As a consultant and software expert on a large ERP implementation project some years ago, I was asked regularly how to accomplish a task or enter data in the new system. When I saw that some people would just take my advice and run with it, I started adding the comment “Trust Me”. This would give them pause, and often responded with “Ok, you want me to fully test this, right?” Of course I did! While my advice may have been sound, fully testing data and validating processes are critical aspects of any ERP implementation.
So, how do build that trust? You’ve invested in a good solid Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) system. You’ve tagged the best you have to implement it. You’ve partnered with a great consulting firm to help you run the project and provide expert project management, consulting and technology services. Your project charter has some good metrics and goals for process improvement, data loading, and data conversion. How about data and process integrity? Do you assume that the problems you’ve had in the past will just go away when you document new processes and load your data into the new software solution? Manufacturing companies must rely heavily on the planning, costing and tracking that comes with an ERP solution. We all know how important good processes are. Do you really know how accurate your data is? Your ERP’s planning engine takes in a tremendous amount of data in order to answer your business questions:
• What to make & when to make it?
• What do you need to make it?
• What to buy & when to buy it?
• Who do I buy it from?
• What capacity do I have?
• What machines/people will I use?
• Where are my bottlenecks?
• What is projected late?
• What other problems do I have?
To get the right answers, most companies agree that you need to hit or exceed the following percentages:
• 98% accurate BOMs
• 95% accurate inventory
• 95% accurate lead times
• 95% accurate routings
That’s just the planning engine. During an ERP implementation or upgrade project, data conversion is often looked at as an IT project. Or, something your ERP consulting firm will just take care of. Don’t over simplify this part of your project. Apply the right resources to ensure you get it right.
Every aspect of your business & business system rely on accurate data. Make sure you add time into your project to “scrub” the data before it makes it into your new system. If you have an existing system you lack trust in, start scrubbing as soon as possible. Here is an example:
One of the most important areas in your ERP system is inventory. The finished goods, sub-assemblies and purchased components data is critical to your system’s integrity. Do you have the right part numbers in the system? Do you have duplicates? Are the costs, descriptions, unit of measures, lot sizes, routings, BOM’s and planning data correct? Finally do you have the right quantities in the right locations in the right warehouses, etc.? If you are starting a new ERP Implementation, scrub (fix/clean/update) as much of the data in your “old” system as possible before converting it into the new system formats. If you’ve already implemented and your data need scrubbing, take on only as much as you can manage at one time as it usually involves some process change to keep it clean.
Trust and integrity should be at the core of every business, business system and ERP project.
Trust in your processes and data is critical to business success. Is 80% trust good enough? If I lied to you 1 out of every 5 times we talked, I don’t think so. Is your system lying to you? Let’s get busy building the trust you need to be successful.
Learn more at www.Godlan.com