10 Oct How to Use Systems Strategy for ERP Implementation
How to use strategy for ERP implementation? Our guest today elaborated on this issue for our audience.
In this week’s Manufacturing Ecommerce Success Series, our guest speaker was Sam Gupta. Sam is the Founder, Community builder, and host at WBSRocks. He also is a principal consultant at ElevatIQ, a company that helps manufacturers and distributors procure, implement, and maintain their ERP, CRM, and other systems produced by major technology providers.
The conversation of this episode started with Curt introducing Sam to the show. After this, Curt asked Sam about how he got to where he is and also about his studies. To this, Sam said that when he did his MBA this is when he got to know the corporate side of things. Moreover, before this, he was only working in the manufacturing field.
Aside from this, when he got to the corporate side of things, he said that he was only around 20 years old when he started working with the fortune 500 companies. Sam said that at this point, he had a gift that he was able to talk to anyone without hesitation.
This is when he worked in a couple of fields before starting his own company ElevatIQ as a strategy for ERP implementation. Moving on, Sam shared the birth of WBSRocks. He said that when Covid-19 occurred, they weren’t having much luck in their business and that’s when he started this company.
In addition to this, he also noticed that he needed to create an ecosystem with a strategy for ERP implementation. To create this community Sam started his online blog and wrote around 20 to 30 blogs. After this, he started following influencers and seeing what they do.
With these tricks and tactics, Sam shared that he developed his podcast. By the end of the conversation, Curt asked Sam to give advice to people who are just starting out the way he did last year. To this, Sam said that you need to find your ideal listener profile.
According to Sam, this means that you need to find your tribe and your community. Moreover, he said that you need to find people with whom your synergy also connects.
The conversation then ended with Curt and Damon thanking Sam for his presence!
Sam Gupta is the Founder, Community Builder, and Host at WBSRocks. WBSRocks is a community and media company focused on digital transformations and business growth. Moreover, it is a network of LinkedIn influencers, who run various podcasts, clubhouse rooms, Twitter chats, etc.
Apart from this, Sam is the Principal Consultant at ElevatIQ. His company provides business system procurement and implementation assistance for the systems such as ERP, HCM, CRM, and BI. Moreover, Sam is the Ambassador at RevGenius and an SAP Account Executive at Keyush Consulting Limited.
Before this, Sam has served at various places for various Consulting positions, including Independent Consultant and Senior Consultant. As for his education, Sam has a Master’s Degree of Science in Technology, Commercialization, and Product Marketing from The University of Texas at Austin.
Moreover, Sam completed his Bachelor of Engineering in electronics and computer engineering from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology.
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How to Use Systems Strategy for ERP Implementation
sam, rp, business, manufacturing, people, system, understand, linkedin, kurt, gupta, community, started, talk, greg, damon, manufacturer, build, vendor, digital transformation, architecture
Damon Pistulka, Curt Anderson, Sam Gupta
Damon Pistulka 00:00
He can sound if you can click your camera on and off again. Let’s get you up there.
Curt Anderson 00:06
And look at this crew right yeah,
Damon Pistulka 00:09
there we go.
Curt Anderson 00:10
We got Wisconsin in the house.
Damon Pistulka 00:11
Yep. The Wisconsin we’re rolling from Wisconsin, that’s for sure. So all right let’s get ourselves live over here on LinkedIn and then we will be rolling so do that.
Curt Anderson 00:25
Alright guys, Happy Friday. Here we go. What Canada the house? Yes. Cooking.
Damon Pistulka 00:32
I got music on my side over here. All right, everyone. Welcome once again to another edition of the manufacturing ecommerce Success Series. I’m one of your co hosts here Damon Pistulka we got an exciting show for us today. I’m just going to as I do turn it over to my friend and co host Kurt Anderson to take it away
Curt Anderson 00:55
Curt Damon man you know what? Like I’m like nervous today. Like I never get nervous through these like like I’m I’m starstruck right now. Yes is a big man. I’ve been looking forward to this for months. And like look at the first comment guys if you check out the comment, we with cats We love you, Sam. So Sam Yeah, I don’t know if he needs an introduction. Sam Gupta. Welcome Happy Friday. How are you my friend?
Sam Gupta 01:21
Hey, thank you so much for having me. You know Kurt and Damon. It’s always fun to hang out with you guys and I am probably going to be equally nervous today. Because I have a lot of cheerleader they are almost like family and when you are performing in front of your family you are solid members.
Curt Anderson 01:39
That’s right a lot of family members we’ve got gal we’ve got indoor Greg misu we’ve got Aaron Gary wouldn’t Rochester here today Val Kevin’s in Wisconsin my friend Jean so we’ve got a great great crew as Greg says bring it Sam so guys so let’s so you know everybody knows LinkedIn Sam Gupta. Let’s go back a little bit in time. And you know, my first question ironically, daymond just hit it so like, how ageless does Sam look? So if you guys want to guess I put it put an age in the chat box of how old you think Sam is because Damon? I’ve started lying. You know people lie about their age. I go the other way.
