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      Category Archives: ERP System Selection & Implementation

      Could ERP Efficiencies Be Hiding In Plain Sight?

      Many organizations implementing ERP drive hard to go-live, but once the system is up and running they fail to optimize for the changing business environment. Where they could utilize  ERP efficiencies within the system, they are ultimately leaving money on the table.

      ERP Efficiencies Commonly Missed

      • Automated bank transactions warehouse
      • Automated inter-company sales
      • Budget checking on PO’s (tightly controlled encumbrance process for grant tracking)
      • Landed cost linked to inventory through manufacturing to get true costing
      • Automated cash receipts / lockbox processing

      In addition to the above, consider if your organization is making the most of the functionality available in the modules you own. For example, in the Purchasing module, are Approvals being utilized fully and successfully? Are Purchase Requisitions and/or Purchase Quotes used most efficiently?

      In an earlier email post 8 Differences Between a Common ERP Approach and an Optimized One we discussed the example of a user interface that hadn’t changed since the initial implementation. As a result, it looked “old school” and didn’t offer the experience users were used to with other systems. By simply implementing other available versions of screens for ease-of-use, they could have easily changed processing options or data selections making data entry faster and easier, thereby increasing productivity.

      Improve Overall Operations

      By uncovering efficiencies already available in your ERP system your organization could be just steps away from realizing company-wide benefits that optimization brings and avoid leaving money on the table.

      MSS can help uncover and implement new hidden efficiencies by:

      • Meeting with your ERP end users to identify usage and/or training gaps
      • Assessing your ERP environment with a focus on improving efficiencies via setup/ technology/reporting
      • Providing ERP documentation comparing your current system to the latest releases of the application

       

      8 Attitudes Toward an Optimized Business Application

       

      optimized business application

       

      Recently, the CFO from one of our mid-market clients reminisced with one of our business consultants about how enthusiastic she was when MSS helped her company select and implement their business application back in 2011. As an optimized business application, it delivered on all of their requirements.

      The software application aligned perfectly with the company’s strategic, business and technology goals. As a result, her organization saw immediate return on their investment and made great strides. But, after several years the thrill was gone. They felt they had squeezed all they could from their investment.

      She went on to say that while the business itself had changed and matured over the years, some of the business processes had not. For example, they had taken forecasting offline and never got it back into the application; multiple divisions were running reports manually; and they added a new division that never fully integrated into the business system. Consequently, she wasn’t sure if the current system matched their needs or if it was time to consider something new.

      Her story is common. Every business changes over time and each has different ways of working. But all too often they don’t pause to review, assess and optimized business application to meet their changing business needs, or stop to consider if it is time to invest in a new system.

      How an organization views its business application matters, and there is still a lot this client’s company can gain from their investment. Most companies take a common approach to their app, but companies that hold these 8 attitudes toward an optimized business application take a strategic approach to their digital strategy enjoy longer-term benefits from their system:

      8 Attitudes Toward an Optimized Business Application

      1. Thinking of the business application as a platform for continuous improvement
      2. Knowing the business application lays the foundation for future benefits and requires continued optimization
      3. Viewing the business application as a foundational, strategic asset requiring ownership and planning based on desired business outcomes
      4. Assessing the system and regularly refreshing and testing updates
      5. Updating business goals, operations, and process during an assessment
      6. Reigniting organizational cooperation while reinforcing the purpose of the initial investment
      7. Enforcing integration of business units and processes within the business application to maximize efficiencies and ROI
      8. Evolving the system in increments, requiring a more agile mindset and short planning cycles

      Approaching any enterprise application from this perspective and regularly assessing its alignment with the organization’s digital strategy and technology goals will go a long way to determine if it is still the right system for the organization or if its time to look ahead toward a new business application implementation.

       

      9 Truths for Achieving Change through ERP Implementation

      Post ERP implementation blues are problematic for a number of reasons not the least of which is the decline of the collaborative and empowered culture that the implementation tends to create. A common cause for ERP sub-optimization is that most companies do not plan sufficiently to sustain the culture required to achieve the full benefits if the system. While leaders often consider the need for ongoing technology development and maintenance, it is just as important that they plan for cultural sustainability.

      Generally, leaders will make a false assumption that an ERP implementation will be plug-and- play, that performance will come naturally, and that the culture will adapt as a result of the technology. But the research is clear. Having a great company culture is no longer optional for companies who want to compete.

      “If you ask a group of CIOs what their biggest barrier to change is in their organization or indeed the wider enterprise, the most common response is almost always culture or some variant thereof. In the 2018 CIO Survey, 46% of respondents named culture as the biggest barrier to scaling digital transformation. This answer isn’t surprising. But it’s also not very useful, since culture is amorphous — hard to pin down, hard to change.”

      Gartner, The Art of Culture Hacking

      ERP is the backbone of an organization’s operational structure, and exists to improve information flow, reduce costs, optimize processes, link with suppliers, and reduce response times. But, to accomplish all of this, it is must also help break down silos, enable transparency, and ensure better cooperation. In other words, the ultimate result of a successful ERP is empowered employees and a collaborative culture. ERP implementation is just part of the complex journey. Organizations often underestimate just how much cultural heavy lifting is required to make sure the business benefits are realized post-implementation.

      The good news is that an ERP refresh presents a perfect opportunity to enact real cultural transformation as well. To renew and sustain the value and achieve the benefits of your ERP, we adhere to 9 tenants of ERP cultural transformation:

      1. Develop a shared vision of the desired outcomes across all units.
      2. Hinge all decisions, roadmaps, and plans on achieving the business outcomes and realizing the business strategy.
      3. Make breaking down functional silos a primary goal for the program.
      4. Make development and sustainability of the culture part of the ERP strategy from the beginning.
      5. Take a top-down, holistic approach to designing and improving business processes through the system.
      6. Appoint a business lead as the executive sponsor and treat the implementation as a long-term business transformation initiative.
      7. Create a cross functional program sponsorship structure with the task of driving organizational change.
      8. Implement a robust, structured change management process that focuses on individual change at all levels.
      9. Facilitate candid, open discussions and clarity regarding cross organizational dependencies.

      Free PDF download: 9 Truths for Achieving Change through ERP Implementation


      At MSS, we work with our customers to develop a transformation plan for their ERP implementation. The plan will include a shared vision, a leadership roadmap and a sponsorship coalition, a cultural implementation plan, a cross functional change strategy, and a robust sustainability plan. All of these tenets ensure a result that is more than the sum of its parts, delivering high value for your transformation.