Our 10-year target as a company is to “Revolutionize the industry as a company people want to work for and clients want to work with.” That sounds like a lofty, even arrogant goal, but the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) industry is in dire need of a revolution and we are committing to leading the charge to change it.
Why Does the Business Application Industry Need a Revolution?
I was sitting in my monthly CEO roundtable yesterday, and I heard a small company complain about their recent ERP implementation they had go live about five weeks ago. They hadn’t been able to get their invoices out for three weeks and finally gave up and went back to their old system. They lost $45,000 in unbilled revenue on top of the money they spent (aka poured down the drain) on the implementation. This is the third time in the past year I’ve had a CEO come into that meeting talking about an extremely painful business application implementation.
If you’re a CFO today, you’d rather get a root canal than go through an ERP implementation. You are putting your job on the line by choosing to implement new business software; these projects are risky and often don’t return the benefits you expected them to.
Hard truths about the current state of ERP implementations:
1) They cost a lot of money, between 3-7% of your annual revenues,
2) They take a long time and lots of internal resources to get done,
3) They are rarely on-time and on budget (less than 40% of the time) and
4) They often don’t get implemented as fully as you originally envisioned, thereby lowering the overall ROI of the project.
Today’s reality of implementing business applications is in dire need of a revolution.
What Does a Revolutionized Industry Look Like?
The “revolutionized” world is one where CFOs look forward to a business application implementation because they will get:
1) A modern, easy-to-use interface that’s available anywhere,
2) A fully connected system that pulls together data from multiple line of business and best-of-breed systems and
3) The business intelligence to help them make informed decisions based on real-time data. I know of very few companies today that can say they get all 3 of those benefits from their system because of the problems cited above.
How Are We Going to Revolutionize the Industry?
Tomorrow’s implementations need to be faster, process-centric, predictable and repeatable. We have developed our Process Centric Methodology which is designed to do just that – accelerate the implementation by bringing a repeatable, process centric approach to the project.
Here are some ways we move this towards the future state:
- Conduct more envisioning or Enterprise Process Review sessions to dive deep into business process before we jump into the full implementation. This provides better estimates and allows us to find ways to break the implementation into smaller pieces which can be completed on a more predictable timeline.
- Leverage industry and process-oriented best practices to come to our clients with a potential solution before they tell us their unique problem. This is then refined in a Joint Process Design collaboratively with the client to reduce customizations and the “bugs” that come up in deployment because the design wasn’t what they expected.
- Bring data migration to the beginning of the project instead of leaving it towards the end. The sooner we get relevant data in the system, the better the testing and designs are.
- Leverage the Task Recorder tool for everything it can do – process documentation, security, end-user training – it’s a great tool that’s a step ahead of anything else I’ve seen.
- Showcase business intelligence – we provide the BI clients seek during the initial implementation to help them get the ROI from the project. We leverage Power BI and data warehouses and show clients how their data can be used to enable their business decision making.
The industry needs a revolution and we are ready and willing to lead the way. Let’s talk about how a different approach can lead to much better results. Be warned; it won’t be like what you’ve experienced before and that’s a good thing.