5 ways to bring your tired ERP system back to life
22 December, 2017
ERP can be awesome. It can enable breakthrough success, help companies grow when the industry climate is tough, and give people a way to enjoy their jobs and do them effectively.
Is it like that where you work, or could ERP play a larger role in moving the business forward?
If you’ve been operating on the same ERP solution for some time, it may well be that some updates and changes could make it more relevant and valuable. Let’s look at five areas where you might be able to refresh your ERP system and get more out of it.
#1: Optimize data quality
Good, reliable data doesn’t remain that way without some effort. As the company produces ever-increasing masses of ERP data and business conditions and processes change, the quality of data tends to degrade until it no longer enables companywide transparency, is marred by errors, or is inconsistent across processes. At least a dozen common events and conditions can compromise data quality and the usefulness of ERP. When that is the case, it’s time to perform a thorough data audit, followed by data cleansing.
#2: Realign ERP with today’s state of the business
Think about all the changes and events that happened in the life of the organization since the ERP system first went live. The company might have purchased other businesses, launched new products and services, changed its production or distribution practices, or opened locations in other countries. Business roles might have changed even through the use of ERP, bringing decision-making accountabilities to people who did not have them before. Some processes might have become more complex with different stakeholders and approvers or changes in the business model. If ERP still runs the same way as it did at go-live, it’s underserving the company and probably due for a remodel.
#3: Explore transformational opportunities
Many companies deploy an ERP system with relatively straight-forward goals for efficiency, quality, and productivity in their operations. Sometimes it takes time to realize that ERP can fuel digital business transformation. Companies then take advantage of ERP to deliver immersive customer experiences as they never did before. Or, they use ERP together with virtual reality (VR) technology to design and test new products. Or, they connect ERP with new data sources from the internet of things (IoT) or social listening. Some revolutionary ERP use cases today might not have existed when you implemented it, but they might benefit the company if you modernize and extend your ERP system.
#4: Complete outstanding agenda items from go-live
Some companies never finish everything they were planning for go-live or the first few months following it. The ERP system works and supports all the processes it needs to, but it could be more effective. What’s more, some users may remember that it was meant to play a greater part in helping them do their jobs, but that never happened. That can be demoralizing. With contemporary technology, some objectives you had for ERP years ago may be easier to realize than they were then. Increasing user satisfaction and productivity can increase the ROI from your ERP system even years after go-live, and help prepare any innovative or transformative initiatives the company may pursue.
#5: The cloud can make ERP and IT more strategic
If your ERP lives on-premises, it’s worth finding out how it would change if you transition it to the cloud. You might be able to reduce operational costs and the everyday administrative task load IT needs to handle. Adopting ERP in the cloud might be the easiest way to boost the security of your data and applications and improve the company’s smarts through the many business analytics tools available in the cloud environment. At the same time, you might free IT from mundane concerns and enable the IT team to play a greater role in using their skills and insight to ready the company to thrive through change and address competitive and industry challenges.
Today, the walls of the corner office have fallen. Along with Millennials entering the labour market, technology has overtaken the exchange of knowledge and admiration has disappeared. This imposes new requirements to the manager including a significant change in leadership style.