fix a major problem like that could keep you from getting where you want to be.

If it seems silly that anyone would treat their car this way, then it would be utterly ridiculous for a business leader to treat their company the same way. I’m going to compare enterprise resource planning (ERP) to car maintenance to illustrate how important both are.

Lifting the Hood

If you don’t know how to work on a car engine, you should probably take it into a car shop and let the experts handle it. If you try to work on it yourself, you could make the problem worse or inadvertently create a few new ones.

The nice thing about running a business is that you don’t have to be an expert at everything to do it well. You just need the right tools, a bit of training and a lot of effort. For example, managing inventory and balancing accounting books can be time-consuming. That’s why it’s a good idea to hire an inventory specialist and accountant to handle these details. Even if you could do them by yourself, you have more important things to do than keeping your warehouse and accounting records nice and organized.

Switching Gears

When you use an advanced ERP solution, you solve many problems, even ones you couldn’t ordinarily see yet. With auto care (and most other maintenance issues), prevention is the best solution. This is just like running a business. If you can detect supply chain problems early on, you can keep them from hurting your business when it really counts.

In the article “Tomorrow’s ERP: Creating a New Environment for Small Manufacturers,” Christopher Baum, an independent consultant for Software Advice, gives several examples of changing conditions that an ERP system should be able to find and respond to. “A change in the price or availability of certain ingredients or parts could re-balance a build-or-buy decision. A change in the price of diesel fuel could shift the balance between a closer vendor with a higher cost and a further vendor with a lower cost.”

Reaching Your Destination

You don’t have to be a big manufacturer with an inexhaustible budget to gain access to an ERP solution. You can find some solutions for an affordable price that offer all of the features you were going to use in a more expensive option.

The right ERP solution can help you reach your destination of enjoying stable growth despite economic ups and downs. There may be a few bumps along the road, but as long as you’re proactively solving problems and hunting for business opportunities, you can make it through.

About Robert Lockard

Robert Lockard is a copywriter with Fishbowl. He writes for several blogs about inventory management, manufacturing, QuickBooks and small business. Fishbowl Inventory is the #1-requested inventory management software for QuickBooks users. Robert enjoys running, reading, writing, spending time with his wife and children, and watching movies. His favorite movies include Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Fiddler on the Roof, Back to the Future and Lawrence of Arabia.
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2 Responses to Enterprise Resource Planning Is Like Maintaining a Car

  1. Great analogy, plan better!!

    • Thank you for your comment. I’m so glad you like my analogy. 🙂 If people take the same pride in managing finances and inventory as they do in maintaining their car, they’ll definitely be more successful in business.

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