I say like I’m 1015 years old. Come on. I’m like, and I’m like, 65 they’re like you look good for 65 look at Sam 2227 guy is ageless. So a bachelor’s degree in engineering. You have an MBA from university taxes. Go Longhorns. Right. And I believe you have a 3.89 not anywhere close my 2.3 but very impressive. You know, I like that 3.89 but sure a little bit let’s talk about your journey. You’re the digital transformation expert. At least that’s how we perceive you. You are the king of networking. Talk a little bit about your journey from university, Texas and how did we get here?
Sam Gupta 02:55
So yeah, so I am going to get the first question out of our way first, and that is going to be about age. So that is going to be one of my gifts. You know, we don’t really age in our family after we turn 18 Okay, now I don’t know whether to be a gift. Or that is going to be a curse. Because you know sometimes when you look like a team, you don’t get paid. Nobody pays you trust me. Okay, so And by the way, anything My father is almost 85 at this point of time, if you were standing right beside me, he is going to look exactly like me. He is going to have black hairs
Curt Anderson 03:38
Yep, good jeans, my friend jeans you are looking handsome as ever saw that is awesome. So get let’s dig in. So post MBA, let’s share a little bit like how was this like, early thing, man, I’m gonna get into digital and software like, sir a little bit about your journey and how you got to where you are today.
Sam Gupta 03:55
So MBA was, you know, very far in the career, you know, that was the executive MBA, I was working for roughly 12 years before that, in the corporate environment, doing the, you know, consulting in the fortune 500 world. Before that, I grew up in a very manufacturing and distribution centric environment. So my family, the only thing we talk about, we don’t play sports. You know, we don’t have any hobbies. Okay, so the only thing we do is manufacturing and distribution. And that’s what we are good at.
You know, we are really terrible at anything else. Okay, so that’s how we started. And, you know, got into the fortune 500 Consulting early on in my career. It was roughly what 20 years. You know, that’s how early I early I was in the fortune 500 Consulting did that for roughly 1012 years. Going after every single business out there. Their problem was always Hey, I had invested $10 million $80 million 100 million dollar and I don’t know if I got any value out of that. was the pain point that we were always solving.
So I was this, you know, sort of the cross functional guy who could talk to everybody in the organization for some reason, I don’t know, maybe because of my family background, I knew accounting, I knew, you know, manufacturing, distribution, business, it, you name it. So yeah, so that’s why I sort of got that role in the consulting space then went for executive program, because I was really interested in entrepreneurship from the beginning, just because of my genes, and wanted to get that rolling.
So I was trying a lot of different startups to begin with, but then you know, I wanted to go full on initially when I wasn’t sure if I could really pull off a company like EA RP consulting, to be honest, because I would be competing with companies like Deloitte and PwC. And he and why, and in this life, I don’t think I’ll be able to compete with them. So I had to figure my path out. So you know, so I started chasing a lot of different startups. So I did a lot of work in the medical device space, a lot of work in the real estate, you name it.
I mean, every single industry I was trying to create these startups fail big time and then finally got into the elevate IQ which is where the E RP sort of consulting journey began. Then I realized that you know what, I, I that was my core as a manufacturing distribution, e Rp. That’s what I knew really well. So I should be focusing on my core as opposed to going to something else. And now somewhere in 2019, I guess, or 2020. That’s where wb s rocks begin. Right? And you guys are going to be super curious about what is wb s rocks. Who is Sam Gupta why he’s appearing all of a sudden. So I was the best kept secret.
Curt Anderson 06:50
Thank you. I appreciate that.
Damon Pistulka 06:52
Yeah, there you go. Okay.
Curt Anderson 06:55
Well, let’s let’s unpack that for a second. Sam because I have to love that. JOHN, my friend in New Jersey. We just spoke this morning. So Happy Friday, buddy. You know, first off I want to wish everybody is a huge huge day. Today it is manufacturing pay. So everybody happy Manufacturing Day to all of our amazing incredible manufacturers out there. Yeah, we’d like a our manufacturers are truly truly the heroes of our economy. And they just work relentlessly. They manufacturer they create, they’re innovative.
They’re doing amazing, amazing work. So two of our manufacturers. I know our MEP is Mike Womack and our MEP friends out there, Gina to baso. Everybody out there Happy Friday, happy Manufacturing Day. So what I love Sam is like look at how you know we talked about focusing on your strengths. And what you’ve done is like, Man, you have just this incredible gene pool. That’s not fair. I have total gene envy right now. But you have this great gene, gene pool, you are youthful, energetic, peaceful, calming presence. And so when you’re making that digital transformation could have been 1015 years ago, it was stressful, then it’s stressful today.
So I would assume I’m envisioning that you just gave a very nice calming presence to any team that you were on and trying to help them make that digital transformation. And that success has translated extremely well to where you are today. You hit on wb s. So before we jump into that digital transformation I want to talk about you are the king of networking. You are the community builder. You have a podcast you’re on clubhouse you have a happy hour that’s in a couple hours. I know Damon, you go to that happy hour. You have a Twitter chat. You have a slack community. Sam question, do you ever sleep? IRENA? How old are you?
