Has Your ERP System Become Mundane?
You implement a new ERP system, you train your employees, and then what happens? All too many times, once the implementation and initial training process happens with an ERP system, organizations shift their focus off the ERP. Your ERP software should never become stagnant for your business. You spent way too much time, energy, and money for this to happen. An ERP system will not run efficiently for its entire life, you must refine and refocus often to extend its production. As your users become comfortable with using your ERP software, items such as running reports and data entry become second nature and bad habits start to form. So how do you prevent your ERP system from becoming mundane?
The simple answer: ERP strategy. Your business should create an ERP strategy that allows your ERP system to be top of mind daily. You should have one employee who manages this strategy and ensures that it is followed. The overall goal of this strategy should be continuous improvement for your ERP system and processes. What changes can you make to help your users get more out of the system, therefore increasing your ROI on the software? The more you are engaged and using your ERP system, the more you maximize the benefits of the system. As long as your ERP system is still bringing you value, you don’t have to upgrade or replace it, thus creating a win-win situation for your organization.
Here are some items you could add to your ERP strategy:
- IoT. If your organization has not jumped onboard with the Internet of Things(IoT) trend, you will want to get on that ASAP. Epicor ERP easily allows manufacturers to connect their shop floor and production lines online, reporting in real time productivity and operational data across the shop floor. Many other software programs you use daily such as MRP or CRM software can also easily be connected and accessed by various devices from anywhere, at any time. By embracing IoT and making it part of your ERP strategy, you will be staying with the current trends and maximizing the value your ERP is bringing to your business.
- Adding additional modules or functionality. As your business grows and changes, often times the needs for your software change with it. If your ERP strategy includes constantly making sure your ERP system is meeting the needs of every department, you will most likely run into new modules and functionality that you will need to add to your software over the course of its life.
- Long-term plan. It’s not enough to operate in the weeds with your ERP software, you also need a long-term strategy to ensure you are taking your ERP system to the next level, along with your business. What is your growth plan? How does your ERP need to evolve to help you achieve that? Are you going to want to change your delivery model? Has increased travel or remote employees warranted a move to the cloud if you haven’t already shifted? Businesses evolve and change from year to year, so it only makes sense your ERP system does as well.
- Identifying continuous improvement areas. One area that can lead you to a monthly or quarterly check-in on your ERP system is with identifying areas of your business that need improved. Once you have these, you then create a plan for how your ERP system can assist and report on the process your organization is making with these changes. Set specific goals and a specific measurable for each.
- New or better integrations. Is your ERP software integrated with all of the other main software programs you are using? It is helpful to rank the importance and frequency your programs are used and then starting with the most important, plan your integrations that way. Be careful not to change too much too quick, but you still need to move rapidly. There is many, many advantages your business can achieve with software integrations. Being technologically interconnected will prove to be invaluable to your business.
The only way to prevent your ERP software from becoming mundane is to have an ERP strategy for your organization. Without a plan to grow your software with your business, the system will stagnate and become difficult to use. If your software is unable to support new processes, you will quickly find your users frustrated, leading to abandonment of the system. 2W Tech is a certified Epicor ERP partner and has experienced ERP Consultants on staff that can help your organization create and implement an ERP strategy within your business. Give us a call today to get started.
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