Undertaking an ERP selection is a big, and sometimes overwhelming, project.
After teaming with numerous small to medium manufacturers, we know that it takes commitment, resources and focus to be effective when it comes to ERP selection and implementation.
A key part of the project is to determine the “future state” – or where the company hopes to be in the future in terms of business processes.
Building the “To Be Process”
Assessing the desired “to be process” is the phase of an ERP selection project where the rubber meets the road.
After taking stock of current processes, and before setting ERP requirements, this is the phase where the team leader leads the charge to set improved business processes flows and targets.
In visioning workshops, the business process owners review waste in current processes, discuss best practices, future system requirements, and develop a “to be” map that represents the desired improved state.
This phase takes the form of hands-on workshops, which are most effective when led by independent parties such as independent ERP consultants.
While developing the process improvements the team should evaluate the impact of the new processes on business performance in three areas.
- What can we do today with existing systems? Even before implementation of a new ERP system, what waste and “muda” can be removed now for improved business outcomes?
- What are the strategic mid-term improvements that require IT investments?
- What represents a longer-term improvement to get us to the future state? What functional areas will improve with a new workflow enabled by modern ERP? What do we need to do that we can’t do now?
The results of this phase should put priority on the most important processes needing business process reengineering.
Also revealed in this phase are business intelligence strategies that the company hopes to achieve.
We’ve found that it pays to reduce any potential negativity the organization might experience in a transformation. It’s not uncommon for organizations to experience resistance to change after being cemented in outdated processes and outdated technology.
Motivating the team to embrace change helps gain buy-in to the value of a new ERP system.
Documenting the “to be” state is just one phase of an effective ERP project.
To learn more, download a free white paper entitled A Roadmap for Business Performance Improvement.
The paper shares five guidelines for business process improvement planning that will help your company achieve true business performance improvement and ROI.