Do you ever sleep so I mean like Dude, you are everywhere on LinkedIn. And you know you came on my radar. It was about a year ago right now and I remember you and I connected it was like October ish if I’m not mistaken. Talk a little bit on like, how did you do? You really took the bull by the horns. You are just tenacious networker connector. You know how many of us as a matter of fact, in the chat box, please. How many of you how many connections do you have on LinkedIn? Thanks to Sam Gupta, please put that number in the chat box. But Sam share a little bit what what Laura was right, which engine you were, you’re like, I’m going all in on this.
Sam Gupta 09:23
So honestly speaking, I’m just gonna continue on, you know what I was saying? So yeah, so I was really the best kept secret. Okay, and you know, if you look at my presence digitally, Honestly speaking, even though I was doing digital transformation, I was really embarrassed at who I really was. nobody really knew about me. So that was the embarrassing awakening or whatever you want to call it. Okay.
Then I was watching a lot of guys such as Kurt Enders and Damon Pistulka B, were kicking the birth of everybody in the community with their digital presence and you know, If you look at our sort of presence, we were like, you know, every manufacturer, every GLB company to pH website, you know, one blog, wrote in 2018. You know, I didn’t have to care for anything people were calling us, we were getting business. You know what, that was the reality of COVID-19. Because after that we didn’t get any business. Okay, we were getting all of our contracts cancelled, so we had to figure out how to survive. So that was the birth of wb s rocks.
Okay, so what I had to figure out, as you know, how to translate the skills that I personally had is, you know, how can I create this ecosystem that is going to give us the thought leadership that I was really looking for, even though I was really good at it. And obviously, once I put the podcast and everybody sort of knows me, but it’s the same, same Gupta that was five years ago versus today, you know, the knowledge did not change. So yeah, so when I started the WB s rocks journey, you know, initially, I started writing blog to be honest, okay, really, in depth blog, if you actually go I have the entire journey on our website.
So we wrote roughly what 2030 blogs started promoting on social then we had to figure out, you know, what, how to distribute this, because nobody was really reading it. Okay, so then we had to figure out okay, what are LinkedIn influencers doing? So I was watching every single influencer out there I ever studied them very, very, very closely in terms of what they had done, to be successful to build the influence of, let’s say, if anybody has a million follower, or 2 million followers, or whatever, so I was studying very, very, very closely what they were doing, what were the restraints, how they had gone to a million follower.
So that was the the exercise. And that’s how we created sort of this distribution channel, then I was analyzing all of our competitors, where they were really good at some competitors had really strong YouTube channels, YouTube started in roughly 2012. So we sort of missed the bus for that. So if we had to start at YouTube, probably we would not be as successful. But one of the things that was sort of upcoming was the podcast, we didn’t have really, really good podcast for NLP and digital transformation.
So we hit really hard on the podcast journey, and we didn’t want to simply start the podcast we wanted to actually build the community around it, and that community could actually provide all of the referral relationship because as you know Kurt, if he rpd is happening in that town, everybody pretty much knows about it, every competitor is probably going to be eating on the same dinner table. So unless you know somebody in the community it’s very, very, very hard to get those deals.
So that’s why we have built this ecosystem and that’s my journey, it’s been extremely rewarding. I would say we have done this and work roughly a year so far it’s been one of the most profitable and we measure every opportunity we measure every single lead and we have data to back it up you know what I am trying to claim and I have been very upfront when it was not working I told Damon Damon This is great you know I don’t get any business out of it. I’m gonna do it I’m gonna stick to it. But today if I look at the number of opportunities number of leads this thing works guys
Curt Anderson 13:20
okay so let’s Yeah, there’s a lot to break down there and whoa
Damon Pistulka 13:27
because this is the thing that I always love about talking with Sam is is I’m in a similar type of industry with eggs your way you know it’s a long term kind of sales cycle it’s people have to get really comfortable like in Sam’s business you know the E RP is the heart of that manufacturing business and to let somebody touch it is like you know, and this is you understand this Kurt? Not yet but someone going out with your daughter and oh, it’s like oh, yeah, you know,
Curt Anderson 13:59
homecoming was last week but that’s another story. I made the call you Greg
Damon Pistulka 14:04
so but it’s but it’s one of those things you know that you really have to do and I appreciate the way Sam has structured his community around around helping other people and providing good leads I mean, Sam’s a Sam’s a fierce networker as you said
but he’s he’s provided me tons of great leads to talk to you and people and I’ve been able to do it the other way as much as I can but it’s it’s still just that showing the way that he builds relationships, curates relationships help to be a giver on on of helping others that are that are helping to build this community this this is why we get on a platform like LinkedIn, this is why we do the things we do because we can all grow together better. Then we can separately
Curt Anderson 14:50
Yeah, and Sam just chime in real quick so like when I asked how many people you know, like, Greg miss you many, many, many indoor says very many gals at Georgetown if you’re ready just a wonderful you know lost track but Kurt let me the same who led me to anger led me to Greg and Dan but you know also connect me with other Twitter chat and data that you know your happy hour. So in a great thing is Sam you know, it’s just so rewarding, refreshing being in your circle, you do everything with integrity, you are so genuine.
