You and your team have worked diligently over the past year to move throughout the business transformation process by taking the time to understand your business, select the ERP software supplier that best fits your company, and implement said ERP system.
You’ve made it to your Go-Live date, but now what? This blog will help you form next steps.
Why A New ERP System Is Always Better Than an Upgrade
The fundamental reason for installing a new ERP system, or replacing a dated one, is to transform your business. You obviously have a successful management team or you would not have had the resources to purchase and implement an ERP software in the first place.
It stands to reason that even if you had just made process improvements to your old system, revenue would have increased and costs would have been reduced. However, all of these improvements would have made your business transformation process results marginal and not as transformative as if you selected and implemented a new system all together.
Benefits of a New ERP System
Your new ERP system provides a state-of-the-art foundation upon which you can truly take your business to significantly higher levels of performance. This new ERP system will generate productivity improvements in the following areas:
- Order entry
Individually, these improvements will yield new levels of performance, but to be truly transformative, these improvements must be managed so they build on one another and are not just experienced at random.
Continuing Business Transformation Process: 3 Things to Do After Go-Live
Once you’ve had the successful go-live of your new ERP solution, it’s time to go back to the basics. By that, we mean revisiting certain documents you compiled earlier in the business process improvement (BPI) and ERP selection phases.
Coordination and agreement on priorities and actions are critical at this juncture in the business transformation process if these functional area improvements are to be implemented in a manner that builds toward common goals. Responsibility for this role rests squarely on the shoulders of the Steering Team.
Your Implementation Team has worked very hard building up to Go-Live, so they should be allowed a reasonable period of time to stabilize the new system and processes. However, don’t sit back and lose sight of the big picture effort.
1. Review Your Opportunity Matrix
Your first step in the business transformation process following Go-Live should be to revisit the Opportunity Matrix. Remember that document created during the Business Process Improvement phase of the project? In this file, your team listed numerous opportunities for improvement, and many of these depended on the implementation of a new ERP software.
2. Review Your Opportunity-Benefit Matrix & Business Case
Later on during the development of future state processes, your team spent time creating an Opportunity-Benefit Matrix and launching a Business Case. With both of these tools, opportunities were ranked according to their financial impact on the organization and the degree of difficulty required to address them. The Business Case tool brought these opportunities together into the return on investment your organization deserves now that new software and processes have been put in place.
3. Re-Address Your Strategic Plan
To work together to truly identify your priorities and action items throughout the business transformation process, convene the Steering Team and begin developing, or at least revising, your strategic plan to reflect the impact of the transition planned. Here are 4 areas of the strategic plan you should re-address with the team:
Are your business scorecard metrics solid, stable, and up for the challenge of measuring this significant improvement in your future performance? There have been many good books written on this subject but a few rise above the field, including:
- The Balanced Scorecard by Robert Kaplan and David Norton
- Traction by Gino Wickman
- The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt
Previously Reviewed Documents
Take another look at your Business Case for Change and the Opportunity-Benefit Matrix. Is your Business Case still reasonable? Do your current year and future year business plans include significant “stretch” goals to push your business? Review the Opportunity-Benefit Matrix to assure that impactful projects have been identified. Make sure these projects will yield the results you identified in the Strategic Plan.
To perform at a high level in this area, you should refocus or form a Continuous Improvement team. This team may contain members of your ERP implementation team, but it should also include members outside of that group. This team should be cross-functional in its membership, with a goal of driving the organization beyond incremental improvements. The members should be high achievers who are not afraid to “rock the boat.”
Numerous books have been written on this subject, too. A couple of our favorites include:
- Leading Change by John Kotter
- Better Thinking, Better Results by Bob Emiliani
The summation of these actions should change the focus of the organization from installing and learning a new tool (the ERP system) to driving the business to high levels of performance that were previously thought to be unattainable.
Real-World Applications of a Successful Business Transformation Process
There are several companies that have risen to become the icons of this age, including Apple, Amazon and Google or others like Toyota that have soldiered on and built upon prior successes. All of these companies have made achievements that seemed unimaginable a short time before they were realized.
They accomplished these goals by having the right systems, the right processes, and a laser-like focus on what they needed to become great. You, too, can create this culture in your organization.
Moral of the story, before your ERP software is even ready to go, begin thinking and planning these next steps. They are the key to going from good to GREAT! In future blogs I’ll be expanding on each of the steps in creating and managing this business transformation process. Stay tuned.
For more information in the meantime, please refer to our whitepaper, “A Roadmap for Business Performance Improvement.”