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Platform for Change

By Martin Rowan June 20, 2017 by

America's got TalentSAP a Platform for Exposure

We have all seen versions of this show, whether it is America’s got Talent, Britain’s got Talent, Asia’s got Talent or another version of a talent show. We have all been entertained by the extraordinarily wide range of “talents” that people possess.  An example that still stands out to me is the now famous Susan Boyle and her angelic voice that silenced Simon Cowell in her audition.  From a small industrial town in Scotland, she rocketed to stardom and was the runner-up in one of the first seasons of Britain’s got Talent.  More recently the ukulele-strumming 12-year-old Grace VanderWaal won with her quaint charm, unique voice and completely original songs that have also turned her into a YouTube phenomenon.

This show is a platform for exposure. A platform where ordinary and not so ordinary people are given the means to expose their talents.  This ultimately leads to a winner who stands out through a series of judgments and rounds of voting.  Without this platform (and other similar formats) people like Susan Boyle would not have had the opportunity to brave stepping out of the “box” that she has been placed in most of her life. She has now blossomed into a household name.

SAP software is also a platform for exposure.  In many ways it can be a platform for organizations, and specifically the people inside the organization, to reveal their talents and truly blossom into world class and leading class organizations. This platform is where promises made to customers are kept, stakeholder value is generated and where people feel what they do matters.  Sadly though, when companies implement SAP, they tend to make it fit their old way of doing business. This approach keeps the business and people stuck in their “box”.  The legacy system and processes just have a new looking screen, but nothing else has changed.

Those organizations that have adopted SAP “as a way of doing business”, whether during the implementation or afterward, have revealed the hidden value in their people, challenged the traditional thinking of their industry practices and have been able to create a platform for continuous improvement and ongoing value optimization.

The good news is that I have personally seen many companies who have been stuck in the old way of doing things, be able to transform themselves out of that situation and see incredible improvements. They are experiencing increased service levels, increased inventory turns, free up working capital and improved EBITDA.  But it takes three brave steps:

  1. Understand the “box” you are in – and then make the collective decision to change holistically
  2. Set in motion a practical plan that will fundamentally change the way you do business
  3. Embed the process and new habits into the system, while allowing the people to use the platform (SAP) to continuously blossom and drive the business forward.

Trying to figure out if you can make a difference?  Listen to Tim Baker, CIO, on how Moen transformed their business by using SAP as a platform and catalyst for change.


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