And again, like being that fierce networker. It’s not like, you know, the sleazy sales guy, like you genuinely care and you’re trying to drive success to other people. And it just shows question for you say there’s somebody out there and so a lot of our folks here are from you know, know you, you know, if they don’t if they’re new to this, or new this concept, and maybe they’re trying to, like our friend, Val, Val is talking about maybe starting a podcast, or I’d like to start a new community. But I don’t know where to start.
Do I do clubhouse? Do I do a happy hour? Do I do a Twitter chat? What do you have advice for someone that’s starting where you were a year ago? Where do they start?
Sam Gupta 15:54
So I am actually going to pick some of the lines that you had mentioned Kurt on your podcast when you had done with the WB s rocks. So one thing that you need to do is you need to find your ideal listener profile. And that’s where most people struggle, okay, you need to find your tribe. Just because I have built my tribe in certain way. Your community may be completely different, your community may be hanging out on Instagram, or Tiktok or you know, Twitter. So first understand where your tribe is really hanging out and what do they care for?
Once you understand that, then you have to figure out okay, what are going to be my recruiting channels. Okay, in my case, I had very deep understanding of our audience, which are the people I wanted to go after. I came after Kurt Anderson for a reason.
Okay, I went after Damon Pistulka for a reason, okay, because I really wanted to, you know, because we have so much synergy, you know, and synergy is what builds your community if I spoke to them and let’s say if I was doing something in real estate, they were like come on buddy, you know, you know your your you know, hence I’m going to talk to you, but you know, it’s only going to be two minutes because you’re gonna waste my time. So the synergy is really important and the synergistic relationships are really important and the best best way to create this synergistic relationship is going to be Who are your customer?
Who are you targeting And who are these customer hanging out with? Okay, so if there is some or somebody already in the account for example, the customers may be talking to accountants or lawyers or the insurance companies Okay, those are the people that you want to talk to because they already have a pre existing relationship and depressed in my case I was a new guy who needs amruta nobody okay so I if I were to you know, create a trust I need to number one sign the deal I need to spend five years with them in them you know, you have that trust going on.
Right when you have these referral relationship when you come openly then everybody sort of trusting you because they understand your expertise they understand your positioning or not the guy who’s selling e RP one day CRM the other day or maybe you know SEO the other day and then you know when the I’m selling fish as well. So yeah, so that’s the positioning and the integrity right in the market that you know, your customers have very hard earned money and how you are going to pay for it. And that is something unless you have the integrity and the expertise on something you will not be able to care for. And so I don’t know if I answered your question
Curt Anderson 18:37
and I think Greg misuse some guy took the words out, took the letters out of my mouth there Greg, you know, you are the you know, you’re you’re such a go giver, you’re a selfless leader, you know, you do an amazing job. And again, like when you look at your schedule, Twitter, you do ecommerce panels on Wednesdays, you are everywhere and bringing in other subject matter experts.
I know, you know, again, a lot of our friends on here, the folks at Gen alpha, you’re friends with David Mann to manufacturing dotnet, Aaron and the team at Internet, Earthling interactive, you know, so you are aligning yourself with other folks who are subject matter experts, folks of integrity, and really driving that ship to you know, so then when somebody does need eirp, who, whose front of mind, right? Yeah, and you, you’ve already earned that trust. So let’s dig in. Okay, so awesome job is I love the answer. Phenomenal answer.
Damon Pistulka 19:26
And I’ll just say one thing, and if people didn’t understand what Sam was talking about here, I think this is really relevant for people to know. Because he mentioned a little detail in here, your ideal customer may not be on a LinkedIn platform or an Instagram or something like that. But the people that are trusted advisors to that customer might be and Sam like myself, we often work through trusted advisors, because of that relationship because of the fact that a referral is so much better.
So people that are listening really need to understand that because it’s the the as Greg just said it’s about the referral because building that relationship with them and then working in a client or to with them so they can see that relationship and how you work with people and but even better understand it that’s what you do but building your tribe around those trusted trusted advisors so you can give a more complete solution to to your end customers
because if you’re working with all the end customers and Sam is they’ve got an AARP need and Sam can help them well then maybe Greg miss you can help them maybe Gail could help maybe all these other people that we know in our community that are working with the same kind of clients can help we can be a solution provider for that not just in what we do but around the clock for him
Curt Anderson 20:46
yeah all of us collectively I love that so let’s I mean I know so phenomenal job thank you and again for sharing a little bit of you know you are the master little secret sauce here and how you made you made your own digital transformation as far as building that community. Kudos to you standing ovation and again, let’s let’s pause for one second everybody give a little virtual applause of Sam Sam thank you thank you for what you do for our communities.
