Chapter 14. ERP: An Evolving Process

Amy Wolbeck

If your organization just spent millions on an enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation, it should be getting all the anticipated benefits. Unfortunately, that frequently is not the case immediately after an implementation. There are a number of reasons this situation may occur: poor implementation process, "paving the cow path," bad data at cutover, and so on. Does this mean your organization should not do an ERP implementation? Of course not; ERP systems can give you the foundation to build on and continue to improve your business. You need to look at ERP as an evolutionary process to achieve the planned benefits and ultimately reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO).

Getting Started

After your system is stabilized, you should begin an assessment of the activities that are performed daily and determine whether they are value-added activities. When ERP systems and processes are not efficient, employees can end up spending the majority of their time focused on transactional activities. (See Figure 14.1—current state.) These activities, including entering data, researching errors, and processing exceptions, take a significant amount of time. The results are that less time is focused on high-value-added activities such as analyzing the data and decision making. After you have identified any such activities, the next step is defining alternative options and solutions to reduce the wasted time and increase time spent on analyzing ...

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