Have you ever bought a new house and been involved in the architecture drawings and the house design? If you have, you will know what I am talking about when I talk about designing a new system.
Now we are not going to design it from scratch, but we are going to use best practices (like looking at other houses), and we are going to use an ERP consultant that understands the needs of my industry (an architect)
Before we proceed with designing our new house, we like to see our clients get educated (find the neighborhood, see other houses). Most of our clients do not have a good understanding of what is possible, by guiding them through “ERP” education, the client team can begin to visualize the new system. At Ultra we use a lot of means to craft an ERP curriculum.
With an understanding of the latest capabilities and best practices in your industry, we can now start the design process. We work from the understanding of what is needed, what is wrong with the current system, and the industry best practices for your industry. For instance, with an automotive parts supplier, you need to understand what your peers and the leading ERP vendors are doing with EDI and labeling – a major requirement of automotive OEMs.
We attack the design (or future state as we call it) by working with cross department teams to map a top level process map, for instance order to cash. From the high level we work to the lower levels of processes until we have all the major processes mapped out. From there we translate the maps to scripts and scenarios. More on this in our March 6th webinar!
A very important step in this process is developing the business case for change. It is fairly easy to estimate costs – vendors are always a good source. But establishing a return and quantifying benefits is a lot harder.
I always put it this way: “Mr. Client Executive, now that you understand how the new system works and how it addresses the problems with you current system, how will your business improve with this new capability. A good starting point for this discussion is the KPI’s uncovered in the current state review. With the new capability, how far can we push those KPI’s. The gap between a current state KPI and the future state KPI becomes basis for the business case for change.