For most of us in the enterprise software industry, we get tripped up a bit when we see the word ‘expectations.’ We tend to immediately think of them as ‘deliverables’: dashboards, customizations, reports, roadmaps that chart out tasks or future projects. Tied up into those are considerations of expenses, timelines, due dates, and beyond.
We see those because software engineers are natural problem solvers, and those are the immediate solutions we see. Yet enterprise software ‘expectations’ go beyond these things. Let me explain.
My Hike and How It Relates To The Enterprise Software Experience
Here in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, last-minute hiking trips seem to happen about every other month; every other weekend if the weather turns especially good. So in prep, I ordered a new pair of boots on a Friday morning. I put my trust in that the two-day priority shipping I had paid. Hopefully, it for would get them to me soon after the weekend ended, and I could leave on Wednesday morning. I was already looking at new places to see–the killer views of Rough Ridge and endless creeks below.
So, as Mondays tend to go, I get the bad news first thing in the morning. The company I ordered my boots from sent an email. It read, i so many words, they’d be arriving by the end of the day on Wednesday. Okay, not cool: I paid for two-day shipping which I wouldn’t be getting!
I had a few options. I could shell out more money for overnight shipping or I could repeat the entire process. However, I didn’t have time to find another pair of boots that were of the right style, fit, and capabilities of the terrain I wanted to be on. What’s worse, I couldn’t delay my trip for a day.
I contact the company right away and let them know that I was worried about the delivery date, and that we needed to find out the best way to ensure that my boots made it to my doorstep by the end of Tuesday, not Wednesday. The customer service rep told me to call them back if the boots didn’t arrive by Tuesday night, because they couldn’t do anything to help until the order was late.
Last Step? More Like Last Straw!
They failed to offer help by addressing the problem before it occurred. Not only this, but they didn’t seem concerned that something I was depending on would not arrive in time. There was no ownership of the problem, and any urgency to create peace of mind for their customer was nonexistent.
I hung up and sat at my desk, thinking to myself, “I never want to make someone feel the way that customer service rep just made me feel.”
Then I thought, “That’s the very reason why I work here at Encompass, and why I love what I do.”
How I Contribute To The Enterprise Software Journey
My job is to ensure that every one of my customers can make it up their own ‘mountains’. They’ll need more than just the right ‘boots’. They’ll need the right boots at the right time; constant support during the climb; and, once they’ve gotten to the top, they need to know we’ll be there on the way down. That’s when ‘expectations’ goes beyond ‘deliverables’ and becomes ‘trust.’
Recently, I worked with a customer who had several important deadlines to meet and not a lot of time to make them happen. With Encompass’ vast global resources, we were able to pull together the right set of team members to help this company not only meet their urgent goals, but assist them in an implementation and go-live of Epicor 10.
When a client trusts you enough to have expectations that you’ll take them through the roughest terrain their business has ever seen, well, that’s more valuable than a good pair of hiking boots. And that’s worth a lot, take it from me: I never did get those boots on time. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than hiking up a mountain in the wrong pair of shoes.
A well-tuned ERP system delivered on-time is only half of what Encompass has to offer your business. If you’re worried you aren’t on the right ERP path, come meet us at the bottom of the mountain, and come take a hike with us.
About Encompass Solutions
Encompass Solutions is a business and software consulting firm that specializes in ERP systems, EDI, and Managed Services support for Manufacturers and Distributors. Serving small and medium-sized businesses since 2001, Encompass modernizes operations and automates processes for hundreds of customers across the globe. Whether undertaking full-scale implementation, integration, and renovation of existing systems, Encompass provides a specialized approach to every client’s needs. By identifying customer requirements and addressing them with the right solutions, we ensure our clients are equipped to match the pace of Industry.