For anyone who has worked with Six Sigma or Lean to drive waste out of business processes, that first year or two of full commitment is exciting and often results in large type savings.
Following that it takes a different mindset. Kate Tayler captures that well with her article about Panera Bread.
The simple line that ‘what they found was that there wasn’t one thing that needed to change, but instead “hundreds of little things” to adjust.’ tells it short and sweet.
Continuous improvement will occur not with big changes, but many many little ones. Be prepared to experiment, fail and experiment some more. That failing more too.
These Six Sigma experiments are greatly improved with current and emerging analytics, AI, IoT and the speed to market of cloud services.
A lot of fun too.
You just think that you and your company are so behind everyone else.
Behind in technology or unable to get the most out of the technology you have in place.
CIO.com provides great insight into how leaders of your company can decide on leveraging existing or choosing a new technology in this article.
“For a new technology, the most important factor is how quickly its ecosystem becomes sufficiently operational and available for users to realize the technology’s potential.”
A fantastic point that the article does a great job of explaining and even offers a manner for leaders to measure and compare legacy vs. new technology investments.
Comparing RFID’s inability to supplant barcodes is a great example of legacy technology not just resisting being replaced, but expanding as the market found new uses and improved technology.
The examples show in their chart below provide a great way to start listing your legacy technology against considered new technologies like cloud, a new ERP and mobile solutions.
In the end the decision process is less about the promise of the new technology or the age of the legacy technology but the ability of new technology to co-exist with existing technology and/or to supplant legacy technology completely while either adding new functions and/or reducing cost.
Cloud can co-exist with on-premise legacy technologies or it can fully supplant some important functions like backup and add new functions around disaster recovery.
When considering a return on investment for the major purchase of a new ERP system, the top ROI item is always the best in class processes that your organization will be able to adopt with the new ERP and the productivity improvements that will generate increased profitability. With the current economic conditions many companies are putting their ERP projects on hold. Extending the life of their current ERP, CRM and other bolted on solutions. While putting the new ERP on hold allows the company to save the capital investment dollars, it does not provide the high return that improved business processes deliver not just to your bottom line, but to top line revenue growth an improved customer relation process will deliver.
What if you could attain a large part of the process improvement, with your existing ERP. Consider with current Web 2.0 and Business Process Management technologies you can map your current business processes, compare them to industry best practices and integrate with you existing ERP solution. Leveraging both innovative new technologies and your fully depreciated existing technologies. This effort still requires capital investment, but the investment can be at a much smaller initial investment and deliver immediate return within 1 to 3 months versus 12 to 24 months in a full ERP implementation.
To gain productivity improvements that will deliver to your bottom line, business process transformation is key. To protect your top line revenue through improved customer processes that link you closer to your customers you need to transform your processes to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Re-evaluate successfully attaining your ERP project goals and objectives through an exploration of transforming your business processes while still keeping your existing ERP.