From ERP needs analysis to added value analysis

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How to conduct an analysis of ERP needs through LEAN.

- 1st principle: go on the round with the operators,
- 2nd principle: form a team to involve them in future choices and production improvement processes, sales, supplies, storage and accounting.

Analysis of an ERP is also a way of improving profit, redirecting the business plan and developing positive rather than repressive management.

Analysis of ERP needs to be lead classically, for example, through a completed questionnaire enabling a specification manual of client needs to be put together with ease once the training has been incorporated through this simultaneous organised excersise of listenting and writing.

If editors are chosen with a certain level of integration in the basic functions, then the added value is no longer to be found in the relentless recopying of the description of taking an order, accepting an order, etc... Instead, we should try to understand quickly and in detail the company’s "business model" and its chain of value in order to keep a competitive advantage over the client and not to burden it with infinite worthless tasks.

A business customer in automotive engine manufacturing has been able to evaluate what the LEAN methods have brought to their field:

- detection of profit to be made in uninvoiced (forgotten) options to the client: solved by putting in place simple tools and organisation: estimated increase in sales profit of 5%,

- identification of "forgotten" consignments on the shelves, but paid for to the suppliers: profits on business margins and increase of about 5% in purchasing

- analysis of the running of the next ERP with the organisation’s work files compared with a currently running system: gain in reporting time of 3 days per person involved in installing the ERP

- anticipate customer needs without making it a labourious task

Where to from here?

It is important to keep in mind the company’s business model and its key factors during the whole analysis, constantly having the following objectives:

- rationalise the handling of messages and documents: a vision of the future system and of the whole process from quote to invoice is necessary.

- make the representative (team leader, operator) understand his interest in conveying to others the comments about improvement: it is not uncommon during the analysis (and especially in absence of a "leader") that he will let you see the cards that he had previously jealously held close to his chest: the needs are there, clearly before your eyes - they just need to be understood and explained to an ERP integrator who does not necessarily know the detail of the job.

- redefine competencies and means

The means and methods of arriving at these objectives easily:

- mobilise all the intelligence: the analysist’s behaviour should not be that of an inquisitor, but should put confidence in people: the principal also applies to the LEAN methods of cost reduction in terms of giving the workers more added value rather than taking away and redesigning everything with Excel tables.

- cover the ground with the operators,

- form a team who will be involved in future choices and the choice of improvements to the production processes, sales, supplies, storage and accounts.

The analysis of an ERP is also one of the means of improving profitablity, of redirecting a business and of developing positive rather than repressive management.