“Because we’ve always done it that way.”
A simple response that robs an organization of the unique opportunity to improve during an implementation or upgrade. Enterprise transformation can unlock hidden potential to improve customer satisfaction, cut costs, and save time, and implementations and upgrades are the perfect time to engage in one. As an organization implements a new ERP system or upgrades an existing one, the last thing it wants to do is configure the ERP package such that it reinforces inefficient workstreams. It is during these times of change that a business can ask some tough questions about why things are done in an effort to improve workstreams and processes. Even small changes to process can have a big impact on the bottom line. Other changes might be larger, like the decision to go paperless in the receiving department. Once an organization has opened itself to the possibility of enterprise transformation, there are a few things that can help along the way.
ERP software solutions are powerful. A team of experts in ERP functionality have put great effort to include key features in the software. An organization can learn a lot about ways to improve by looking at what is the available in the out-of-the-box software functionality. Can it automate processes and reduce the likelihood of human error? How does it handle the flow of information from one department to another?
Another crucial aspect in achieving enterprise transformation during an implementation or upgrade is getting buy-in from stakeholders. Be sure that those being asked to reveal how things get done are reassured that the effort is to make their part of the organization operate more smoothly. Department heads might get their feathers ruffled when asked what processes accomplish and whether these processes are still needed, so these stakeholders should be reassured that everyone is on the same team looking to improve the profitability of the company.
Getting an outside pair of eyes to examine the way the organization currently does business can be crucial to an effective enterprise transformation. A good consultant with expertise in ERP and the industry can make suggestions based on what has worked for other companies and is supported by the software. Sometimes it takes an outside consultant to accomplish enterprise transformation that brings about business process improvements in key areas like supply chain, finance, manufacturing, and quality.
While pursuing enterprise transformation is a logical part of implementation and upgrades, it does not need to be the only times one is conducted. Things change. Periodically asking “why are we doing it this way” can improve workstreams and processes in between upgrades. And never accept “because we’ve always done it that way” as an answer.