ERP systems are an amazing advance in technology and can definitely solve a number of problems for any manufacturer. Putting everything on one database makes so many things easier, more visible or in some cases possible, where it wasn’t possible before.
So, how is it that after a few years, the system sometimes doesn’t work as well as it did when it was first implemented?
How do spreadsheets and point solutions creep back in?
How does an ERP system that once worked pretty well become cumbersome and unwieldy?
How do we get to a point where a manager who once loved their ERP system, now treats it with adversarial disdain?
Is it the fault of the ERP System? Actually, it isn’t.
The answer lies with a tool needed to keep your system running well - an ERP Health Committee.
Let me explain. Maintaining an ERP system is a lot like maintaining a car. There are regular activities that should be done to ensure the ongoing health of the system. Any system left unattended will degrade over time and finally break down completely. Just like a car that doesn’t get an oil change for 4 years will break down (usually on a highway in the middle of traffic), so will an ERP system that doesn’t get regular maintenance break down just when you need it the most.
This is where your ERP Health Committee comes in.
At LogicData, we recommend you assemble the original implementation team and appoint them as your ERP Health Committee, with regularly scheduled meetings in which the team reviews the key functions of CSI/SyteLine, such as:
Is our ERP process documentation published and available?
- Have our users been trained on our ERP processes?
- Are our users applying what they have been trained on?
- Do our process documents need revision due to changes in how the company operates (e.g. new products, acquisitions, new regulations, new customer requirements, etc.)?
- Are any users deploying outside systems to do their jobs, such as spreadsheets or Access databases, that should be part of the ERP system?
- What problems are our users reporting? Are these due to failure to follow existing procedures, or do they indicate a need to revisit the procedures and improve upon them?
Engaging the lead consultant that helped with your original implementation and having him or her attend these committee meetings as well, will go a long way in ensuring that the committee will be effective. The consultant’s knowledge of CSI/SyteLine and your business can significantly assist in spotting gaps and resolving issues. As our passion is making your ERP System work for you, we would be happy to have our consultants continue their relationship with you and your Health Committee.
The investment spent in purchasing and implementing your ERP system shouldn’t be allowed to go to waste due to lack of system maintenance. Having your team spend a few hours a month to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of CSI/SyteLine is time well spent. Some of our most successful customers even hold this meeting weekly.
Those enterprises who do have an ERP Health Committee find that their satisfaction with their system remains high and they continue to get great ongoing ROI.
Contact us today for help in creating and implementing your ERP Health Committee.