I remember there was a trend in Sweden – and still might be, – that after a major construction work of buildings, there were no pavements made.
First, the constructor observed where people started to walk and pavements were done upon those trails.
Smart, isn’t it? I come back to that…
Many of our clients came to us with the call of „We need a new ERP, please help us”.
As soon as deeper conversations are initiated, and we start to identify key stakeholders, key procedures, run the due-diligence on procedures and walkthrough on the information flow, more how the value chain itself is supported by information flow, it turns out that most of the cases systems do exist, but somewhere else…
It’s quite common to see how certain departments resolved their struggles of facing rigidities from their ERPs ((Enterprise Resource Planning), or – having no ERPs – systems were organized and built bottom-up, mostly under the radar with even no CAPEX approvals received at the time, therefore these systems remain unsung heroes and serving the needs in the shadow in silos.
Due to the siloed nature of such systems, a good majority is not using the data they have; therefore, such issue can become a barrier not even known on the top and becoming one of the key reasons why the shout outcomes from the C level for changing/deploying an ERP.
With 2018s buzzwords of #RPA #robotics #cloud #machinelearning #AI, one might not expect to see those issues happening in real life, however, such systems are still there and can really serve the needs of the ones working directly on the field with them as they grew and been improved organically.
Most of these systems were engineered bottom-up, usually decades ago on outdated programming languages by a programmer who is not even with the company anymore. Quite often their programmers had a sense of humour, so there is a good chance you spot one if you are looking for funny names like “Stock Taker”, “Estimate Maker” or “Billing Bob”,
Changing them, or upgrading them might have limited probability on a value for money basis, BUT, there is a solution.
In today’s world, database access can be easily built into these systems, so data from them can flow into sources where transforming into structured data and then embedding them into further other systems is a viable option.
Such data flow could eliminate the silo effect and could create miracles in bringing live data closer to stakeholders, enhancing the decision-making process. With a small effort of connecting them into your integrated traffic of data, the flow would bring quick ROIs and eliminate the hassle of implementing a whole new different eco-system, like a new ERP.
All you need is a careful walkthrough on the process first, open communication with the people on how they see systems and procedures on their end and find the algorithms that can connect such systems, either if it’s ETL, or API, or BI, or other interface solution.
There is a good reason why those Swedish’ walk along those trails, sometimes it’s worth considering paving their ways.
Read more about Process Transformation.