June 1, 2017
My wife is from rural Western North Dakota and we recently made a quick road trip from the Twin Cities to visit her family. As a Northern New England native, I always enjoy coming here. There are a lot of stereotypes of North Dakota, and the movie Fargo didn’t help the image, but I find the Badlands bordering Montana quite beautiful.
Ron is my wife’s cousin, a bachelor farmer who grows wheat and alfalfa on a couple of sections of land. He also has a modest cattle operation. We went to his farm to visit, and while we walked around, he explained that he was building a new corral for the cattle. His current corral was old and barely adequate for the number of cows he currently has. If he wants to expand his operation, he needs to rebuild the corral.
Ron hired a local rancher, Tim, and his two sons to build the corral. Ron told us that they are the experts, they ranch for a living, and they do this stuff all the time. Plus, if Ron were to build it himself, it would take him forever. It was fascinating to watch the three of them work. In no time at all they used a skid-steer to pull out the railroad tie posts with a couple of wraps of a chain. Then by eye, Tim used an auger attachment to dig the new holes evenly spaced in a perfectly straight line.
But Ron also recognized that Tim and his boys can’t work alone. They couldn’t just replace the old corral with the new panels and posts. The new corral needed to be rearranged to handle more cows, and they needed Ron to tell them where the gates had to go. They offered suggestions, and Ron heeded them because they are the experts. But in the end, it’s Ron’s corral, he needed to participate in the building of it and, ultimately, he has the final decision. Tim can’t, and won’t, decide for him.
I reflected how this is much like the relationship with OST and our ERP clients. Our clients hire us because we are the experts. We work with Baan and Infor LN all the time and understand the software and its workings. Like Tim knows how a good corral should work in managing cattle, we know how Baan and Infor LN can be utilized to improve business processes. But we don’t have intimate knowledge of the client’s business. Just like Tim needed Ron to explain how he wanted to use the corral and participate in its design, we need to gain an understanding of the client’s business processes, and need the client to participate in the configuration and design of their Baan and Infor LN systems.
So how old is your Baan/LN corral? What shape is it in? Is it limiting your business growth? Are you finding that for today’s needs, the gates open the wrong way?
Give us a call. We can help whether your corral needs a minor tune up or a complete overhaul. We might not be able to operate an auger on a skid-steer like Tim, but fortunately, you don’t need a skid-steer to upgrade a Baan system.