Thank you for what you do as far as connecting and looking at every name on here I know Val you made a comment you know every one of us I have connections thanks to you and so our hats off we praise you we appreciate you god bless you so let’s get into like that’s your superpower building communities you’re also a digital transformation expert let’s dig into what what let’s talk about your day job you know that Clark Kent set aside of you talk about how you walk into a company and manufacturer you know I’m daunted I’m overwhelmed maybe I don’t even know what e RP is or what it stands for. How do you help manufacturers and make that process nice and smooth?
Sam Gupta 21:47
Yeah, so there are going to be many different engagements that we typically consider. So the typical scenario is going to be either they are considering an E RP ecommerce platform or the entire architecture. So our speciality is going to be really not just the E RP even though I like to position myself as E Rp. Because if it is not going to have E RP component, then probably I don’t know if we want to touch that to be honest. Okay. So e RP is the center point. But typically our role is going to be to define the entire architecture and that is the expertise that you know, I don’t think anybody has in the world at least as far as I know.
Okay, because that’s where some much deeper expertise in aligning different systems for example, our e commerce system is going to talk to your DLP how your you know, your PLM system is going to talk to you depending upon what kind of e commerce shop you are, in some cases, let’s say if you are going to be the the ecommerce shop that is going to be slightly more consumerized product right they are going to have very different business processes, because they might have very, you know, crowded warehouse and they may require very specialized system inside the warehouse.
Now, if you look at slightly more, you know the engineer to order or make to order kind of manufacturing shops, their warehouses are not going to be as crowded, they are going to require for more expertise on the shop floor. So depending upon what the business model is, we try to select the entire architecture we like to define the processes first, because that is going to be the biggest problem for most businesses, they don’t understand their own business. The second case is going to be that even if they understand their business, they don’t know how to eat or pee Is it okay and there is a term for it.
And then when you say LPA is many was started as a start up, you are going to say hey, I’m cutting the sales order I’m cutting the purchase order Hey, you know what this is how the business is supposed to work, you develop a you go and code when you start you are you don’t really understand how business is supposed to work. And that’s what is the process called e or P e business. And that’s what makes you ready for scale. Unless you transform your business process is the way the E RP community is built. Okay. And the reason for that is because it has been done for the last 60 years, b m e RP was the first system that was ever built.
Okay, when you talk about the computerized system, so e RP has been there for a very long time. They understand all of the best practices of how the accounting is supposed to be done, how the business is supposed to be done, how the commerce grade is supposed to be done. And you know, it accommodates the needs of all of those business models. When you try to create something of your unique then what you are going to do is you are going to over engineer the system, you are going to over engineer the process, and then that is going to become your bottleneck.
So typically from our perspective, we like to simplify the business first, before we install anything that’s going to The first thing you need to simplify your architecture on a piece of paper before you go and touch any technology, any system out there, nobody builds the house before they print the house on a piece of paper. So why would you create software any differently? Yeah, well, and by the way, if you talk about manufacturing, manufacturing has probably 40 sub assemblies, maybe 200 sub assemblies, if you talk about an enterprise software, that is probably going to have an old in some assemblies, that’s how complex is an enterprise architecture and enterprise software is so.
So typically, you know, our goal is going to be to number one, simplify line, the architecture, select the right system, help them implement, so we can take the entire process, sometimes businesses don’t understand how critical this could get, okay, they get in trouble, when they get in trouble, they call us, okay, that problem could be, you know, as big as, hey, my vendor is not taking my goal, and I am not able to process my sales order, I am not able to get my invoice. And why is that, because the vendor actually went bankrupt, because you signed a vendor that you did not understand whether they had the the financial, you know, positioning in the market a lot.
Or it could be because, you know, they were utilizing a component that they did not have control over. So the other vendor actually went bankrupt. So this is the sub assembly scenario, guys in the manufacturing situation, okay, if one component is going to go down, then your entire supply chain is going to break, you’re not going to have definition. So what do you do, you cannot run your business. So then you will call us and then we will fix the architecture that’s going to be far more expensive, then defining it on a piece of paper from scratch. So I don’t know if I answered your question. But yeah, we
Damon Pistulka 26:47
I hope there’s not a lot right there, that one right there. Because Yeah, you cover the the really, really critical thing I see in businesses that they don’t do when they’re considering the RP or an upgrade, or whatever they’re doing is is the value stream of that data, how it’s going to flow through the system and how everything’s going to interact. And it is complex, as you said, because there’s so much now when you consider CRM systems, you can shop for data collection systems, you’ve all the things that that sometimes tie into this and then you think about outside people submitting orders through VDI or FTP or however the heck they’re gonna do it.
And there’s just a lot of things that have to be considered in this and know well okay, very, very few companies have the technical expertise that you’re talking about that you provide to be able to go from end to end and go Okay, here’s some considerations that you should do because they’re relying then on the software supplier to help them implement things and and and yes, they always get too technical.
