Business Process Reengineering before ERP implementation.
2 may

Business process reengineering before ERP implementation

The implementation of ERP software inherently requires a review and customisation of business processes in order to properly install and configure the software. While such review and customisation are not the equivalent of business process reengineering, they can bring about some degree of process improvement. Here are a few recommended practices to ensure that your ERP implementation leads to better business processes:

Do not pave the old paths.

When a project is rushed or the responsibility for adapting business processes is handed over to a consultant or system integrator, one often inevitably falls into the trap. The existing processes are simply automated. It is better to determine the relevant processes yourself beforehand and sometimes leave the beaten track.

Take the necessary time for business process reengineering

Take the time in advance to define your future business processes. Selecting a new ERP system can be very exciting. Once the new software is identified, it can be very tempting to start implementation immediately. But as mentioned in the first point above, you take too little time adapting the business processes, leaving the optimisation of the processes to your consultants.

Don't fall into the "the software will guide us" trap.

Time and again, companies fall for sales messages that software will tell you how new business processes should look. Today's ERP systems are too complex and flexible to provide simple answers to how business processes should work. Therefore, it is important to take the time to define business processes before the implementation of the ERP software begins. The same applies to Sector packages and software best practices: They are myths that will not enable you to optimise your business processes.

Don't forget organisational change management.

Business process reengineering doesn't mean much if your employees don't execute the new processes. Even the best software in the world is no use if users are still reverting to their Excel spreadsheets and manual workarounds. This is why organisational change management, communication and training are crucial to ensure that you design more efficient business processes. We often see consultants and project teams spending too much time configuring software. However, too little attention is paid to defining how these changes will affect staff and what new roles and responsibilities they should have.

Constantly improve your business processes

Business process reengineering should not be a one-off activity. Instead, it is an activity that should continue beyond go-live. Some companies have established centres of excellence to ensure that this continuous process improvement mentality is maintained. This also ensures that your processes remain aligned with your ERP system (and vice versa), which ultimately leads to the company getting more value from your ERP investment.

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