Maximising value from your ERP journey
Expensive, end-user dissatisfaction, siloed thinking and hard-to-monetise benefits. Resonate? Let’s face it, the value of Enterprise Resource Systems (ERP) may be hard to quantify immediately.
- AUTHOR|Neil Sutch
- DATE|12 Sep 2023
- READ TIME|3 min read
When implemented correctly, ERP becomes the invisible glue – an invaluable enabler that binds business and technology teams together to deliver on organisational goals. But more commonplace, is the pace at which some organisations embark on an ERP journey without truly understanding the viability of incumbent systems, quality and location of their “data puddles” and overall organisational-wide strategy.
What is ERP?
ERP can mean different things to different people but at its core, ERP relates to systems transformation – moving a business from their existing and arguably sub-optimal operational and financial system processes towards one that is more interlocked in a practical and efficient way, bound by software. By default, efficiency is valued in terms of time and money, which again by default is based on the financial systems data underpinning it.
Recognising the artefacts of ERP dissatisfaction
In today’s highly connected world, the ability to continuously optimise enterprise applications across functions with changing circumstances is critical to strategy realisation. So, keeping Finance, IT, HR, Sales and Marketing teams fully engaged from the start is paramount.
What are the signs of a dissatisfied organisation? We can split this into four buckets – the business, the data, people/teams and technology.
- Competing & misaligned objectives
- Suitability of selected product
- Changing priorities
- Lack of business metrics
- Location of and access to data
- Health and hygiene of data
- Ability to comprehend the data
- Singular view of the customer
People and Teams
- User adoption and buy-in
- Absence of IT support
- End user training
- Vendor support
- System integration
- Multi-channel complexity
- Functional shortfall (not fit for purpose)
- Lack of product support
It should be noted that despite technology being a key enabler of building strong customer experiences, IT must stand alongside the business to develop a technology framework for ERP.
Do not look at any ERP implementation as a ‘once in a lifetime’ project. Instead, recognise that the environment where business applications reside is evolving – the whole business must iterate together.
Make a plan! Avoid the common pitfalls. A successful application optimisation strategy must begin with the business requirements and not from a product or technology standpoint. Be wary of premature decision makers or vendor downselection.
Irrespective of whether one takes a top down, bottom up or side view, modernising any legacy application programme requires significant investment of time, energy and resolve.
Understand where you are today – the current mode of operation (CMO).
Set up feedback loops following changes to any business system to ensure the impacts are understood.
Engage your people and hear their voices, as not doing so may hinder success. Train your staff before implementing your new software and focus on why the new ERP will make their daily tasks easier, rather than more complicated.
Our proposition is to understand and address our customers’ transformational “WHY” and develop the right solutions to deliver successful outcomes. We harness the power of people and technology to accelerate time to value.
Org will (not limited to):
- Help articulate the WHY – focusing on a single symptom, such as poor reporting may not be the actual cause of the problems.
- Provide a detailed assessment of your current systems and processes state and prioritise the issues that need resolution.
- Provide a detailed architecture for the future systems estate and revised key processes to support a resolution.
- Deliver an RFP process to support the selection and procurement of any new systems and validation of solution partners that may be required.
The solution to every business challenge starts with a human conversation.