Monday, January 21, 2008

ERP change does not need to be pain

“SAP ERP do it right, or re-think your steps”


Its often the case that most ERP change is complex, overlaying your current business processes with an ERP system has not delivered the kind of benefits that you wanted to see. Time and time again the solution team has grown so large everyone and anyone who is a SME is involved that the people actually masterminding the change not only attempt to focus on implementing the new system but can lose sight of the real end goal "to improve the supply chain business processes" ...

So here's the thing

When I think of supply chain business processes, or for that matter your CEO thinks about the business, they want to know that their business processes are:
cost-effective, efficient, innovation, value for money, fit for purpose, doing it better than the competition, best practices, streamlined, framework, roadmap transparency, governance & compliance = more customers

Then several other things spring to mind, large organisations continue to operate within complex models and various stages of complexity than can hinder growth:
complexity is deeply embed in core processed that rely on antiquated legacy systems, broken bad disjointed duplicated processes that are outdated, in-effective and expensive = all this tells me that these organisations know little about what their businesses actually do

In a typical enterprise, the lion's share of the IT budget is invested in the existing landscape's consolidation and ongoing operations. Once a mission-critical solution is installed, configured, and live, companies are ready to dedicate their remaining resources to improving their processes - preferably without upgrading the ERP backbone. But to gain a holistic understanding about what SAP and any other technology solution can do you need to understand what your business is currently doing, identify the gaps/impact of changing these processes through transition, align the business processes to the solution model and map out what success will look like ...

Many Change Management interventions are based on the business understanding the TO BE processes, how the process will change end-to-end, including not only the processes within SAP but also how they will interface with the entire application landscape. I hear it all the time, we've just implemented/upgraded SAP and cannot see the benefits we're no more effective than we were before the change. Well naturally overlaying technology to mask broken bad processes will not solve your problems, it just adds another layer of complexity. Refinement and redesign of business models should be completed in the early stages, having an idea of what your business should look like going forward is imperative ...

2 comments:

Alex Palmerston said...

Big organisations prefer to listen to the bigger consulting firms who do not have the organisation best interest at heart. I'm afraid listening to the big boys you'll get only what you asked for with nothing else, they are not bothered whether you have broken processes, the end deal is putting in new technology. Countless times I've had to clear up situations that could of been avoided, being interim I get called in to sort the mess because some bright spark in the senior management team decides to make a name for him/herself and gets turned on by all the marketing bumph. Real solutions come from those who are prepared to do the work

Agnes Coleman said...

If the problem is with the process, why not fix it, its that simple, most of the bigger firms are closing contracts with the big consultancies, and now the focus is on the public sector, no wonder its in a sorry state.