Yeah, and they try to bite off too much before just making sure our academy as you said, Can I put an order in and can I invoice it even if the middle is not so great. And app I’ve got I’ve had clients over the years that honestly in an implementation is something like a Microsoft Dynamics in a bigger platform it they have not been able to invoice for a month or more on a on a you know, on a $50 million company I mean, this is not little dollars. So you really need that the E RP system planning ahead of time that you’re talking about. Sam is so much less expensive and so beneficial to do.
Curt Anderson 28:37
Yep, yeah. And so Sam Alright, so that everybody’s mind blown right now or what? This This is so good. All right. So Sam, let’s just let’s don’t take your foot off the pedal, let’s get let’s get even Friday afternoon here on these calls. Let’s get going even further. Okay, your clients? Are they always in trouble? Like, are you just like, Are you the fixer? Are you the doctor on the spot? Like, do you have folks that come in to proactively, like, describe kind of your engagement? Like how does that work?
Sam Gupta 29:05
And so No, I mean, I would not say that everybody is in trouble, but they don’t know how big trouble they might be in at this point of time. That’s the biggest problem
Curt Anderson 29:13
that’s even scarier than they might iceberg is down below. Right? Exactly.
Sam Gupta 29:17
So I’ll give you a story, a real life story, okay, that we are doing at this point of time. Okay, so when we got a call at that time, this is a similar, you know, Microsoft implementation. And again, I don’t like to call any vendor, every EAP is great. Every system is great. every vendor is great. The problem always is going to be in your implementation the way you have utilized in your environment. Okay, so here, the customer knew that you know, they had bought a Microsoft Dynamics CLP that is the only thing that they knew for them.
It was just a black box that does LP some sort of black box that does you know, voodoo magic and it actually when you place a sales order, it sort of spreads the invoice and sort of you know, prints your financial statements. That’s all They knew, okay, they didn’t understand what was the support model, they had bunch of guys that they used to call, when they had to sort of all them, obviously, they are slightly more distribution business. And it was a very tricky business to be honest, because we are talking about slightly more regulated business.
And typically, the more regulated your business is going to be, the more challenges you are going to get. So they invited us, okay, we the customer, the vendor is not really supporting us as good as we would like. And we would like your help, if you could provide any sort of development or technical expertise. And then we sort of started, you know, the peeling out DD, I mean, right there, you know, in terms of what they really had. So one of the things that we discovered is one of the components that they had utilize it on top of dynamix, nobody had any control over it.
Not even Microsoft, even though it is sitting on the Microsoft product, or give me call the Microsoft, Microsoft pulled the plug, that’s an article rather, even though you are utilizing Microsoft, you knew that you know, you are using Microsoft, that’s an RD, okay, you are utilizing a third party chrome component, go call them. Now we ask them, okay, we have more than happy to fix, can you at least provide the code, any technical component, and the software component is going to have bunch of logic that you need to debug and fix to be able to provide whatever formula you’re trying to build.
That’s the software. So when you have the product, you are not going to get access to the code. Now, you would not know that unless you dig into the contracts. The truth lies in the contracts. So you need to know how to read these contracts. And we have seen companies going down just because of a software implementation, or the E RP implementation, B, just because they did not understand how to read the RP contract. By the way, in this particular engagement, they have already invested roughly $2 million already, can you believe this?
And this is a mid sized company $2 million guys on Microsoft business Central, that’s a very small product, okay, it’s not it’s not very big $2 million, we are most likely going to go to court, by the way he or two deals do end up in courts. Because when you buy a product that is not going to work for the business, who’s wanted his client has paid $2 million, so somebody should be suffering, right? It’s quite hard earned money. Yeah, it ends up in really, really, really ugly situations. So I am known as one of the expert witness who is trusted for his advice. If I write on a piece of paper, then people sort of believe that, okay, so I am known as one of the eirp, technical sort of functional expert.
So if I say that, you know, the vendor is going to be on fourth, then, you know, we are going to do the discovery in terms of what the vendor has done. And then we are going to come up with the agreement. If this was a, was it a breach of contract? You know, was it something else? So depending upon how the overarching architecture was, and whatever happened, right now, by the way, the client who is suffering, okay, they have to restart their implementation.
They have to buy a new earpiece system. After spending $2 million, they are running on that system, and they have no clue what is going to happen to the business. Oh, no. Okay, because now, if I actually do a press release right now, and we go to court, obviously, the vendor is not going to support that’s how businesses work. Now, if they don’t support How do you cut the sales order, you don’t even have access to court, you don’t have access to data. So what do you do? Yeah, so so it gets really really interesting and exciting. Okay, so if you think that you know, I am always present on LinkedIn, my life is far harder in the background,
Curt Anderson 33:51
because dude, like you know, you hear a forensic accounting and you know, I’ll be like, Who knew you needed this whole dynamic and eirp Wow, who knew? I this is about what a fascinating story Sam All right. I’m like you left me speechless how often my speeches David not very often. Let’s Alright, let’s back so we could talk about this all the way we I lost come total track of time I’m like, just captivated with a story. I don’t mean I don’t want to smelling staats Richert, you know, I might, you might call 911 day and my hair you go alright Sam, a lot of our clients, a lot of folks I Jean is with the Small Business Development Center.
