Upgrading ERP can help improve business

////Upgrading ERP can help improve business

Some may see an enterprise resource planning adoption as a threat to the IT department, but one company that manufactures pumps for the gas, oil and nuclear industries said it was an opportunity to ensure their business goals were being met from the outset of the project. Keith Herring, head of IT at Hayward Tyler, told Computer Weekly that the company started restructuring business processes and job functions to reduce overlap and waste. Organizations of all sizes can likely see improvements to business by adopting ERP programs like Dynamics NAV.

"We could get efficiencies, but also reduce headcount – one of the reasons for the restructure," Herring said. "The ERP upgrade fits into that, making sure that we have the right people in the right places."

The company's new ERP rollout, which was an upgrade on their previous program, went live about a year ago and was done in concert with the reorganization of business. On-time delivery has seen the biggest improvement, as equipment deliveries went from 20 percent on-time to 80 percent after the implementation. The move to update this program began three years ago when the company realized their technology needed to be upgraded to provide a better view of changing business processes.

Across the company, Herring said there were silos that were giving an incomplete view of the business. This led to additional problems with getting the product out of the factory. He said they were looking to change, but the reorganization of business needed to be lined up with ERP to help give momentum to the project.

Improvements after ERP implementation
With the program now updated and intertwined with the business side, there is greater flexibility and functionality, as well as a better focus on the business goals of the ERP system. This was reflected in starting the ERP project team, which Herring told Computer Weekly started with the manager who came from the business side.

"He had been working in materials control, but he had a passion for programming and understood the systems," says Herring. "That is one of the reasons why the whole project was a success. Not only did he understand the systems that we had, he also understands the business that we're in and why we were changing."

Satisfaction with ERP growing
Many organizations struggle with the implementation of ERP due to cost estimates, planning and realization, but the 2013 ERP Report from Panorama Consulting Services, said 86 percent of those who have adopted this software are satisfied with the system and 60 percent said the project was a success. About 69 percent said there was a level of satisfaction with their ERP vendor as well.

Eric Kimberling, managing partner of Panorama Consulting Solutions, said the leadership adopting ERP needs to be aware of the benefits it will bring and the complexities that may be experienced. However, the return on investment of a program like this converged with business is too great to ignore.

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.