Regular visitors to Ultra’s ERP blog know to expect deep insight into ERP selection best practices, especially as they relate to driving true business process transformation. This information is designed to help answer questions you might have about handling a complex endeavor that has long-term strategic implications.
When considering strategic implications, many of the ERP project teams we partner with ask for our assistance helping them through a variety of ERP services, from enterprise software selection and implementation, to business process improvement and organizational change management.
Finding the keys to business process transformation
Here we present three examples of how Ultra helped enterprises find the keys to business process transformation.
In each of these engagements, our team of independent ERP consultants put the focus on a journey of continuous improvement. The overall mission was to successfully lead teams through business process improvement strategies and tactics that drive business performance transformation.
1 – Unifying an information solution for growth
During a recent engagement, Ultra worked with a communications company which manufactures and assembles testing equipment for the telecommunications industry. When the Ultra team of consultants joined the project, the company had acquired five companies in five different locations in North America and Europe. One of those companies was growing at an amazing rate of 100 percent a year and was operating on a number of Tier III disparate systems. It was in desperate need of upgrading the information system. Two other companies launched a similar search.
When the enterprise started contacting ERP vendors, they encountered problems managing vendors and getting the proper information to make a selection. The Ultra team’s goal was to streamline and manage the ERP selection project in addition to identifying CRM and PDM solutions. Uncovering the right keys to business process improvement was the underpinning of the entire project.
The Ultra team achieved the CEO’s goal to bring all of the companies under one information system, with one invoice, for all products.
Business process transformation included identifying decision ownership, management of vendors to negotiate the best price, tracking all requirements and managing an effective process while adapting to operational changes.
The project merged multiple information systems into one which created a single unified image to present to customers when newly acquired and merged companies came on board.
The improved access to information created better decision making for the company and clients.
2 – Looking for a single source of the truth for the supply chain
Ultra’s expert consultants teamed up with a specialty metal packaging and lithography manufacturer. It had been using an outdated ERP system with bolt-on products, in-house workarounds and several Excel-based tools.
Plans to grow the company strained the legacy system’s ability to scale because it relied on spreadsheets and manual processes, with inefficient redundancies and re-keying of data.
Executives were looking for a single source of the truth for the entire supply chain. The manufacturer knew it needed to find the keys to business process transformation in support of company growth.
Ultra worked on the project’s business process improvement phase over eight months. The team identified goals of data transparency, real-time analytics and the elimination of paper spreadsheets.
For example, managers hoped for real-time information about BOMs, routing, scrap, crew sizes, can production forecasting by month, pieces per hour production, packaging, freight data, changeover time, down time, and machine hours to payroll hours.
The BPI work prepared the manufacturer to efficiently evaluate potential software vendors and systems, and quickly select an ERP solution.
3 – Scaling for growth and improving business processes
A process improvement engagement recently completed by Ultra involved managing growth and selecting appropriate technology for a craft beer manufacturer. The brewery needed to update its business processes and replace a nearly 20-year old technology solution with associated manual workarounds.
The legacy system with manual scheduling, forecasting, and ordering processes, plus a reliance on Excel spreadsheets to organize their demand planning and production planning processes stymied any efforts to expand the business.
The manufacturer struggled further with its previous software because it was mainly designed for discrete manufacturers. Being a process manufacturing organization at its core, the enterprise had difficulty with production planning, and tracking raw materials and finished goods inventory.
The company needed a solution that could improve its supply chain inventory and accuracy, and provide visibility into real-time inventory.
Management identified goals of business process transformation combined with a new ERP solution to accommodate the demands of their growing company. Ultra offered a truly independent voice and perspective on the vendors and process transformation throughout each phase.
Learn more about keys to business process transformation
The bottom line: In each case summarized here, Ultra’s team was able to help reduce effort, resources and cost.
It’s clear that for each company, overall business processes improved. The companies saw increases in productivity, information timeliness and accuracy, and business performance. And ultimately, the companies were guided to a faster ROI.
Read additional ERP case studies to see how Ultra guides teams to understand the keys to business process transformation.