Making the Case for Business Process Improvement in 2020

Thinking ahead to 2020? Making the case for Business Process Improvement (BPI) is likely on your mind.

Manufacturers have long known that deploying a new technology solution such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Execution System (MES) Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) or others must be more than just a pure “technology project”.

In order to ensure maximum benefit from the technology investment, the deployment project must include embracing BPI evaluation and revisions while implementing the new technology solution.

For many manufacturing organizations, a BPI project can seem somewhat daunting. It requires a holistic and rigorous evaluation of existing work processes which results in a “current state” report. The team must then design a specific “future state.”   Coaching organizations to define your current state is part of our mission. It’s important to understand first, how the business should operate, and then define the processes and supporting tools to make that happen.

Making the Case for Business Process Improvement – Real World Scenario

A recent project is illustrative of a typical BPI project and is an example of how to make the case for business process improvement.

A manufacturer approached us and tasked us with leading ERP selection and BPI. Company leadership recognized that the project was too complex and resource-intensive to do it independently. We developed a plan to identify potential risks and mitigate those risks before they could become an obstacle to the success of the project.

The team understood the importance of combining BPI with the deployment of the ERP solution. It made sure it was focused on achieving the desired future state by leveraging industry best practices and revising and improving business processes when necessary.

A key challenge was overcoming resistance to change within the organization. In almost every project, there is some level of resistance to change.

It is not enough to focus on enterprise software selection.  It’s imperative to understand the organization’s experience with change and who the change agents are today. Expect it, prepare for it and manage it to minimize the impact that it can have. Ignoring it and hoping it will go away is not an option.

A Focus on People, Processes

To make the case for business process improvement, the project emphasis must be on people and processes. Success follows from a structured, purposeful approach aimed to help transition people, teams, and organizations from their current state to the desired future state.  This includes understanding how work will move from one role or department to another and ensuring job roles and descriptions are updated accordingly.

Within the process of organizational change management, it is key to clearly articulate the case for change. It’s necessary to communicate project scope, rollout strategy and implementation schedule as the project gets underway.  It’s critical to make sure the entire enterprise fully understands the project scope, rollout strategy, and implementation schedule.

Clearly communicating to the staff the rationale for the technology decisions, challenges and eventual benefit that helps ensure that the organization is supportive of the project.  As system and process designs are finalized, it’s important to reach out to those impacted and ensure they understand both how, and why, change is coming.  This helps foster acceptance of the change.

Next Steps

Implementing a new enterprise technology solution can be daunting.

For the best chance of success, be sure to make the case for business process improvement.

Please contact Ultra for a well-designed plan to achieve the desired result.

7 Steps to Effectively Organize an ERP Project

The 7 Steps to Effectively Organize an ERP Project is designed for ERP project teams from today’s forward-thinking manufacturing and distribution organizations.

  • Read tried and true strategies for manufacturers to effectively manage an ERP selection project. See what it takes to be successful and more with this Download.
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Jeff is the founder of Ultra Consultants, a well-known voice in the ERP consulting industry and an expert on ERP solutions for discrete and process manufacturers. Over the last 40-plus years, his companies have helped more than 2,000 organizations improve their business processes, select ERP software and implement advanced solutions.

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