Rather than upgrading to a new, expensive ERP system, sometimes the right approach can be to optimise your current system. The size and complexity of some ERP systems can make it difficult to know where to begin. So, we are giving you 6 top tips for ERP optimisation so you can get off to the best start possible.
1. Realign Business Goals & Processes
The first tip for ERP optimisation takes place outside of the ERP. You want to start by ensuring your business processes are still aligned with the goals you are trying to achieve. If you ERP system was installed years ago then it is likely your business has changed since then, both in what it aims to achieve and how it gets there.
Therefore, it is important that you address this first as it should be what guides how your ERP system is utilised. Remember, technology is just an enabler within your business and is there to support how you work. It cannot do that effectively if your goals and processes are not aligned.
2. Talk to Your People
People are the biggest asset of any company, and they are what drives or hinders ERP usage. You should regularly talk to teams from different departments to find out how they view the system. Does it work well, are they comfortable using it, or is functionality missing are all key things that system users will have a view on.
This can provide you with some quick wins for optimising your ERP. Not only will teams feel included, but you will make changes that have a meaningful impact and are wanted within the company.
3. Add in New Functionality
The capability of technology is always advancing. There may be new add on functionality that did not exist when you first installed your ERP system but would now be incredibly beneficial. Sometimes this will be ways of automating repetitive work with shortcuts, or it may be a larger add-on module with a host of functions.
While you may have to pay for custom code or new modules, this will often be cheaper than implementing a full new system.
4. Review Any Custom Dashboards
When you first implemented your ERP system you likely set up custom dashboards to display key information quickly. These are great for having the information you need readily available. However, not updating these dashboards or looking to improve them can cause missed opportunities for improvements.
At least once a year you should review custom dashboards to check if the information shown is relevant still. Look to remove information that you never use and add in any you wish you had.
5. Look for Data Silos
As your company has grown since first installing your ERP, it is likely that new systems have been implemented elsewhere. If these projects were done by their own department, then it is possible that it was not integrated with the ERP. This causes data silos where information is kept within one department and not shared across the company. This can lead to inefficiency with double data entry and will make it hard to compile reports to make quick business decisions.
Addressing these silos in your ERP optimisation project can be a great way to improve how accurate reporting is in your company. Teams will also be happy to see that they no longer need to enter data into two separate systems, freeing them to focus on more important work.
6. Refresh User Manuals
When you first set up your ERP system you likely created user manuals with how to do a variety of tasks. Over time the way teams use the system will change as they find shortcuts and improvements which leaves your user manual lacking.
It can be worth reviewing these manuals and updating them with how things are done now as well as add in any new key functionality that might have been added. Not only is having an updated way of working good practice, but it can help when you bring in new employees who will have to use these manuals. This way they get correct training for how things are done rather than how they were done three years ago when the system was installed.
When correctly done, an ERP optimisation can extend the life of your system and help avoid having to upgrade. Our top tips for ERP optimisation will give you a starting point for any project but you can also contact us if you need a bit of extra support to get the ball rolling.