Going into the new year means making changes that will benefit an organization over the next twelve months. One big area where manufacturers can see improvement is their enterprise resource planning program, as many organizations still run antiquated systems that could be instantly improved by upgrading to a solution such as Dynamics NAV. A business should form some New Year's resolutions for its ERP system that can help shape business improvements for 2014 and beyond
1) Find out why the current system falls short
Rick Cook wrote on Inside ERP that this software can play a big role in constantly improving an organization. When done correctly, it gives a detailed view of the entire organization. However, if the current program isn't working how it needs to be, companies must take a look at why this is and aim to fix it.
"This will undoubtedly require some research beyond the dashboards," Cook said. "Here again, a properly implemented ERP system can provide you with hard numbers on nearly every aspect of your business at just about any level of detail you desire. Drill down on the problem processes and try to see just exactly what [is] going on."
2) Get the right people in control
Another important aspect of the ERP upgrade process is having the right staff watching over the program. This means appointing workers who will take responsibility and putting any changes that are needed into motion as soon as possible, Cook said. One way ERP updates and implementation fall into inefficiency is that no one who is truly tasked with moving it forward. It is essential to be sure there are employees there with the program's best interests in mind.
3) Testing changes will save trouble
Industry professional Shawn Scanlon wrote on Network World that while most ERP programs come set to handle a typical user load, every organization is unique. Load-testing and looking at how features work should be done after each change to be sure the software will not fail when it is needed.
"Simply testing with just scripts will not provide you with the effects seen when a user makes a mistake," Scanlon said. "If you just test with people, you won't simulate the effect of batch jobs and electronic data interchange. Even if you test with one, rather than none, you will come out ahead."
4) Ensure communication across the company
Many businesses are far too used to not having employees communicate properly, but this can be deadly for running an ERP system. A resolution for 2014 should be to make sure employees and users of the system are consistently talking. While Scanlon said most will not like this change, as it may be seen as additional work, communication will help make everyone more well-versed in the software and likely ensure greater productivity over the year and beyond.
Learn how to define your ERP strategy by downloading the white paper entitled "ERP in Manufacturing: Defining the ERP Strategy" from the DMS website today.