Do you have an elephant in the room? We’ve talked previously about signs that it could be time for you to review your systems, and certainly a system upgrade or implementation should be primarily about bringing improvements through better functionality and integration.
But there are some key topics that need considering in any ERP project and they are often best considered as part of a system implementation or upgrade. If ignored, they can turn out to be spanners in an otherwise smoothly operating ERP engine…
These four headings are broad topics that we can be reluctant to discuss for any number of reasons; fear of a colleague’s entrenched views (and who likes an argument?), historic ‘babies’ (“don’t upset Brian, it is his life’s work”), a simple lack of understanding (“why does having two items the same matter?”), and even a fear of the size of the job (“500,000 items without BOMs???? I feel a sick-day coming on”). But ignoring them won’t make them disappear.
So here goes; potentially uncomfortable, but it need not be for long!
Is it accurate in your systems? Are the touch points between different Business Units and Legals Entities correct and effectively represented? How do you trade between these organisations? Is the last M&A activity still a clunky bolt-on to your system? Is the data maintained across all organisation elements correctly? Do you have the correct user access and reporting security in place? Is the flow of information as good as it can be?
Is your Master Data Management in place and working? Do you have duplicate items (they do matter!) or poor descriptions? How many of your customer & supplier records are actually still trading and with those same addresses? Are your BOMs and Routes appropriate for use – providing the right granularity of costs and planning accuracy without compromising shop-floor efficiencies? Is creating data difficult and inconsistent?
Is your Chart of Accounts as good as it could be? Are you using the most appropriate costing methodology? Is your management reporting simple or do you have a team manipulating spreadsheets to achieve it (usually under pressure at the beginning of every month)?
Are you taking advantage of the latest functionality or is it a project to look at sometime soon? Are you prevented from applying the latest patches because it will impact your system use? Is your system slow to use?
We can help!
Honest answers to these questions (or even just identifying them as unanswered) will highlight potential opportunities to improve the return on your ERP investment. Developing a strategy to prioritise and tackle these issues will reap benefits, and sometimes in the short term.
Talk to us! Our experience can help you with these challenges as our team has been through similar thinking and has come out the other side. We can work with you to crystallise your plans and inform the best approach and solutions. We won’t know the exact answers for your organisation, but we can certainly develop them with you. We don’t guarantee that “a problem aired is a problem halved”, but it certainly becomes easier when it’s in the open, and we will work with you and bring insights to ease the development of achievable and practical solutions. We have tools and techniques to look at challenges with new eyes and to develop optimal ways forward. Support from an experienced team of system users, managers and implementers will certainly reduce the stress involved, but also bring alternative perspectives that could well be the key to unlocking a solution you’re looking for.
So, get in touch, tell us what the elephants in the room are for your organisation, and we’d be very happy to work with you to eat them up, one bite at a time.