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Which approach to follow for the innovation of your ERP?

The ultimate ERP feel is ‘tailored ERP’.

An ERP without excessive ballast where users can find their way intuitively and functionalities can be added when needed.

Tailored ERP IS OPEN to any business.

Tailored ERP DOES NOT MEAN developing software, BUT.

Tailored ERP = INNOVATIE van ERP.

Tailored ERP YOU REACH by

● looking differently at your future with ERP

● shaping this future in a thoughtful way

Tailored ERP SETS THE SAME conditions to any company:

● describe your current processes, systems and data with sufficient detail;

● make sure you know where you want to go with your company and what you need;

● let others inform you about the solutions that are available;

● ask suppliers to demonstrate the suitability of their solution for your business using your data and processes;

● follow an agile implementation approach that support you to switch from old to new in stages and enable you to adjust at any time;

● let others help and advise you but bear full responsibility.

Tailored ERP requires that you know where to go and how you can deal with that!

Where can you go?

● An integrated system with all the necessary functionalities

You can go for an integrated system that contains all the necessary functionalities that are available.

● A standard ERP system complemented with domain-specific applications

You can go for a Best-of-Breed environment consisting of a standard ERP system complemented with domain-specific features.

The ERP system is the basis for the financial administration and supports the purchase, sales, and production processes. The ERP system is connected to the other applications and with the outside world through a Business Process integration platform (BPI).

How do you tackle that?

Do not expect that the path from old to new is achievable without effort and commitment. Innovation of ERP has a particular purpose, is guided by something and must lead somewhere. It has great influence on the future of your company and requires investments and efforts.

Innovation of your ERP really comes down to rationalizing your APPLICATION and PROCESS LANDSCAPE.

The most important effort that your organization must deliver is GET a GRIP on the LANDSCAPE!

Get a grip on your landscape asks for gaining insight into processes, data, applications and value chains.

This calls for understanding the purpose of a business process, the sequence of activities, people and resources required, desired results, the relationship between processes, the required data and the use of functionalities. (See what processes add value for the customer)

There are several roads to an agile and robust environment.

1. Give everything off your hands!

If you want to make it yourself easy then outsource the research, selection and implementation.

The questions you will then need to ask are whether you will achieve what you want NOW and IN THE FUTURE, after all:

Was it not the approach that you previously followed?
Can you expect a third party to clean up your house?

Suppliers and implementation partners are increasingly using industry-specific configurations. These pre-configured environments fit exactly with the automation needs within an industry.

However, they ignore the fact that each company is a complex, dynamic and unique interplay of processes, information and people (users and customers), so ALSO YOUR BUSINESS.

It is therefore important to be more than involved.

You must play an active role in mapping your business processes and determining your future.

2. Get your house in order!

Design the future upfront! Utopia or reality?

Discover (model) your current and desired situation. It provides insight into critical processes and functionalities in use. By applying simulation it offers the possibility to value the future on its merits. Only then you will get a grip on your application and process landscape.

You are going to understand why it occasionally goes wrong and what needs to change. You canescribe much more focused your future processes, data and functionality needs. These descriptions you use to arrive at the selection of the right supplier and application.

It takes a lot of time and money to design the FUTURE in advance and to put it on paper.

And also, not always everything you need is available. If your requirements are casted in concrete, the risk is very high. The project could be over before it started.

Flexibility – agility is the most important feature you need.

There are now some good elements in this approach. So it is important to get a grip on your current processes and functionalities before describing the desired future.

3. The nimble approach fits like a bespoke suit just like the end result

You cannot escape from getting your house in order!

Procedures and work instructions give little or no insight into the total chain of activities for providing products or services to customers. Especially the integral cohesion of critical processes and used functionality is not enough visible.

A Business Process Management System helps you map out your existing situation and to align the organization.

If you don't have process models then Process Mining can help you visualize processes based on transaction data. This allows to make even processes that are nowhere described – the so-called non existing processes – to become visible. Often these invisible processes pop up after or during the implementation. These are processes the user organization does not want to talk about, but also cannot live without.

The philosophy behind the agile approach is to gradually get more and better understanding of the desired future situation.

The goal of the Sub-Project Preparation is to obtain and get a proper understanding of the corporate environment and ends with a provisional list of prioritized requirements.

In the Sub-Project Selection and Contracting the requirements are further detailed into a first project Baseline. The Baseline contains the critical basic functionality needed to support the daily operation. The suppliers are asked (knock-out) to demonstrate the Baseline with data from the existing environment during the Proof of concept.

Later, in addition to the Baseline, the main features of the releases are further worked out. The idea is to carry out the implementation in phases starting with the Baseline.

The Proof of Concept should reveal which suppliers and applications are most suitable and are eligible to start contract negotiation.

In Sub-Project Implementation the Baseline is set up, the training material prepared and the users trained, the data from the old system is transferred to the Baseline and the user acceptance is executed. After a successful acceptance test the Baseline is transferred to the production environment and taken into operation.

Afterwards over a period of several months the releases setup and rolled out.

When are you ready for your Tailored ERP program?

Would you like to learn more about this agile methodology continue to follow me. I will elaborate more on it in subsequent articles.


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