Like we have folks that are with smaller manufacturers that you know, that wouldn’t have that type of budget or capacity for any RP system. Let’s talk like for a smaller manufacturer, okay. Let’s take like 2030 person custom manufacturer, you know, maybe they’re still you know, old school, they want to make that transition. What are some tips and advice you would have for making that smooth transition for like someone that’s brand new to this thing? It’s overwhelming. How do you help Reduce that room overwhelm and help them embrace it.
Sam Gupta 35:04
Yeah, so my advice always is going to be as I said, you don’t build the house unless you can build the house on the piece of paper. Okay, so that’s how you build the house. And that’s how you build the RP system. And by the way, in case of an earpiece system, most people just think that you know, you are going to get this one system and that is going to do everything. That’s not how it works.
Our business whether you are talking about e commerce business or manufacturing ecommerce on any other ecommerce, typically what you are going to meet is you are going to need at least four or five system that is going to be part of your community plumbing, okay when I say community plumbing, meaning you know, if you are doing something in your room, I don’t really care, okay, if you are if you have a you know, plumbing in your, in your room,
I don’t really care, but when the plumbing is going to be connected with the enterprise bus, that’s where you need to call me and you need to make sure that you know you are getting the sign off from the city before you install anything. So that’s what is an E Rp. So let’s say if you’re using a siloed system that is sitting somewhere in the corner, you’re doing throw away analytics, nobody cares for it, okay, maybe the analytics is going to be used, you know, in the enterprise system, that’s not as critical. Okay, that’s an easy easy software to buy, you can buy here you know, I’m never going to be mad at you.
But if you are going to be connected with the main supply with the community supply with this city plumbing, then I am going to be asking every single question and typically when you talk about any of the e commerce business, the main plumbing, if you think about it are going to be your e commerce system.
If you’re doing any sort of transactions from your e commerce site, the next thing is going to be obviously your earpiece system because you need some sort of you know, operational system, some sort of, you know, your accounting system, the system of record, you might do some planning, which is again important, but it’s not as important as your transactional system, okay,
then you are going to have some sort of web system if your warehouse is going to be complex, okay, so that’s how we typically you know, sort of go about the planning the architecture so the best recommendation that I can have for any mid market company is really design your architecture on a piece of paper and consult with somebody who understand how to read these contracts you can you can really save yourself, trust me, okay.
So, what you need to do is you need to identify the roles and responsibilities of each system you need to identify the support model of each of the system you need to understand the legal implications of each system you need to understand how the transaction each of the sales orders that you are going to have how it is going to flow from your system one to system to system three to system for to system five and if you don’t have that understanding on a piece of paper most likely you know you might the systems might work but you might not know how big the risk you are setting on in a business
Curt Anderson 38:08
right Dr. Gupta is in now I saw Professor Gupta and Sam and you’re probably a lot cheaper than an attorney or my insurance policy right so I mean you’re really scared like you’re freaking me out right now so like I’m okay so there’s a lot to cover there so what we’re hearing So the takeaway for folks today as we wind down what we want to do is we’re gonna we’re gonna wrap up here in a minute because I know folks are just burning dying to talk to you at the tables afterwards. That’s how our program works. You have you have you provide checklists you have like I know you have a wealth of information on your website 161 podcast Dude, I believe I saw 160 congratulations.
So you have a wealth of information to help educate teach guide you are the Sherpa you’re the guide your that trusted resource to help prevent a lot of this this this these nightmares that you’re describing right? How you know when somebody reaches out to you Let’s and I understand like going through you know persona all these things like you know, how do they they find you on LinkedIn they find you on your website, what are some of the first steps that you’re going to say, you know, in that conversation to like, you know, put their mind at ease like with some of these legal challenges that they might face.
Sam Gupta 39:20
Yeah, so the first step is always going to be just doing the discovery to make sure that they are at a stage where they can really you know, go through this path so our goal always is going to be to maneuver them in the right direction. For example, let’s say if you are going to be really small business, one to $5 million, you want to buy the systems that you can you really have sort of the paycheck to be able to support to be honest, and our goal is always going to be Hey, this is where you are and these are the right systems for you.
Curt Anderson 39:48
Is and I’m sorry, is that you start with budget like you tell as you’re talking to that client you you you know you’re digging into like your discovery when you do your discovery process. Are you trying to discover like where are they at sales wise prop budget wise, what’s a good fit for them? Are you already thinking like what type of system might work for them?
Sam Gupta 40:06
So typically, there’s going to be much, you know, deeper checklists that we need to go through. It’s not going to be just budget. It’s also going to be on Plex you are from the business perspective, how many entities do you have? What kind of business processes do you have? What kind of products you are producing, you know, what kind of underlying systems do you have? What kind of integration you are going to require?
