Note: Today’s post is part of our “Editor’s Pick” series where we highlight recent posts published by our sponsors that provide practical knowledge and advice on timely and important supply chain and logistics topics. This post from Elemica’s blog discusses “the true costs of entering order data by hand, and how automation can help stop the madness.”
The ant and the grasshopper. The tortoise and the hare. Aesop, the mysterious, and likely apocryphal, author of Greek fables, has given the business world many a cautionary tale. And today I’d like to share one of his lesser-known fables with you; one that might explain a painful truth about how many businesses run their order-to-cash process.
One day a very wealthy man purchased some land and went about building out the estate of his dreams. Only when the leather tannery next door began running its operation at full blast, the smell was unbearable. The wealthy landowner stomped next door and demanded that the tanner move his factory away from his new home and to another plot of land. The tanner agreed.
Only the tanner was clever, and delayed his departure using one excuse after another. Waiting until the rainy season was over. Giving his herd more time to grow. Settling all of his local accounts. Soon he’d delayed so long that the rich man got used to the terrible smell and no longer complained. The moral: people can get used to almost anything, no matter how unpleasant.
I feel like that innate willingness to put up with something less-than-ideal rather than continue working the problem provides the only possible reason why any business would still enter orders into their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software manually. It’s expensive. It’s risky. It eats up all kinds of time and resources. Yet, here we are still finding it a common practice.