things consultants tend to not understand

Miklos_HollenderMiklos_Hollender Member Posts: 1,597
After 10 years of working as a consultant I switched to the end user side, doing most things on my own, but when I outsource some tasks to consultants, here are the two most widespread ways they don't understand the situation:

1) "No, I have no business processes or requirements. The subsidiary I have opened in your country is just a sales office. Not a real big business just one guy sitting in an office booking purchase and sales invoices, that is all. All I want is to be able to do the legal requirements, like VAT reports and accounting in your country, while I have no idea about the regulations in your country at all. Yes, we are hiring an accountant but we cannot just not sell our goods for months until we find one, and lose hundreds of thousands of revenue, so could you just set me up a general, standard, typical chart of accounts, VAT, posting groups, legal requirements on the invoice etc. that fits the regulations in your country without trying to sell me a week of project management and "analysis"? There is nothing to analyse, look, we don't even have a company yet and it will be a skeleton company anyway, we rent warehouse space at a logistics company and we will just have one guy issuing invoices, what do you want to analyse there? We just need to be able to invoice and receive payments while not violating any laws in your country, what is so hard about this? In fact, why don't have you already have a fixed price setup? Why no partner ever had the idea to make a generally well set up basic sales office subsidiary database in your country, where all legal requirements are preconfigured and basically you can just put in your name and address in Company Info and start issuing invoices 5 min later? Why nobody thought of making that?"

2) "No, I have no requirements. Look, I am a fairly small widget vendor and I have hyuuuuge customer who just told me like it or not, we are going to use EDI with them. They are going to send us EDI purchase orders and expect EDI invoices. They are pretty much ramming EDI down our throats, because they like EDI, because they have a hundred such vendors sending them invoices, so they save a lot of time, and because they use SAP and EDI is an SAP thing. But I dislike EDI because it is not a Navision thing, we normally use XML and something like SFTP not these funny files and even funnier X400 or whatever "mailboxes". No, you cannot send me 2 days to analyse my requirements, I have NO requirements other than to satisfy my own customers requirements. Yes, they have a 150 pages long EDI definition, attached. No, you cannot charge me 3 days to read it and make a quote. This hyuuge company has a hundred small vendors like me. Will you develop an interface for all of them from scratch and charge it on a time basis? Really? Why don't you just make one standard interface, like an add-on, and sell at a fixed price to all these vendors, who don't have any special requirements beyond satisfying this big customers whims? I can't finance the time spent on you learning how e.g. Amazon likes their EDI. You need to finance this time for yourself. But if if you build a generic e.g. Amazon EDI to NAV interface, you can sell it to 100 companies. So can you give me a reasonable fixed price? Why not?"

Maybe I should start a business and start addressing these. But am I wrong? It seems consultants seem to want to sell a lot of things on a time basis and a let me charge the price of a car to you for just analysis and project management basis, which things could be easily covered with add-ons and preconfigured databases. Having in every country a preconfigured database that satisfies all legal requirements for the cases if you need to start a business and start invoicing immediately would be a great product for such urgent cases, and then the rest could be implemented later. Having standard EDI for business customers like Amazon at a fixed price of somewhere like €1000 - €2000 per message type would be also a very sensible thing.

Too many consultants stuck in consulting-analysis mode and not in make products, make solutions mode.

Here is something even funnier. Suppose I need to open a subsidiary in a country far away. Somewhere in Asia or Africa or Latin America. No localisation for them, no idea what their legal requirements are. I try to google for consultants who look reliable and speak English. Suppose I cannot find any I would trust in. What then? I cannot possibly implement it there. So either it will be manually double accounting in NAV and local software, but beyond being expensive that does not work, because once they issued an invoice in local software they have no incentive to also book it in NAV. So it will get forgotten. Or I try to build an interface. I mean, the whole point of using NAV in all your subsidiaries is that you replicate your database or make XML interfaces, at any rate import all local data into headoffice and then you can run reports and find out how is their stock, how is their aged accounts, so you can manage them, without such a thing you are blind really and cannot manage your subsidiary. And trying to make an interface to upload data like all item ledger and detailed customer ledger entries from a different software is its own kind of hell, I have this with this Russian wonder 1C and it seems the structure is very, very different... so does anyone have an answer how do you run a truly international business on NAV where one day to another you find big customers in Venezuela or Tajikistan and you need to office a sales office there that needs to issue legal local invoices?


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