ERP and the Indy 500: Test for Success

I enjoy racing. I have been to the Indianapolis 500 a couple of times. I have seen the national championship drag races. Motorcycles, sport cars, jalopies, racing is fun. I am not a fanatic who lives racing but I do like the events.

Have you watched these teams on TV? They can change all four tires and add 40 gallons of fuel in seconds. They are constantly testing. They can make tiny adjustments in the wing angle remotely while the race is going on. Wow!

This is big money, for sure. The purse at a major race is in the $ millions. Think a minute, though. Only one driver and team will win. Most of the time the difference in a little test might make the difference between 9th place and 8th place and maybe $50,000. If they race on 20 Sundays, that adds up to $1 million.

Move Ahead in Your Race

You aren’t racing drivers. You don’t own racing teams. You have businesses of all kinds and ERP is your primary adjustment tool. This is true whether your business is $5 million or $ 500 billion. How well do you know your ERP software and how much have you experimented with ERP tests?

Many ERP systems have about twenty screens in part maintenance alone. Each screen has 15 or 20 adjustment fields. Many of these work in partnership with other fields so changes can be multiplicative or exponential. There are thousands of possible switch settings in most out of the box ERP, so whatever ERP you use, you have many controls for ERP tests at your fingertips.

Do you know what each one does? Have you tested the possibilities? The change in your business could be far more valuable than the $ million for a racing team. The difference for them could be only a few thousandths of a second per lap. But each lap gains a little on their competition. Isn’t it worth your while to gain on your competition? They certainly are trying to gain on you.

Test your ERP system regularly. Develop dashboards and reports to measure the change in key performance indicators. Keep making those little changes in your ERP and move ahead in your race.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at

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Tom Miller

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