So yeah, so the best checklist that I can give you is going to be the podcast 160 episodes, Okay, listen to them like a Bible. Probably probably you will create a checklist, there are millions of checklists online, but the majority of the time when people use the checklist, they end up in these situations that I am going to display
Curt Anderson 40:44
cash, I will not NetSuite, you’re like in 2006 was like, you know, early NetSuite like now you’re like, totally freaking out. Like, I’m like, man, how naive I was going into that whole process. So like, Man, I wish I would have known you back then. Sam. So anyway, Damon, what do we got? Dude, like, we’re coming into time. And yeah, I’m like,
Damon Pistulka 41:03
I’m just listen, I’m just listening right now. Because, you know, he really has exposed a lot of a lot of bare nerves that people don’t even know. And they, you know, risks they really have because that, that whole that, and I’ve seen it, I’ve seen it in companies I’ve come into and others I’ve worked with, it’s like, the RP system kinda is in this black box over in the corner that no one really thinks about until something quits working, or something like that, or they’re gonna upgrade because it doesn’t work anymore, right? And then they go, Okay, let’s go out and find a vendor. And they’ll do like a dynamic.
So go here that we’re using Microsoft, they have no idea what that entails, and the connections between everything and all the just just the the work. And I’ve come in on the backside of failed implementations after two years, and I’m not talking about a completed I’m just talking about trying to upgrade from, from version 1.0, to 2.0 kind of things, these things in a company that has multi site, lots of users, lots of departments, and in different systems.
It is such a nightmare, if you don’t go back to what Sam said, and understand that architecture and understand, okay, these are the three things we’re going to connect, we don’t want to connect these other three things, because that’s just going to add a level of complexity and problems we don’t. And let’s get our business running and really understand how this is going to go forward with this. It’s just, I can’t he’s gone covering so much good stuff.
Sam Gupta 42:32
And just one quick comment guys, a lot of people talk about, you know, they want to do AI, they want to do machine learning, they want to do robotics, you know, in there, guys, that’s all not possible unless you learn how to produce the instructions, the robot is just a machine that requires instructions. And those instructions are going to be produced by your operating system, and which is going to be the glue of your e commerce, because that’s where your orders are coming from.
So it’s easy to talk about these fancy technologies, but you don’t if you don’t understand how to build the foundation, you know, it’s going to be very, very, very big house and you are going to see the cracks on the roof of your house and you are going to complain that you know, technology doesn’t work. So yeah, so So learn and really understand deeply your business policies and the system and once you have deeper understanding and how to work with the ELD companies, I guess, you know, then the life is going to be slightly easier. Yeah, you can run
Curt Anderson 43:24
before you crawl. That’s what you’re saying. Yeah, yes. Well, gosh, Sam, man, I am like just blow it like I’m usually like this demon like I am blown away. I had super super high expectations and you still crush them. Wow. Okay, guys, let’s do this. Let’s wrap up. We’re quarter after the hour. I want to get back to the table. So you guys have connected with Sam.
So Sam, first off again. Thank you. I’m gonna and I feel comfortable speaking for everybody on the call today. Anybody on LinkedIn live. Thank you for your relentless passion, your selfless leadership, just that go giving attitude. You’re just a breath of fresh air. You’re just such a great resource for all of us. Thank you. Thank you for being here today. And thank you for just sharing your knowledge, your wisdom, your expertise. This was just beyond beyond awesome. Damon let’s take it away, brother.
I’m gonna drop in the chat. Hey, we have e commerce training coming up this week. vaman Yeah, shameless plug man. We got a little article in it with our friend Dan. David Manti put an article out and manufacturing dotnet I know it Sam you’re always like seems like every week. Yeah. Going out and manufacturing dotnet So guys, I dropped the article on the the chatbox check out our e commerce training next week. Guys. Happy Manufacturing Day. Keep crushing it. Happy Friday. daymond Take it away, brother. Yeah, thanks
Damon Pistulka 44:45
so much, Kurt. Thanks, Sam. Thanks so much for being here. Awesome. Talking to you all the time. I mean, it just it’s I it just it was awesome. It was great, great to uncover these things because oftentimes that will We there’s not oftentimes when we get to expose something like this that people don’t even realize it’s happening around them and and it’s really it helps helps these businesses understand a little better and maybe take that first step to go out and contact someone like you that to really help them get this because it can be a huge money pit if they don’t.
So we’re gonna shut down here on LinkedIn live and we’re gonna go back to the tables and I just want to make sure if your link listening on LinkedIn live you can join us here on remote just check out my my posts during the week and I’ll I’ll have links in here. You can get on remote, you can talk to our speakers, or if you want to watch on LinkedIn live, go ahead and do that. But we’re here every Friday at this time or pretty much every Friday.
We’ve got a little manufacturing month special coming up next week. We’re going to talk about more in the coming week. But just join us here on LinkedIn live and we’ll have some fun so thanks for joining us there we’re going to drop off and go back to the tables
Curt Anderson 45:56
Sam Gupta 45:57
via Thank you so much, guys for having
Damon Pistulka 45:59
Good. Yeah. Blue mine.