ERPs help the companies to eliminate waste and cut unnecessary cost. In my experience, the business rarely utilise the full potential of the ERP. After the implementation, the ERP software is left alone. It is a bad idea, as it has a crucial role to play in business improvement. Therefore, continuously improve the use of ERP in your business.
As a starting point, consider the following areas for continuous improvement:
- Automate Purchase Order and Supplier Invoice approvals: Consider using templates for ordering routine stuff (like stationary), Punchout catalogues, EDI and other electronic communication with the suppliers.
- Implement new features and modules: During initial implementation, there are always few features and modules that we do not implement. Consider implementing the value add features and modules—for example, Advanced Planning and Scheduling, Customer Portal, Trial Kitting.
- Improve Data Quality – Assign data owners within your business. For example, allocate responsibility to individual employees to ensure that Price lists, Stock, Customer, Supplier data is valid and up to date at all times.
- Reduce unnecessary data entry in ERP – Remove unnecessary fields, so end-users do not waste time entering garbage information.
- Improve User-Interface – Simplify data entry screens (hide/rearrange fields, tabs, menus)
- Improve User-Experience – Set up personalised role-based landing pages. It makes navigation much more comfortable. It helps end-users, as information and modules they access on a daily bases are readily available on the landing page. Consider use of hot-keys and teach personalisation features to the end-users.
- Use the power of analytics – If you have a quality data, you can have meaningful reports to make informed decisions. For example:
- Choose the best suppliers: Based on reliability and quality of delivery, rather than price.
- Negotiate with Supplier: Based on the history of orders with the supplier negotiate better prices and rebates.
- Choose the best Sales Executive: Based on expected and actual profitability of the sales, rather than revenue.
- Improve Sales forecasting: So that, you can proactively procure raw material and replenish stock.
- Firing the bad customers: Identify cost and special requirements (packaging and other overheads) of delivery, returns and quality expectations of your customers. Analyse the profitability of your customers and make an informed decision.
- Empower End-User: Educate the end-users about report writing, saved searches, data import and extraction from ERP.
- Improve Work In Progress (WIP): WIP is one of the main reasons for inefficiency. Try to reduce WIP by improving visibility of existing work, utilisation of labour and machines. Give the right level of authority to the Production Manager to say no to the additional orders. Therefore, setting the right expectations with Sales and customers. Improve the ability for Sales staff to predict delivery of new work-orders based on existing workload in the Production area.
- Standardisation: Standardised production helps reducing set-up time and number of batches. Standardised services minimise waste and mitigate the risk of unknowns.
- Consignment Stock: Identify items that will best serve you as a consignment stock. Negotiate consignment stock arrangement with your supplier.
- Inventory: ERP helps to optimise stock in your warehouse and still meet your manufacturing and retail needs. As you have analytics available in ERP, you choose reliable suppliers and order raw material well in time, knowing their average lead times. Ensure that you are fully utilising the core in-build features of the ERP.
I hope you find this useful! Drop me a comment if you like to share your experience.