With the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning Systems) market continuing to rapidly expand “with total market size expected to exceed $49.5 billion by 2024” and a reported “95% of businesses seeing business process improvement” thanks to the implementation of a system, it’s no surprise that EPR implementations are on many a CIO’s roadmap. This article explores the benefits that can be realised when taking on this challenging implementation project.
Before the technical work has even begun, a crucial step in gathering requirements is the mapping of ‘as is’ and ‘to be’ processes. This exercise brings together users from across the business to agree, update and take ownership for processes they either own or are involved in. Benefits of this are immediate and enable identification of efficiencies, either planned into the technological solution, or made to ways of working. For some businesses, this might be the first time that the product lifecycle has been documented, but regardless of if this is the first or 70th iteration, it’s a brilliant opportunity to really question why things are done the way they are and spot pockets of complacency.
How many of us fall into the trap of pushing the creation of a training plan into next weeks to do list?
When this happens multiple times across the business, training is not structured and often rushed or sparce, inevitably leading to inaccurate or inefficient ways of using the system, handed down like an old wives’ tale through the years.
Investing time in upskilling a group of super users who can not only assist in the development and testing of the ERP solution, but advocate and educate existing and new staff on how to use the technology properly, will inevitably save the business time and money.
3. Revisit what “good” data looks like
We all know that good data in gets good data out of a system but creating time to complete regular data cleansing is not always easy. In fact, how confident are you that you know who owns the different types of data to even be responsible for cleansing it?
Through planning for the migration of data from one system to another, owners can be identified and minimum requirements for data and future mandatory fields can be set. As part of the change management practices and benefits realisation, commitment by team leads and managers must be made to ensure the standard of data quality then doesn’t slip.
4. Re-evaluate reporting
Are you guilty of creating a report or file and renaming it something unintelligible to others? Or how about using the same file name repeatedly?
Through the implementation of an ERP system, you can question the reports that are used regularly, investing time in redevelopment of those which add value to drive decisions. I also suggest reviewing naming conventions and controlling the ability to edit, what you don’t want is several versions of “Stock control report” which have varying fields and data sources. An efficient business means teams using the same data and having confidence in inter-team business decisions driven from accessible, comprehensible data.
5. Ready to scale
Through clear communication and expectation setting when it comes to ownership of processes, data and responsibilities, a foundation is built to enable businesses to grow. With “53% of UK CIO’s looking for more intelligent ERP systems that include technology like machine learning, AI and automation”, an EPR with good adoption is just the start of the journey. Cloud hosting, customisations and system flexibility allow the system to change with the business as opposed to against it. Utilising your now skilled network of super users, alongside a person or team beyond the project lifecycle to champion the ongoing enhancement of the implemented ERP, you can extend the longevity of a fit for purpose ERP.
ERP can seem complicated, but with the right approach and implementation plan your ERP system can do wonders for you. 9 times out of 10 businesses are tentative to start the process, but through thought sharing and engaging with ocnversations you can soon make your ERP system work better for you. To get these conversations going simply get in touch with us here and start you journey.