Here’s something that has been bothering me lately.

How can a company buy 1-ply toilet paper to ‘save money’ while at the same time spend millions on software that will add nothing to the bottom line?

Or even worse, balk at a proposal from someone who could actually help them? (for less than the cost of a year’s supply of toilet paper!)

Why is it that companies don’t blink at wasting millions of dollars on decisions like those above, but still pinch the pennies at the lowest levels, or perhaps in the areas they should be spending on?

I was talking to a colleague the other day who told me the story about a midsize company in Canada who reportedly spent over $100M to put an Enterprise Resource Planning solution into place. Now that it’s finally up and running, it’s being called a colossal failure. Nobody is using it and it’s likely they never will.

Yes, that’s 100 Million Dollars. Down The Toilet.

And then there’s the sexy new area of “business intelligence software.” I’ve heard of a lot of companies spending sometimes over $20M to put sophisticated business intelligence programs into place that, in essence, do nothing different than what they had before. Perhaps it was the fancy pie charts, and bar graphs that convinced them.

Perhaps it was the young hip sales rep who convinced them that spending 20M to be in the cloud was intelligent business. Who knows?

It may sound obvious, but the obvious truths are often the most valuable.

The higher the cost of the decision, the more consideration and time needs to be spent in identifying and justifying the return on your investment.

It can be uncomfortable to ask “How exactly does this make sense?”, which is exactly the feeling most hucksters rely on when they’re trying to convince you to sign the dotted line.

I feel strongly about this – which is why when I put a proposal in front of you, you can be sure the details on the ROI will be spelled out in crystal clear terms!

Please, I beg of you – spend more time justifying your $10M purchases than you do in deciding to switch to 1-ply.

Have you ever actually used 1-ply?