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4 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Optimization Partner

Mar 31, 2016 Consulting & Deployment

4 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Optimization Partner

Six years ago, we decided to remodel our house. We wanted to become as environmentally friendly as possible, so we researched what it would take to go green and chose a contractor.

Six years later our project is still in progress. Why, you wonder, would a remodel take longer than building a skyscraper? We asked ourselves the same question and realized that the project is way off kilter because we did not pick the right partner. We researched how to build an environmentally friendly home but we failed to choose a contractor who could bring that vision to fruition. Choosing an optimization partner to evaluate your business processes is very similar to finding the right contractor for your home improvement project.

Once you decide it is time to optimize your software solution, it is imperative that you pick the partner who can make your dream a reality. This process is not as simple as emailing your deployment partner and asking for a review of your application.

1. Do They See the Big Picture?

An application review is a useful tool but it only looks at one piece of the puzzle. What you really need is a holistic view of your organization, an optimization health check. A true optimization health check reviews your processes, technology and people. When choosing a partner to conduct a health check, it is important to find someone who understands all of the puzzle pieces and how they fit together, has the expertise to provide a blueprint for success, and has a shared passion for the project.

Our remodel involved new plumbing, new flooring, solar and geothermal installation, and a rooftop garden. Each element was designed to bring an improvement to our home’s efficiency and consequently, make the house more eco-friendly. Similarly, a true partner will focus on key areas and should be able to help address the following questions:

2. Do They Focus on Key Areas?

Our remodel involved new plumbing, new flooring, solar and geothermal installation, and a rooftop garden. Each element was designed to bring an improvement to our home’s efficiency and consequently, make the house more eco-friendly. Similarly, a true partner will focus on key areas and should be able to help address the following questions:

Technology

  • Is it up to date?
  • Are you using all applicable functionality?
  • What are your plans for future updates?

Processes

  • Are your business processes efficient?
  • Have you eliminated workarounds?
  • Can work performed outside the system be improved by the technology?

People

  • Are your employees utilizing the system?
  • Are they strategic or transactional?
  • Do you have support if a key member should leave?

3. Do They Have the Required Expertise?

Our greatest failure in our remodel was choosing a contractor who believed his construction crew had the expertise to handle every element of our project. His crew members were experts in installing the flooring, and building the addition. What they lacked was knowledge of plumbing and eco-landscaping. And, they didn’t understand OUR big picture. As a result, my solar water heater looks like a fifth grade science project and my rooftop garden is still a work in progress. Don’t make the same mistake in choosing your optimization partner. An effective optimization partner will have expert resources available. Experience in relevant fields will help ensure that your health check not only reviews your processes, but also compares your processes to leading practices in the industry.

4. Do They Understand Your Vision and Share Your Passion?

The final piece to our remodel was our passion for the project. We have young children and we wanted them to experience the remodel first-hand and develop a passion for the environment. So it was important that our contractor was careful enough that our kids were safe around the crew and patient enough to answer questions. That of course was unrealistic. It is not safe for young children to be wandering around a construction site asking a million questions! Our contractor listened to us and suggested that we allow our children to participate in our weekly meetings and ask questions then. This was a great compromise and it worked for about a month, until our kids got bored with the meetings and the project.

It is just as important to find an optimization partner who shares your vision and can find a compromise when your wants do not represent the best path for your organization. A passion for the job will help ensure that your partner not only sets you up for immediate success but also provides a future roadmap for continued improvement.

The process of choosing an optimization partner is critical to the realization of your goals. By taking the time to find one who understands the breadth of the project, has the proper resources available, and shares your vision, you are creating an environment for success. Otherwise, six years later you may still be waiting for that rooftop garden!

 

Sue Gallagher

Sue Gallagher is OneSource Virtual’s director of solution management. Sue is based in Maryland with her husband and four kids. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling. Like, a lot of travelling. Her family has been to all 50 states, 49 in an RV.


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