Wastedge.com

Imperfect fit software

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Courtesy of Wastedge.com

A recent survey of CEO’s of US companies who were considering acquiring application software found that their most important criteria in terms of vendor selection was for the vendor to have a clear and concise understanding of their business. Value for money and quick return on investment were next in line. Interestingly, ‘brand name’ came way down the list.

Not the case in Australia! Here, vendor selection amongst the larger companies is still made according to what is perceived as the ‘safe’ route, and this means going with a big global tier 1 brand. Forget best fit for the waste business – that doesn’t even come into it. Acquirers are far more concerned with the ‘are these guys big enough’ and ‘nobody gets sacked for buying XYZ’ syndrome.

The result? We continue to hear hushed up stories about well-known, generic packages failing or at best taking years longer to implement than planned, with costs soaring way over budget. Considering that these software packages are usually sold as being ‘the world’s best solution’ to enterprise management, it would be laughable if it weren’t so catastrophic to the reputation of the industry as a whole.

But how can ‘world’s best’ or ‘all purpose’ ever be remotely possible in the real world? A generic ‘all purpose’ application solution will never encompass the best practices of every type of business environment. For example, how can a system originally designed to meet the needs of the manufacturing industry encompass the requirements of a Waste Collection and Disposal Services Management Administration system? Waste is not a package of widgets moving down a conveyer to packaging! Nor is a weighbridge system the same as a warehouse!

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