Changing a Mindset

Author: Paul Henriques in: Management

July 7, 2023

Changing a Mindset

While implementing OnRamp ERP at customers, some of which have never had an actual ERP system, much less an MERP (Manufacturing ERP), we’ve often come across a constant turn of phrase that shows a way of thinking for many staff. The way of thinking is usually said in one of the following ways:

  • “That’s not the way we do it here”
  • “Why do we have to do it like this now”
  • “This is not what we are used to”
  • “But we do it differently”

This phrase has many iterations but they all mean the same thing. You’ve lost the edge. Your staff are no longer looking for new ways to solve a problem. They just accept the problem and work around it. There’s 100s, if not 1000s, of reasons for the status quo. Be it technical limitations, stagnant management, or uninspired staff they all have the same solution: Change.

Examples of Change

Changing the way of looking at things is one of the greatest benefits of a major implementation project. Having a 3rd party come into your workspace with outside ideas that have been tested at other places and showing you how they found a way to improve productivity by adding a feature here, or removing a step there.

Moving into Industry 4.0 and keeping up with the world, or keeping ahead of the competition, requires a change mindset. And that often requires a company culture that changes your current mindset from “this is the way it is” to “how can we make this better”.

Here is a tiny example of a simple addition that was made at a customer request. OnRamp ERP invoices print out the fiscal total. Just like a check, we write out the value of the invoice.

Why? Well, because that simple step can help the customers receiving that invoice and adds an easy double-check to confirm the amount. It’s not added time or cost to the OnRamp users, but it can shave a couple of seconds of thinking “wait, what do I have to write in for the dollar value?” for the old-school people that still fill in checks manually. And those seconds add up. Besides, when that text is wrong, you can get a delay in payment because the bank didn’t process the check correctly. Who knows, in a tight quarter, a 3-day delay on a payment can mean payroll problems and who knows what else.

But with the value there some new clients complained when they first saw that. Because “that’s not the way we are used to seeing it”. There was only the desire to remove the item; not ask why it’s there and if it could be useful.

Of course, not everyone has it in them to look at a changing world and see the path to goal. Many see something like a Raspberry Pi computer and think “what’s the point”. But the truth is that a fully fledged computer of that size and at that cost provides a mountain of possibilities, like adding data to old dumb machines. By reading the inputs and the energy, a computer like that with the right software can tell a central database what a machine is doing. Imagine if you can start on the path to Industry 4.0 for hundreds of dollars instead of millions.

Change with OnRamp

This is the mindset and company culture at OnRamp. We constantly look to technology to make your work life easier. Your manufacturing line faster. Your information better. With open eyes and closed wallets, we constantly venture to do more with less. We know that in manufacturing, change is slow and sure, and with every investment properly researched. However, in Industry 4.0, this can be a negative process. Change needs more investment and less risk.

This was the mindset that we were hired to change. This is the benefit of decades of experience in manufacturing and ERP implementation. With our help, our customers have all seen an increase in productivity and profit.

In this time of labor and supply shortages, any advantage that adds capacity while not increasing staffing requirements is a good one. This includes adding an ERP that has been built around trying new things for an acceptable cost.

 

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