When we think about an “ERP destination” for those companies involved in an active ERP software project, the journey involves leveraging technology to improve business performance. We encourage mid-market manufacturers to set a destination for an improved competitive position and overall business results.
During a client engagement, we remind organizations that an ERP project is more than simply selecting a technology solution. Instead it is a platform for improved overall business processes, which in turn leads to increases in productivity, information timeliness and accuracy, better decision making, enhanced customer satisfaction and business performance.
Setting an ERP Software Product Destination
Many of the companies we talk to face the same challenges: poor access to information, outdated systems that are difficult to use, and a number of disparate systems that are islands of information.
Despite the challenges, companies are most successful when they move through an ERP selection with the following guidance:
- A culture for continuous process improvement
- Analysis of current processes
- Education for the team in industry best practices
- Development of a “to be” model that includes both short term and long term improvements
- A business case for each improvement project
- Prioritization and approval of process improvement projects based on what is best for the company
An ERP Destination Success Story
To illustrate the approach noted above, an electronics distributor recently retained Ultra Consultants to help them with the transition from a 25- year-old legacy system to a modern multi-channel marketing ERP system.
The top management of the company was involved in every step of the process. The team involved the top officers of the company including the founder, COO, CFO, procurement, operations, and sales and marketing.
With Ultra’s guidance, the team documented all of the current business processes. Over 300 business processes were identified and documented. Ultra facilitated an ERP education curriculum we called ERP University. Ultra provided ERP professionals from the industry to teach the team about ERP best practices for their industry so they could envision “what is possible” with modern ERP.
With Ultra as their ERP guide, the team developed a clear vision of their future state. The deliverables were high-level process maps that depict the future state as well as detailed process scripts that explain the function required in the new process steps.
Envision the ERP Destination
It’s important to note that during this engagement, the project team did this work before they initiated their vendor evaluation process.
These project pieces were important to:
- Clearly define expectations for the new system
- Lay the groundwork to expedite the implementation
- Establish clear benchmarks for evaluating vendors
It was only after these activities that the team began evaluating vendors. The current state, the ERP education, and the future state under the leadership of Ultra’s guidance have given them a clear map for their destination: a successful transformation from 25-year-old system to modern ERP for their industry.
We coach our clients to view their ERP project as a journey.
Visit Ultra’s case study library to read ERP success stories that illustrate the power of setting an ERP destination.
We also invite you to share your challenges, insights about the ERP destination in the comments section.