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Why regularly review your ERP Application?

(AIS) Advisory Is Solutions Inc.

Your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system must be reviewed regularly so that your system and business processes are operating efficiently and at Peak Performance. Why? Because system applications must respond to the continuous demands of your business and the better your applications are operating the more efficient your staff will be. System performance can also be attributed to data integrity and attaining real time information so that all levels of management can make timely and the best decisions for their organization.

Continuous review and maintenance is vital just like maintaining your car. If you want your car to run efficiently you must maintain it so it increases the life of the asset and most of all it operates at the highest performance. No one wants to be stranded with a broken vehicle on a highway much like not being able to access business information within your ERP when you need to.  

As a business owner, I require the facts so I can manage my business operation. Lack of facts almost always insights danger about your company’s performance and how you need to react to any going concerns.

When performing an ERP review one must consider at least 4 Business Areas to deliver organizational performance:

There are many sub-components to consider within each Business Area when reviewing your ERP / IT System as shown below:  

The following 3-Step process should be evoked to help you with your ERP review and respond to business challenges:

Typical conclusion from the 3-step evaluation process: If organizations are not getting the highest Strategic, Operational, Financial, and Technology value from their existing ERP then one will typically get a higher benefit from system replacement but at a higher cost as depicted in the grid below. The higher cost from ERP replacement is also higher in year 1 but the benefits will continue to rise with costs reducing in future years.

Benefit vs Cost

Conclusions: Organizations should always perform internal reviews of their current ERP application. Through proper system maintenance in collaboration with your internal team and ERP vendor your organization should realize the maximum throughput from your ERP, leveling up your system efficiencies and being ready for any business challenges that come your way.

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Why hire an Independent ERP Consultant?

Hire an expert

When you get sick you see a doctor, when you need legal advice you see a lawyer, and when you are looking for the best ERP Solution for your company you hire an Independent ERP Consultant.

These days everyone has become more self-reliant with the use of Google or other internet browsers and we feel empowered to get whatever information we want from diets to self help to answers about ERP Software. With information so easily accessible and at our finger tips why not right?! The only catch is knowing exactly what questions to ask so you can make decisions about how best to proceed. I’ve found that simple questions can easily be answered from your web browser but the more intricate the questions the harder it is to find the answers. If you want to save time, money, and select the best ERP solution for your company then an Independent ERP Consultant is the best way to go unless you’ve done this many times before.

Like any other professional, an Independent ERP Consultant is very skilled at what they do. They know the ERP industry, the solutions that are available, vendors that implement them, and the best system to select given your needs, industry, size, complexity, budget and timelines. More importantly, once the ERP solution has been selected, they are able to advise on the best ERP implementation strategy to deploy based on a number of factors including the ERP Vendor Methodology and Approach that will be used.

ERP project success is dependent on knowledge and experience. The more ERP system selection and implementations you’ve done the higher your success rate. Like the old adage “the more you do the better you get”.

Hire an expert

No matter how seasoned you are in the ERP world, you will never be able to 100% eliminate risks from project failures but you can reduce it dramatically. So if you are unfamiliar with the various stages of the ERP Life Cycle: Requirements Gathering, System Selection, and Implementation phases of a project then it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

Here are six reasons how an Independent ERP Consultant can help your organization:

  • Understands your requirements and establishes your ERP Strategy – Identifies your current and future state business requirements, areas for process improvements, functional needs, and your business constraints.
  • System Selection – Identifies the vendors to solicit and submit a Request for Proposal or Request for Information for vendor responses, grading, short-listing for vendor demonstrations, more grading, vendor recommendations & contract negotiations.
  • Technology Assessment – Identifies the best software alternatives based on various factors such as needs, costs, complexity, and scale (to name a few) for vendor solicitation.
  • System Implementation – Manages all facets of the system implementation from managing your Project Team, the Vendor, project timelines, budget, and scope.
  • Continuous Improvement – Monitors application performance (post live) so that the application is operating at its optimal level and recommending improvements during the process to maintain the ideal ERP conditions.
  • Cost / Benefit – If you hire the right ERP Consultant you will recoup their services fees through process improvements, contractual agreement negotiation, managing all facets of your project implementation so the selected ERP will be implemented correctly the first time!

About the author: Al Esmail, PMP, CPA, CGA has held Senior Management positions with ERP vendors like SAP, Microsoft, Infor, and Sage. He currently leads an ERP I.T. company helping customers with all facets of their ERP life cycle. Al has over 20 years’ of ERP experience and has managed over 200 ERP project implementations locally and internationally.

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What does ERP mean?

ERP is an acronym which stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP can be defined as an application that can record and report how your company’s financial and physical resources are being used. When the right ERP solution is chosen, based on your company’s industry and size, the better your organization will be able to make sound business decisions. Because back office ERP applications are integrated your company will need to determine which modules should be acquired to capture and report on the information you need.

When selecting an ERP solution you should identify your business requirements, determine the functions and features you need in the future,  and then seek out a solution that will fit your needs for decades. If you select a “bigger than you need system” then this could result in creating complex system processes,  system maintenance issues, and lots more money.  So think out your strategy and plan out your next steps so the purchase you make now will not need to be repeated in the future.   

Al Esmail, PMP, CPA, CGA has over 20 years of ERP experience. “We have helped many organizations deliver the results they want and find the best ERP solution for their industry and size”.