Sometimes ERP Looks Perfect, Nothing To Rearrange…
Upgrading an ERP system or moving to a brand new solution can be a lot like moving to a new city. The biggest difference is that you probably can’t bribe your friends with pizza to help. Such a move does allow you to take stock of your current situation, figure out the items you want to keep (e.g. customer accounts, the afghan knitted by Oma) and throw out those you really have no use for (e.g. old inventory numbers, the six-volume VHS collection of Perfect Strangers you so diligently recorded during a 1997 Presidents Day marathon on TBS).
Technology is not the only change your company encounters. The actual business model, processes, operational structure and market conditions can also change. This means an ERP system which was implemented in 1998 is not operating in the same environment in 2018. Even organizations that are diligent about staying up-to-date on the latest software releases may find themselves experiencing pain with the current configuration of their system. At this point, it may be worth archiving the current system and considering a clean slate.
In the same way that moving to a new city allows you to start fresh (maybe with that fun British accent you’ve been thinking about!), then a clean start on a new system will allow your company to reduce or eliminate old bottlenecks. This period of time gives management an opportunity to re-evaluate item numbering systems, rearrange workflows, eliminate obsolete procedures, dispose of work-arounds, etc.
Often times, the cost of upgrading with existing processes and then promising to double-back to remove those pain-points ends up like most New Year’s resolutions. Staff are roped into new projects, pain-points aren’t painful enough and the priority just keeps dropping further and further down the list. Starting fresh takes the resources already allocated to the project and ramps up the priority to ensure the transition is done correctly. This may take more time upfront, but the direct and indirect savings could be substantial in the long run.
Each business is different and change does not come easy. There will always be individuals that resist any new solution and winning them over can be a struggle (though I’ve heard bribing people with pizza can work). However, chugging along with the same outdated procedures will eventually hamper efficiency and competitiveness. It is the responsibility of technology partners, like Ascent Innovations, to understand a client’s business model, and develop and implement a comprehensive strategy. The right consultant will take the time to learn your business, couple that with industry experience and establish a solution which fits your current operations. Qualified functional consultants have the right tools and background to make an extensive technology project successful.