Optimize Business Processes to Limit ERP Customization

Identify the best targets for process optimization and focus on configuration. Just say “no” to everything else.

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Your Challenge

  • Delivering value from your ERP system is hard work. In 2012, under half of organizations who recently implemented an ERP system realized the value they expected from their ERP system.
  • Customizing your ERP system is extremely expensive and often pushes you off the path to upgrade.
  • Focusing on configuration will deliver ERP value with minimal effort and increase overall end user satisfaction.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Your ERP system is not about the technology, it’s about the business processes and the people using the system. Focus on these two aspects as a cost effective way to optimize your ERP system.
  • Some business processes need customization, but most don’t. Identifying which ones are key to your business will help you hone in on where the effort should be best spent.
  • Discovery workshops are the key to rapidly changing a business process. Build discovery workshops to speed up the optimization process.
  • You can’t forget to manage the change at the organizational level. Academic research points to a lack of change as one of the key reasons ERP implementations don’t deliver the estimated benefit.

Impact and Result

  • Prioritize business processes that are key to your organization’s success.
  • Develop discovery workshops that will uncover easy-to-fix configuration problems that will deliver ERP value and improve collaboration in your organization.
  • Improve key process performance indicators such as, cycle time, defect rates, and service delays.
  • Introduce ERP optimization as a standard procedure that IT will perform on a regular basis.

Contributors

  • Arturo Duque, City of Miami
  • Brett Feddersen, Government of Boulder, Colorado
  • Chris Devault, Panorama Consulting
  • Dan Veneris, Airgas Inc.
  • Georgina Anderson, McGladrey LLP
  • Jim Wisdom, City of Lawrence, Kansas
  • John Staab, Rainforrent Inc.
  • Mathias Kirchmer, University of Pennsylvania
  • Nick Staicu, Moneris Inc.
  • Richard Traeger, MPC Inc.
  • Robert Jones, UNTSystems
  • Sheldon Watson, McGladrey LLP
  • Walter Tota, Litcom Consulting
  • Zainab Alibaba, Interswitch Inc.
  • 2 organizations contributed information to assist with the development of this project blueprint. Due to the sensitivity of the information, the contributors requested confidentiality.

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Get to Action

  1. Define your process improvement SOP

    Ensure ERP optimization via configuration becomes a core IT activity

  2. Prioritize and optimize your business processes

    Identify which business processes will be optimized first

  3. Launch and monitor the optimized business processes

    Minimize the resistence to change through training and monitoring.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a four call advisory process.

  • Call #1: Review and justify the prioritization of identified business processes

    Identify which priorities are key candidates for improvement.

  • Call #2: Review identified processes and associated projects

    Decide which approach to take to improve the identified business processes.

  • Call #3: Discovery workshop building and feedback collection

    Facilitate internal sessions with staff to analyze processes and identify opportunities for improvement.

  • Call #4: Understand how to manage ERP optimization change

    The improved processes have to be incorporated into the ERP system. Appropriate project proposals are the first step.

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Get Prepared for ERP Optimization

The Purpose

  • Define your ERP process optimization SOP
  • Identify business processes that are key for your organization’s success
  • Assess business processes by cost, satisfaction, and opportinuity for improvement
  • Prioritize business processes to obtain optimization focus

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Complete assessment of all business processes in your organization with cost, satisfaction, and opportunity metrics captured and collected
  • Prioritized list of business processes that are key to your organization’s success
  • Root cause analysis performed to help identify which future course should be taken to fix the suboptimal business processes

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Right-size the ERP process optimization SOP
  • Developed ERP process optimization SOP
1.2 Identify enterprise priorities
  • Identified which business processes are the most important to your organization’s strategy
1.3 Provide relevance rankings
  • Gathered primary data relating to the satisfaction, cost, and opportunity of different business processes
1.4 Assess satisfaction, cost, and opportunity
  • Performed root cause analysis to determine the future course of intervention
1.5 Generate process optimization plot
  • Generated process optimization plot to identify which business processes should be prioritized
1.6 Determine course of intervention
1.7 Estimate cost and risks of intervention
  • Generated data for the business cost, taking into account costs and risks of intervention

Module 2: Develop ERP Optimization Schedule of Activities

The Purpose

  • Build discovery workshop activities that will deliver ERP value
  • Develop project proposal to guide further optimization efforts
  • Understand the components of change that exist when optimizing business processes
  • Identify best practices for the documentation, training, and monitoring of optimized business processes

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Thorough understanding of the seven different workshop activities that will drive the ERP optimization effort
  • Developed project proposals that can be used to launch further optimization projects
  • Comprehensive launch plan developed by embracing training, documentation, and monitoring best practices

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Build an engaging workshop facilitation guide
  • Fully developed facilitation PowerPoint deck
2.2 Establish process ownership
  • Assigned process owners to each relevant business process
2.3 Build process operator workshop teams
  • Developed list of workshop partcipants for discovery workshops
2.4 Overview of all workshop activities
  • Reviewed all workshop activities
2.5 Build project proposals
  • Finalized project proposals
2.6 Prepare for launch of the optimized processes
  • Thorough understanding of the change management issues associated with ERP optimization

Workshop Icon Book Your Workshop

Onsite Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn’t enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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