Building Family Business Infrastructure

Building Family Business Infrastructure:
An on-going process for successful family businesses

Building family business infrastructure is a very common “on-going” strategy we see in most successful family business.

"A family business that wants to grow in size and profitability will not be able to accomplish those goals, in today’s highly competitive business environment, without an ongoing strategy to constantly update and improve their infrastructure," according to leading family business expert Don Schwerzler.

"A good place to start when considering the infrastructure issue can be as simple as doing a SWOT Analysis".

To facilitate doing the SWOT Analysis, we recommend Chaos Busters.

Chaos Busters - Management Guide presents 160 key business questions to help shape the growth and profitability strategies of a family business."

Schwerzler has been studying and advising family business entrepreneurs for more than 40 years and is the founder of the

Family Business Institute and the web organization Family Business Experts, both of which are headquartered in Atlanta GA.

Technology tools like ERP Systems can be the basic building block for a family business owner interested in developing the infrastructure of the family's business.

The first major iteration using technology to link the various segments of a business were the MRP systems. The ERP systems available today are so much more effective and come with a wide range of affordibility based on the size and complexity of the business.

When MRP systems first started to evolve as a management tool for building family business infrastructure, we began to get calls from family businesses about the problems they were having with their MRP systems. Known for our work with operations management issues in family businesses, we seemed to be a likely source for help.

What we generally found was that the problem was not with the MRP system but with the growth strategy for the "operations management" part of the family business. The family business entrepreneur was told (sold) on the idea that the MRP technology would solve all their problems – but for many family businesses struggling with their MRP system implementation, that simply did not happen.

Many family business owners would finally give up on MRP and throw out the “half-way installed” new system and then go back to the way things were being done previously. Their memory is that the MRP experience was a major failure in terms of time and money. In fact many reported that MRP had caused them to lose control of their family business.

The problem today with ERP technology is similar to what family businesses experienced with MRP – the hope that there was a short-cut to building family business infrastructure for the family business. The problem is that they are putting the cart in front of the horse.

For ERP technology to work well for a family business, the first step is to make sure that every element of the business is being run EFFICIENTLY and that the logic of the business has been systematized and formalized (business plans, production scheduling, inventory management, sales & marketing, finance and accounting).

That done - then use ERP technology to improve the EFFECTIVENESS of the family business - using technology to create and manage the family business infrastructure.

Our advice to family business entrepreneurs interested in improving and/or updating or building their family business infrastructure – locate an ERP "agnostic", an ERP expert who is not associated with a particular ERP system – and have them do an ERP Audit of your family business infrastructure to what can be done to make your business more efficient and then get their help in identifying what ERP system would work best for your family business.

Today, ERP technology is better and more affordable than ever. ERP can be a smart investment – a most effective management tool for creating infrastructure in a family business. Just make sure you are dealing with the issues in the proper sequence.

If you have questions about building infra-structure in your family business - or how best to set the priorities to insure that your efforts produce the most results - simply use the ASK THE EXPERT form at the bottom of this page. We Can Help!


Do you have questions about your Family Business?
Don't have the answers - don't know who to ask?
It's FREE to

Contact the


Reply within 48 hours.

Chaos Busters - The Management Guide

Identifies 160 Key Business Questions

  • 160 Key Business Questions will stimulate creativity and innovation for your entire management team!

  • 160 Key Business Questions are the keys to unlock the hidden potential of your organization!

  • 160 Key Business Questions will save you time and make your work more effective!

  • 160 Key Business Questions is a Multi-purpose tool with unlimited applications!

How Well Organized is YOUR Organization?

Your Business Will Succeed...


You have The Roadmap for Success

That's What

The Practitioner's Guide for Organizing an Organization
Is All About

  • PGOO shows how to identify the most pressing problems to solve
  • PGOO introduces the ODS-OL (Organizational Diagnostic Survey –Online) - an electronic assessment tool that is highly effective, easy to use, systematic and data-based
  • PGOO explains how to produce a better-organized organization


Family Business Experts Understands
Family Values
and Business Systems

Return from Family Business Infrastrucure to