Is Your ERP System Managing Itself?
Any time an organization implements an ERP system, we recommend they choose an internal ERP project team. We can’t emphasize enough to our clients how important this is to the success of your ERP implementation. Once an organization implements an ERP system, whether it is a brand new system or a new version, there is a learning curve. Users need to get trained on the new functionality of the system. Usually, your project plan and team plan for this, so this step isn’t missed. But what happens once your ERP implementation and training is complete? Is there a member of your staff that is still managing your ERP system or is it managing itself?
You may think this is an odd question I am proposing. ERP system are complex. The more an organization uses an ERP system, the more comfortable they get with the system and its capabilities. What happens when one member of your staff uncovers new items within an ERP system that can be useful to other co-workers? Is there an ongoing ERP project plan or handbook that has a system in place for sharing this knowledge? If you are a business owner, it should pain you to think that you may have employees that become system experts on their own accord and leave your business 3 years later and take that knowledge with them. Now, you are waiting an undetermined amount of time for their replacement to get to the same knowledge level on the ERP system, assuming they have the mental make-up to learn in the same capacity. Scary thought isn’t it.
In a perfect world, all of the software you run at your organization would work in conjunction with your ERP system. The reality is in many organizations, businesses are still using other software programs and doing some redundant work between those programs and the ERP software. Is there a way for someone to realize these redundancies and take steps to eliminate the duplicate work? Business needs evolve every day, which means the ERP system needs to be able to evolve and adapt with these needs. Reports can be customized, programs can be synced, users need to be added and removed, security rights may change, updates may be needed. These needs don’t stop or disappear once an ERP implementation is complete.
An ERP system is a very expensive investment and one that needs to be treated as such. Don’t sell your business or system short by not appointing an ERP champion within your organization. This person’s job should be to protect this investment and to ensure you are maximizing it’s capabilities to the fullest. This job should not have an expiration date. 5 years from now, that person’s role should be just as important as it was at the 3 month mark. At any point, this person should understand areas the ERP system is not working appropriately, understand when an upgrade is needed, understand what customizations have been completed and why, etc…
2W Tech is a certified Epicor ERP Consultant and would be happy to work with your organization on selecting and training your internal ERP Champion. If you do not have the internal bandwidth, 2W Tech has trained Consultants and can play that role for your organization.