You’re an ERP channel partner, or a car dealer, or a solar panel distributor.  It doesn’t matter.  The fact is that you represent someone else’s products so, to some extent, your quality and relevance as a company is defined by the quality and relevance of your supplier’s products.

Everything in this world has a natural cycle, and sometimes the quality of your supplier’s products are going to be state-of-the-art and highly sought after, and sometimes they’re not. In those down cycles, which can last for years, you’re fighting for every sale, and you’re always on the defense, struggling to explain why your competitor’s characterization of your not-so-cutting-edge product is not accurate or pertinent.

It’s discouraging to always feel like you’re swimming upstream, isn’t it?

The fact is that you are most of the problem, not your supplier or publisher. You are defining yourself by the quality of someone else’s products, and that’s something that you have little or no control over.  “Your” product is not an ERP package, it’s the quality of your implementation and support services and your knowledge. It’s how much you care for your staff and your customers, and how successful you make them.

Are your employees raving fans of your company? If they aren’t then it’s unlikely that your customers will be.  If you want to redefine yourself in a way that gives you total control over your own destiny, then start internally. Start with your staff, and ask them why they are not raving fans.  They’ll tell you if you ask them in a non-threatening way.  Make the changes that are indicated, and they may be tough ones.  I didn’t say this was going to be easy.  I only promise that it will be worth it.

About the Author
Doug Deane is President of DSD Business Systems, an international provider of on-demand (cloud) and on-premises ERP and CRM software, specializing in wholesale distribution, manufacturing, warehouse management, inventory, business intelligence, and eCommerce software.  DSD offers NetSuite Cloud ERP, NetSuite CRM, NetSuite eCommerce, Sage 100 ERP (formerly MAS 90), Sage 300 ERP (formerly Accpac), Sage 500 ERP (formerly MAS 500), Sage FAS, Sage HRMS (formerly Abra), Sage CRM, Sage SalesLogix, Sage Add-Ons (Extended Solutions), and Custom Programming.  DSD has been a multi-time Sage President’s Circle award winner, a two-time Sage Gold Development Partner of the Year recipient, has been recognized by the San Diego Better Business Bureau (BBB) as a Torch Award Finalist (2009) and Torch Award Winner (2010) for Marketplace Ethics, and has been recognized by the Council of Better Business Bureaus as a 2012 International BBB Torch Award Finalist for Marketplace Excellence.

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