Effective ERP Demands Updated Business Processes
Posted Thursday, October 20, 2011 by Don Kapuscinski
Remote operations, home-based workers and accelerating customer expectations are all reasons that smart organizations are revisiting their current business processes. Many of the processes that worked when the entire team was in one warehouse or office don’t provide the best support for the extended workplace. Customers expect immediate responses with real time status.
Department managers may feel that they have lost touch with their team’s business processes through passage of time. Periodic reviews of workflow are important for the evolution of the department. “The way we always did it” may have worked in the past… but to remain competitive in the future it’s not good enough.
Working department by department, you can systematically review your businessto identify outdated processes and transform your business. Start by bringing all key department stakeholders into a room. Identify the tasks that require coordination and collaboration between multiple individuals or groups. Next, define the primary challenges of the current process – where is communication breaking down and what are the ramifications?
Let’s use an example of the Finance department’s budgeting process. The review identifies the following steps and tasks;
•Initiate Budget Process – Manually create and update business model and workflow using Excel and email. Load last year’s data into new model from multiple systems. Run reports using new model.
•Manage Budgeting Process – Develop templates for input and reporting using Excel, define who/where input is needed and send email requests with templates. Manage the process of gathering input and review.
•Conduct top-down and bottom up analysis – Using new business model and strategic plan, create top down budget and match with bottom up budget requested from departments. Consolidate data and re-run reports using manual process.
•Review and Finalize Budget – Finalize budget targets, run reports from input received from execs and departments. Obtain reviews and approvals from stakeholders
With the current steps identified, you can focus on the trouble spots and impacts. A spreadsheet or other template can help organize and communicate your findings. The next phase will be to define the improvements that are needed and then prioritize the work ahead.