Business owners and sponsors have concerns about using the same EPR as their competitors. They feel that if they use the same software, their processes will be like each other, so how can they differentiate from their competition?
Here are a few thoughts for your consideration:
- ERPs are designed to automate your basic processes with the industry best practices (I call it common practice). So, the point is not to do standard functions like stocktake, invoicing, picking, shipping, and field services, differently. Instead, do it like most organisations within your industry are doing. It is about getting the basics right first.
- There is little or no value in finding new ways to reinvent the wheel for the above standard business processes.
- Implementing EPR is the first step. So, don’t try to be very innovative or fancy. Instead, embed the fundamental process right first. Then innovate with the support of facts and data derived from your ERP.
- There is value in following the basic rule of doing business. Get them right first, and then focus your effort and time on innovation. For example, after ERP implementation, consider improving customer experience using the customer portal/app.
- Modern ERPs are powerful beasts. They can help you do complex integrations with other industry-specific software, and e-commerce websites and implement breathtaking workflows. Before you go too far, get the fundamentals right first. Start by implementing vanilla (out of the box) ERP and develop digital capabilities as your organisation matures.
In summary, don’t start by planning to fight with the competition and be different for the sake of it. Instead, start by getting the basic processes right. It is okay if your basic processes are the same as your competition. Once the basics are in place, use the data from your ERP to identify and rectify bottlenecks in the business. Then, further invest in technology to enhance your stakeholder’s experience (customers, suppliers, employees, and members).
Keep it simple; it is okay if ERP makes your business like every other business!