Setting up Reports and New Capabilities
By the time most businesses reach the finish line of an ERP project, they begin to suffer from what we like to call “ERP Fatigue.” They have already spent a lot of time, thought, and effort on seeing the project through to Go-Live, so the natural inclination is to get back to work as usual.
But we want to prepare you for reality. In order to maximize the value of those initial investments, more needs to done. Processes need to be set into motion that will continuously care for and feed the new system. This might sound like bad news, but the good news is, if you are reading this, and you set-up the right processes proactively, the business will be in the top quartile in terms of ERP ROI.
Reporting, Mobile and Omnichannel Functionality
Most ERP projects prioritize better data, mobile, and multichannel capabilities as main objectives. However, businesses rarely receive the full potential of these elements from Phase 1 Go-Live. Too many other fundamentals need to be established first. We like to compare this to the last-mile problem in telecommunications. When laying cable, thousands upon thousands of miles need to be laid, but the network still needs the last mile before any of that work becomes useful for the end user.
The same concept is at work here. Reporting, mobile and multichannel are the last mile of infrastructure to lay, which will unlock ERP value above and beyond the old system. So, you need to have a team in place who can write reports, itemize/prioritize business needs, and develop solutions. This team will lay the last mile and then continue to make improvements.
Read more on roles in our next article, Care and Feeding of Your New ERP, Part 2
The business needs to access data sources, generate reports in usable formats with the right information and distribute to all pertinent personnel.
Employees want to be able to access key workflows, expense reporting, time tracking and more when they are out of the office. Mobile capability helps them stay engaged, increasing productivity while increasing data quality.
Omnichannel functions connect multiple, siloed sales channels and merge them into one, cohesive and consistent experience across the brand to meet customer’s expectations.
These three areas are common goals of ERP projects today, but the specific goals might be different for your business. We recommend setting reporting as a priority but setting a roadmap for improving beyond the essentials, so that the business can develop a system where stakeholders can interact with the business in new, exciting, and ultimately more efficient ways.
Our next article will describe how to setup the right team who will not only turn these potentials into reality but also ensure the system continues to run smoothly.