Whether it’s an organization that was built through acquisition or one that expanded rapidly into new markets, a business with multiple divisions is ripe for improvements that come by unifying operations under a single ERP solution with the power and flexibility to streamline processes and improve profitability.
Like any effort to implement an ERP system, the planning phase of an initiative to consolidate software systems and business processes is crucial. Time must be allocated to properly analyze all processes across divisions, getting a clear picture of the way things currently get done throughout the organization. The goal is to intermesh all these processes in the ERP system, picking and choosing what works best for the organization as a whole. At this point, working with an outside consultant with expertise in transforming business processes can help optimize the end result of a unified organization.
A cross-functional team must be assembled from each of the divisions to gather requirements from throughout the organization. These team members should be eager to learn because time spent in the unification process will stretch them beyond their normal role. They also need a commitment to the success of the company that will carry them through the inevitable trial of successfully implementing an ERP system. Crucial to overcoming these trials is getting and maintaining buy-in from executives. Members of the team and all employees must know that the executive team has made the unification a priority that will result in the success of the company.
When the time comes to go live with the unified system, the implementation team should be on alert to keep track of the issues that come up. The team that was gathered for planning and implementation should continue to meet during the go-live process. It is an opportunity to verify that the implementation accomplished goals and to create documentation for users to help them adopt both the ERP system and new processes that are driving it.
There are many benefits to unifying an organization’s divisions under a single ERP system. It often results in improved processes and saved costs by eliminating redundancies. The power of Business Intelligence can be unleased on data from different divisions, providing real-time analytics and reports across the entire organization. And the organization becomes more nimble, ready to adapt to market changes affecting any of its divisions.