In a traditional ERP implementation, companies select their ERP package and vendors first based on presentations by sales people, technical demos, and an overview of the benefits typically received by customers using those systems. Following this decision, companies immediately rush into implementing the ERP software based on how the system operates, and using best practices the vendor has learned from previous implementations.
The issue with this approach is that it completely ignores the way a company currently operates – and how it would ideally operate in the future in order to improve business performance and maintain a competitive advantage – and instead dictates procedures and processes based on how the technology (already purchased) is built to work. Often times, this is when companies find that the system they have chosen just isn’t designed to fit the processes that are unique and specific differentiators for their business.
Business transformation mapping is one of the most important parts of any process optimization or ERP implementation project. It requires step-by-step, in-depth understanding and documentation of the processes required to run a business.
Not only that, it requires identifying how each process is currently accomplished today (“as-is”) and how each of those processes will be accomplished in the future (“to be”). Once these pieces of information are documented, a roadmap can be built that will direct the company how to implement changes from the “as-is” state to the “to-be” state.
Finally, the company can successfully plan for the journey, identifying and allocating budget, timing, resources required, and selecting the tools (systems) needed to be successful. This planning is conducted with awareness of the fit and any gaps between the future state processes and the ERP software, thereby eliminating much of the risk associated with the traditional approach to deploying ERP software.
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Gain a clear understanding of how business processes are currently functioning and where processes can be streamlined, optimized, automated, or removed completely in order to increase efficiency and productivity, improve speed and agility, and maximize profitability.
By mapping out every process required to operate, companies can identify the different types of waste that can be removed in order to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The types of waste include overproduction waste, waiting waste, motion waste, transportation waste, inventory waste, excess capacity, and defect waste.
By removing waste from the products and services provided, organizations can take advantage of new ways for work to be delivered and new ways to exist in the relationships they have with their customers – causing an increase in the value that customers derive from those products and services.
By automating workflows, eliminating errors, removing redundant tasks, and standardizing processes, companies can free up employees’ time, enabling them to write more business and focus on improving service levels. All of this goes directly to the bottom line.
Empower people throughout the organization with insight to plan more effectively, align with strategic initiatives and growth goals, and make better decisions that continually improve performance.
Unfortunately, by the time organizations realize they chose the wrong ERP system, investments into software licenses and implementation have already been made and, in order to avoid the lost cost, many companies find themselves trying to make the system meet a subset of their original requirements.
Sure, they can force the system into their business much like jamming a right foot into a left shoe; however, the system will never be comfortable, function properly, or enable the business to perform at desired levels. This discomfort then leads to workarounds, outside systems, manual processes, disconnected people, and delays in decision making.
Although Business Transformation Mapping requires an investment, it is nothing compared to the potential risks and costs associated with failed or drawn out business transformation projects that are the result of working with the wrong consultants or selecting the wrong ERP system.
By taking the time needed to properly map and plan business transformation projects, organizations can greatly reduce the risk of moving to a new ERP system and significantly increase the probability for success.