Spot the Problem

Imagine this: You have somehow found yourself on the distribution list of a report built by someone you’ve never heard of. It was apparently “a big deal” at some point, but you’ve never found any relevance to it.  You’re not sure what to do with it but don’t want to delete it because if it was important enough for someone to build and send out, it might be risky to obliterate it completely, right?

Is this all starting to sound eerily familiar?

It’s a fact that the knowledge of any system is reduced within an organisation as employees come and go.

To the question “Why do you do it that way?”, the answer “Because that’s the way we’ve always done it”

This starts being heard regularly as key personnel move on and leave only a small portion of their knowledge behind with those left to take over. That report from the scenario above? A primary example of what happens when there’s even the tiniest amount of turnover in your company. Brain drain in companies is a fact of life, and if left totally unattended, it will become an even bigger drain on your resources and your business performance.

So how does it happen?

Well, for starters, the key people who were involved in your software installation made a great many decisions about how your company uses the software: decisions on reports, system rules, authority levels, use of various features, etc. Those software rules remain in effect even though your company, customers, employees, and business environment have changed. You’re finding that what was once an exception to the rule is now the norm, but either your business process or your software hasn’t adapted to reflect the times. And that leaves you with employees realising it’s easier to work around the system than in it. Repeat this in nearly every department across the board and that disjoint can become even larger.

The reasons your company chose to use your ERP in a certain way may have been lost along with the knowledge of the specific user who instigated the procedure at the time of implementation. From our experience, we have found that if the knowledge gap is not addressed, use of software actually declines the longer it’s in place. The entire ERP becomes reduced to a few meaningful tasks like creating contracts and execution of logistics, while other features sit dormant because they no longer fit the reality of your business as it stands today.

But, we need to make something very clear: It’s not that your ERP or business processes are out-of-date, they’re simply not in sync. The goal of implementing software is to simplify, automate and standardize all key areas of your business.

If you’re beginning to realize that how you’re using the system isn’t aligning to your business goals, then you have an opportunity to improve the flow.

Where do I start to unlock the potential?

To start to address this problem, consult with your software provider. As your partner, they are equally invested in your success and want to understand how your business has changed.  They can evaluate where you are out of sync and create a project plan to address gaps. Some questions you should be asking are:

Knowledge – Is my company using all the applicable features of our solution?
Investment – What enhancements have been made since we installed our solution and are we using them?
Liberate – Are we using all the information from the system? More importantly, are we using it correctly?
Potential – Are we taking full advantage of our solution? What can you recommend as my provider?

Your systems should always facilitate doing business efficiently with the required checks and controls. If your systems are not in sync with your processes, it might be time to review your solution configurations. Engage with your ERP provider’s consultants to make sure your processes and systems are correctly aligned!

Contact us for more information on how investing in consulting services could increase your efficiency today.