Are You Realizing the Full Potential of your ERP Software System?
Your company purchased the software, training and setup work was completed, and then it was turned on. A few years have gone by. Now some of the employees and even a few managers have come and gone. Few people in your department remember anything from the training, but you know the basics to get your day to day work done.
The software has a few buttons that you’ve never used. A few are grayed out, and the desk you inherited might even have sticky notes that you don’t understand, like “NEVER PUSH F12!” or “F6Tab F8Total”.
When you connect to the software, it says Copyright © 2009. You realize that was five years ago. OK, maybe it’s not that bad. Let’s say your company does upgrade to the latest version at least once a year. But the process goes like this: The latest version is installed to a Test Environment, where each department assigns someone to follow a testing script that confirms each process can still be performed successfully. Once everyone signs off on this new version, it is installed into the Production Environment. At this point everyone notices some new buttons, but nobody really knows what they do, and so everyone agrees not to press them.
If any of these things have happened to you, then it’s time for an Annual Software Implementation Audit!
The Annual Implementation Audit lasts two to three days. During this time, an Implementation Specialist from the software company visits your office to meet with representatives from each department of your organization, to review your processes that relate to how you use the software system. At this time, employees and especially any managers who have joined the organization can attend some refresher training sessions. This is also a good time to discuss any wish list items, annoyances such as low priority bugs that have never been reported, and especially burning questions about those new buttons that you were told to never press, but you are suspect could solve some problems!
So often, we hear “Why didn’t anyone tell us the system could do this?” Implementation Audits commonly reveal shortcuts that were not being used, but also often find processes being done manually that can be automated, and functions, features, or optional modules that are not being used at all because nobody knew they existed. Instead, these functions are being performed manually, day in and day out, when your software could be doing them for you.
When was your last Annual Implementation Audit? Maybe it is time?