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A Fail-Safe Way to Sell a New Idea to the Board of Directors

A Fail-Safe Way to Sell a New Idea to the Board of Directors

 

So you have a great idea for a new product, merger or acquisition or site relocation and you need the board to endorse it… where do you start?

The best starting point is your audience.  What do you know about the board members? What is their background? What matters to them – bottom line, environmental sustainability, reputation, brand or customer experience can be few of many.

If you don’t know, don’t panic – all is not lost. There are some generic strategies that you can use to help get their buy-in.

When presenting to key stakeholders who think in high-pressured situations, presenting your information clearly is key to their understanding, making it easier for them to say YES.

Get the job done FAST

In my experience the fail-safe tool is FAST. FAST is a structured approach that helps you cover all of the decision making and communication preferences of your audience – detailing facts, showing previous successes and telling or defining the standards.

If you incorporate at least one element from each of the categories into your communication it builds a compelling case for change.  It answers the “prove it” challenge before it’s been posed.

It also makes the sense of urgency more concrete and objective. FActs/Data

·   Internal sources

·   Competitive Info

·   Benchmark data

Show/Demonstrate

·   Lead by example

·   Best Practice site visits

·   Testimonials

Tell/Demand

·   Dynamic leadership

·   High Standards

·   Customer or Regulatory

Advice from the Klugo Board – Annaliese Kloe, Director

“Obtaining board approval is often challenging given the competing priorities and time pressures placed on directors and the management team.  In order to successfully engage and sell a new idea to the board you need to be completely prepared with a solid business case. Prior to the board meeting, distribute your business report with your idea to the board members so that they have time to digest the new initiative; boards typically have pre reading to undertake anyway. You will need to clearly articulate the benefits for the business in tangible and intangible ways.   Executive summaries are key with background detail as required.  Make the analysis clear and easy to digest and ensure that the financial benefit is well thought out.  Seek out some of the board members and ask for feedback and establish buyin and your advocates.

By the time the actual board meeting takes place you should be ready to go.  Clearly present your new idea in easy to digest visuals and outline bottom line benefit for the business.”

Remember, the Board will make a decision based on the information you deliver but also the way in which you deliver it – be passionate, authentic and committed and you are well on the road to success.

 

How I Managed to Adapt in the Face of Business Challenge

How I Managed to Adapt in the Face of Business Challenge

Written by Annaliese Kloe, Director, Klugo & Headland Machinery As the Australian manufacturing industry moves into its seventh consecutive month of contraction, business conditions are challenging to say the least. As a Business Owner, I’ve often asked myself “how do we not only survive, but also evolve and grow during these times?” I thought I would take this opportunity to share some thoughts and insights into how Headland has been managing, and perhaps provide some ideas for your own business.

Efficiency and Transparency Across the Business

The first area we addressed was our internal costs and obtaining efficiency and transparency across the business. We reviewed our IT systems, which were traditional on-premise software products like Sage (ERP), SalesLogix (CRM) and ServiceCEO to manage our service team. Unfortunately, these products presented a barrier to innovation and business growth, instead increasing IT costs, creating duplicated work and additional administration costs, resulting in decreased efficiency. Three years ago we switched our IT Systems to a cloud-based system called NetSuite. Today, Headland achieves an annual ROI of $320,000 as a result of our new business systems. We now also have a ‘single view’ of our customer’s accounts, aiding us to accelerate innovation and rapidly adapt to the changing environment. As part of our founding entrepreneurial spirit, we have set up a new company called KLUGO and are a reseller and software development partner for NetSuite.  If you are still running traditional on-premise software products for your business, take some time to research alternatives because there are some real cost savings you can achieve for your business.

Adaptation and Diversification

The other area we focused on was the ability to adapt, diversify, and be open to change in this moving manufacturing landscape. We have reviewed our product portfolio to be in line with the market and changing conditions and will be launching some new products to the market in Quarter 3 2014. Our staff is also embracing the change, and we are increasing our service levels in all areas from Application and Software support to additional field Service Engineers. By reducing our IT system costs and focusing on business flexibility to adapt and diversify our product and service range, we’ve remained competitive by embracing these times of change. Annaliese Kloe is the Director of Klugo and Headland Machinery. If you would like more information on Headland’s journey with NetSuite, or the development of Klugo, get in touch here or call 1300 766 011

Myth Buster: Best of Breed vs ERP – What’s better for my business?

Myth Buster: Best of Breed vs ERP – What’s better for my business?

Best-of-Breed vs. ERP Software

In the current technological landscape, there is no fiercer debate than choosing between an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application, or best-of-breed software.

Best-of-Breed 

Generally, best-of-breed applications are employed at the beginning of any start-up company, simply because there are not enough people, or strategy wise, it is the best choice for the time. Depending on your business structure, best-of-breed is used to address specific business processes, and indeed, is the best application of its specific area. But herein is where the problem lies – it is the best application of its specific area, and has little to no focus on other areas of the business. Best-of-breed products deal with only a segment of the enterprise, resulting in a slower flow of communication when systems are disconnected. The more software products an enterprise has, the more expensive, confusing and difficult it becomes to collate data for reporting and security.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

ERP software systems provide a wealth of applications in one integrated system. From Accounting, CRM, Warehouse Distribution, HR and Marketing – all areas of your business are accessible from the single data source. NetSuite is the world’s #1 cloud-based ERP system for business, offering true integration for a larger degree of interaction, and a combined data source of all financials, service requests and maintenance for total transparency between departments. Especially for the finance team, employing a truly integrated ERP solution removes the pain points of connecting/retrieving data from disparate systems.

Five reasons why your business should employ an integrated ERP system: 

1. Connecting disparate systems is a good idea that is often forgotten about We’ve all heard the story of a small growing business that has implemented a best-of-breed application when starting up. But as the business has grown, finding time to consolidate the systems never really happened. A common case is the example of HR and Payroll/Financials. Each time a new employee starts; personal details need to be entered in more than once, causing data duplication and unnecessary administrative time. With a one-system-solution like NetSuite, all entries are visible from the one dashboard. 2. System integration is constrained by the worst system While having a best-of-breed application gives you access to the top solution, the problem with having so many disparate systems is that you’re working to the limitations of the worst system in the chain, and this begins to affect functionality. NetSuite is a one-system-solution that connects all business functions, and works from a single data source. Working with a connected system, all your applications work as well as the other. 3. Using a different interface for each function is hard on users who have to adapt Learning to do data entry on any given system takes time and adaptation. Consider how much time it would take if there were multiple, disconnected systems that all had differing order processing methods. When users employ a single interface in a connected system such as NetSuite, unnecessary administration and multiple training sessions are removed. 4. Companies overpay for overlap  Best-of-breed solutions throw in extra features that are supposed to add value. But when combining these different solutions, with multiple additional features, you are bound to have an overlap of functionality. NetSuite ERP features CRM, Financials, eCommerce and Field Service Management via NextService, sourced from the single data source for a connected system.    5. Reporting becomes overly simplistic or overly complex Reporting off disparate systems is hard. Different databases, different naming conventions make it harder. An obvious workaround is including as much information as possible in file naming. While file naming is a hurdle any system faces, with an integrated ERP like NetSuite, all files are located and accessible from a single source.