.... Innovative IT Consulting helps small and mid-size companies use technology to facilitate growth and increase profitability. We are specialists in the Process Industries.
August, 2006

In the July Issue of Innovative Thinking, we wrote about "Regulatory Mandates". In this August issue, we begin a 2 part series focused on getting value out of your ERP system, starting with part 1, ERP Scorecard, a simple way to find out where you stand! Take the survey. It's fun and informative!

Don't miss our What's new section this month. We've made it easier than ever to get our timely BLOG content delivered right to your inbox, check out this month's WORD SCRAMBLE feature, and stay tuned for our upcoming Webinar series, starting in late September..

Are you getting everything you should out of your ERP System? (Part 1 of a 2 part series) By Paul Sita, Ph.D, President, Innovative IT Consulting, LLC. Paul can be reached at 631-549-1685 or psita@innovativeitc.com.

What did you expect? Whether you’re one of the unlucky 60-70 % who view their ERP implementation as a failure, or one of the lucky 30-40 % who don’t, nothing is heard more frequently than the lament “our system isn’t really delivering what we expected.”

Yet when we ask the obvious follow-up question of “what did you expect?” we are frequently met with blank stares. This doesn’t mean that most of these companies didn’t need to implement ERP. It does mean that the reasons for implementing ERP and the benefits to be obtained are not being documented, measured, defined or visited and/or no one is being held accountable for achieving those results. Part of the reason comes down to the difficulty of implementing ERP in small and medium size companies. Even those who make an attempt to document their objectives and expected benefits up front can find themselves so exhausted with the implementation process that they simply STOP when they go live (see our blog post on this topic – Going Live - the beginning.

How do you know? However, part of the reason is also a distrust of ROI indicators, Excel based formulas promising all sorts of benefits that software vendors provide. Management in many cases either doesn’t understand or believe in these tools. However, benefits come in many sizes, colors and flavors – many of them simple to understand and to measure. We’ve developed a simple set of twenty questions to help you rate how well your ERP system is meeting your needs.

To rate yourself using the Innovative ERP Scorecard, Answer the questions below.

ERP Scorecard To make things simple, we’ve organized the twenty questions into four categories:
- Use of the system
- Value of the information
- Scope of the system
- Operating parameters

Also, we’ve designed all questions in a simple Y/N format. At the end we’ll let you know how to tally up and rate your ERP system.

Use of the system.

  1. Do more people use the ERP system than your prior system?
  2. Do people use the ERP system to fulfill requests (as opposed to paper files or spreadsheets) at least 80 % of the time?
  3. If asked by an outsider about the value of the system, would at least 75 % of the people in your organization indicate that the system was invaluable to their daily functions?
  4. When new business situations and requirements have been identified has the system been able to accommodate those situations at least 75 % of the time?

    Value of the information.

  5. Is the system used daily to deliver key analytical information (as opposed to operational information)?
  6. Is the backlog of requests for special reports and/or inquiries smaller than it used to be?
  7. Do you get more useful, accurate and timely information than the previous system?
  8. Do you rely on the information produced by the system without extensive massaging in spreadsheets and other applications?
  9. Do you provide information directly to remote sales people, remote locations, partners and suppliers?
  10. Is information from the system routinely used to support key management decisions?

    Scope of the system.

  11. Are all major functional areas of the business using or integrating with the ERP system?
  12. Is the system more accessible - anywhere, anytime – than your previous system?
  13. Have you reduced the number of standalone applications and other tools since your ERP implementation?

    Operating parameters.

  14. Do you close your books faster than before?
  15. Can you provide meaningful P/L mid-month or as needed?
  16. Are you carrying less inventory than before?
  17. Are your manufacturing costs more fully known and more under control than before?
  18. If asked, would your customers and/or partners say that you provide better service than before your ERP implementation?
  19. If asked, would you rate yourself as being ahead of most of your competitors in your use of information?
  20. If you had to do it all over again, would you select the same ERP solution?

Tallying up the results. What does it mean? Answer all the questions, giving yourself one point for each YES answer.

If you tally 17 or more, you’re an ERP all-star. Pat yourself on the back.

If you tally 13-16, you’re on the right track; focus on optimization to squeeze out extra layers of value.

If you tally 9-12, you probably need to evaluate why you’re stuck and develop some new strategies for moving forward.

If you tally less than 9 it’s time to take a serious look at where things went wrong.

Lessons learned. Where do you go from here? Stay tuned!
Next month in part 2, we’ll look at some simple solutions to improve your score as we continue our focus on ERP Value Creation.

Tip of the Month

Get BIG results on projects by taking small steps at a steady pace.
By John Pellegrino, Principal, Innovative IT Consulting, LLC. John can be reached at 631-549-1685 or jpellegrino@innovativeitc.com.

When it comes to getting a project done we’re always confronted with how to find the time to do all the tasks associated with it. The problem for most of us is that we tend to focus on how complex the project is and how much overall time it is going to take, which keeps us from getting started at al. Here are some steps to get results:

  1. Make the decision to get started (the most important step of all!)
  2. Decide how much time per week you will work on this project
  3. Break the project into tasks that are small enough to accomplish in 1 or 2 weeks based on the amount of time per week you will work on it (turning an unknown, i.e. the “Project”, into a series of known activities is a critical part of project management)
  4. Document the tasks in some way (it doesn’t have to be a fancy MS/Project document)
  5. Add, change or delete tasks as you move through the project
  6. Update the document every few weeks, including noting tasks done (nothing keeps us moving like seeing accomplishments)
  7. Keep moving – any pace is better than no pace
Summing up. These helpful steps can be used on a project to get more out of your current ERP system (see our main article) or for any other project. Remember, by working at a steady pace on small steps you will complete big projects and produce BIG RESULTS!!

What's new?. Blog update. Staying updated is easier than ever.

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Innovative ERP Strategies (www.innovativeitc.typepad.com) and The Adonix X3 Community

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Word Scramble time.
“A stage of the system implementation lifecycle focused on realizing additional business benefits".
- - - - - - - - - - - - M I N P I Z O O T T A I
Answer to last month's word scramble.

"Standards, approaches or methodologies for successful system implementations". (BEST PRACTICES)

Webinar series. In conjunction with Trilogy Solutions a leading HP solution provider, Innovative will be launching a webinar series aimed at helping you leverage best practices for greater IT success. Our first webinar is scheduled for late September. Stay tuned and join us!

A Look Ahead To Next Month

In the September, we'll continue with part 2 of our Value Creation series, offering you simple techniques and strategies for improving your ERP results.

We want your feedback. Contact us

Innovative IT Consulting, LLC
(631) 549-1685