The Secret Marketer suffers an IT meltdown

We are in the midst of an IT meltdown. Our IT supplier’s vision is to make the world run better. A bold statement but one that couldn’t be further from the truth based on our recent operational performance.

We are falling apart, collapsing under the strain of a major IT upgrade that is proving barely able to order packaging and ingredients, manufacture a product and God forbid deliver a product to our customers.

These are troubled times with millions of pounds of operating profit falling through the cracks. Thankfully such back office drama has little impact on the marketing department, but it turns your world upside down if you are in sales, manufacturing, finance or other frontline services.

The implementation of our IT upgrade now rules our lives. We have discussed little else at our board meetings for many months. I should stress that my past experience of our IT supplier’s software is that it has ultimately proved to be a rip-roaring valueadding success, though there is no getting away from it, the implementation phase is utter misery. No pain no gain is perhaps the underlying brand truth.

To top it all, our friends in group purchasing have added to the chaos by switching all of our mobiles to a new provider. This has the double benefit of giving all company staff a new smartphone while reducing the company’s bill by a significant amount.

Well done them apart from the timing. With all the co-ordination skills of a drunken juggler, our IT meltdown means we can’t even call or text each other to complain about our computers and the IT helpdesk has long since been abandoned as most of the staff are on stress-related leave.

Still, my brand team seem pretty happy with their shiny new iPhones, which are no doubt fitted with the latest brand planning and agency pitch apps or whatever they rely on these days.

As for their boss and the other couple of people in our department who are not as tech-savvy as our colleagues, we are utterly disappointed with our phone upgrade. Change doesn’t come easily at my age and these fancy new phones don’t even have proper buttons. I can’t even work out how to phone ahead and say I’ll be late in for the daily IT update. What a shame.

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