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Friday, September 26, 2014

For thirty years we have been evolving integrated systems to enhance the management and control over manufacturing operations. During this time we have seen significant changes in the technology starting with MRP then MRPII and the ERP. These changes and enhancements have been made possible by the increase in computing power and innovative software programs from the ERP software developers.

In the early years of integrated systems operations it was recognised that, in order to get the most from the technology, it had to be used in a logical way that represented the way manufacturing organisations actually operated.

The transition from manually operated processes to systems that automate processes has not been easy and for many companies that implement ERP systems the habits that have evolved over generations are hard to break.

Many companies have implemented ERP systems but have not change their decision making processes that enable the systems to work as designed. Many complaints on the effectiveness of ERP systems stems from the way the systems are operating and not from the capability of the systems. The change in the way we run businesses using ERP systems is a major factor in driving the benefits from the system.

Our research has shown that there is typically a major disconnect from senior management who basically see ERP as a computer system and not as a decision support tool to manage the business.

The tendency to relegate ERP issues to operational management and IT staff is putting ERP into the “Computer System” category and not as a tool that is driven by management.

The lack of detailed understanding on how ERP should be used to derive the maximum benefit from the technology is evident in the majority of organisations we deal with. Organisations generally confuse ERP education and training believing that the training is all that is required.

ERP software houses and their integrators use the words “education” but in reality the education they refer to does not show them how to apply the technology to the best advantage.

To get the best results from the ERP technology the entire organisation from the top executives must be engaged to utilise the technology to the best advantage. This includes how to use the technology in the way it was intended through education on how to use the technology and adopting the necessary changes to decision making.

Experience Worth listening to!

Ray Atkinson