The Train Only Passes Once

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You’re to be on-time or wait for the next train.

In an ideal world, all systems would integrate seamlessly, deadlines would always be met, and teams would work cohesively within themselves and with other departments, all within the approved budget.

The Situation of Operations Today

In today’s business landscape, where there are never-before-seen business models rapidly emerging and changing, the business world combined with cloud ERP systems that are streamlining business management, many companies are still choosing to run their business on disparate systems. Where do we draw the line between an old process that still has validity in the evolving business landscape and a process that has expired and should be retired?

Business metrics and projects being managed independently bogs down on daily productivity and prevents more productive life-cycles from being implemented. These disconnected systems result in users having more leeway simply because of the amount of time it takes management to aggregate all of the required information into one place in order to have it processed. One would suspect that a fitting solution for this would be a business management system that integrates all of an organization’s systems and processes into one complete framework. However, we must ask ourselves where do the automated processes ends and management’s responsibility begin?

 What if management had better tools?

If given the opportunity, would better tools such as an ERP truly improve reporting and productivity within the workplace? Once deployed, an ERP system creates a much more rigid step by step processes that allow a business to exponentially improve their life cycle, thereby increasing performance and business metrics accuracy. However, if management does not enforce the new lifecycle and tighter deadlines that must be met in order for the ERP to accurately report all metrics, the tools won’t help. The investment to an ERP is both financial and time-consuming but not everyone is willing to make the necessary efforts to make this leap successful.  Working with a team of consultants who will explain the necessary commitment to a more rigid life-cycle is key to successfully implementing any ERP, however, management must commit to enforcing a more rigid timeframe for billing, payroll, and reporting if they want to get the most out of their investment.

 What happens when the train passes?

When the train passes and the doors close, does it stop and open its doors for a late passenger? No, it keeps moving and the passenger must wait for the next train. It must be the same for a company’s life cycle. If you did not submit your hours or your expenses on time, you will have to wait until the next cycle. The company can not allow itself to delay reports and payroll for one person. Often times, companies don’t understand that if we help them develop a formal system that they will also have to implement a mandatory life-cycle. Without this structure, a customized ERP will not be optimized.

ERPs modernize the structure of the enterprise but they also create rigidity that was not there before. This change helps businesses create a timeline and productive cycle that is much tighter, less flexible in regards to timing but in the end, it drastically improves the accuracy of project reports, profit versus loss inquiries, billing and reporting and cross-departmental collaboration. If you consider the time you are wasting using disparate systems versus using an automated integrated platform, the tradeoff is obvious even with the extra time investment required to successfully implement an ERP.

As an owner or manager, it is important to recognize that in order for the implementation to be a success, one must accept this new way of working and commit to enforcing the timelines and life-cycle. Without this resolution and active commitment, even a fully integrated customized platform implemented by a team of experts will not give you the accurate results you were looking for, so why waste time and money if you’re not ready or willing to help increase the company’s performance?

By Gabriel Tupula, Co-CEO & Chief Operating Officer at Big Bang ERP