What’s your plan post-implementation?
Every year many Manufacturing companies embark upon replacing ERP systems with the objectives to achieve major improvements in the areas of efficiency, productivity and cost reduction. For companies that achieve those objectives the scene for continuing to improve is set. This is also the case for those companies that did not quite achieve their objectives, except they the latter have to start from a lower level.
Let’s review the project to implement the new ERP systems and everything around it and what was needed to succeed. Apart from the new ERP system and the technology partner that facilitated the implementation, the main driving force behind the project would have been the people within the company. Management would be setting the vision and objectives. The steering committee would set the strategy, monitor progress and make decisions on significant project issues to be resolved. The project manager would schedule and resource the workload, monitor progress and share out project tasks to the key user/process owners. The process owners, in turn, were learning, changing and building systems, processes and data. All these people form the largest team most companies have ever had outside previous major systems implementations.
What happens when the implementation project ends? All too often that team is disbanded or simply fades away, ‘job done’ as some will say. Is it really true that the job is done, surely not? What about a continuous improvement programme or commercial and operational problem-solving?
If the team in an ERP implementation project have worked together well to achieve the initial objectives, would it not make sense to retain that team on a less demanding schedule to consider what improvements can be made beyond the initial implementation project? The key users/process owners become the developers of improvement opportunities. The project manager becomes a change manager to bring opportunities for change together. The steering committee becomes the change committee, considering the impact and effect of decided changes. And finally, the management team who will endorse proposed changes are able to meet the vision for the future and the needs of ever-changing markets.
Just a thought…
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