Why your ERP system needs Workflow
I talk regularly with clients who have invested heavily in expensive ERP systems but are not satisfied with the level of automation they have been able to achieve. I can totally relate to this, as I spent about 10 years of my life implementing these systems. When the project was finally completed it was seriously questionable whether all the time, effort and expense really paid off at all.
No one questions the need to have a system to manage all the transactions necessary to run a particular business. ERP systems manage transactions like purchase requisitions, purchase orders, invoices, work orders, shipping documents, warehouse transactions and many more. We couldn’t operate a business without such systems. However, once an ERP system has been configured to your particular business, operational complexities arise in the form of managing so-called “exceptions” and in assigning & tracking work. Workflow software can help in each of these areas.
Exceptions & Special Cases
Call them what you will, but the reality is that business processes are complex. Companies may sell through various channels (retail, direct), run different promotions (product, date-based), offer special discounts (volume, product mix) and are continuously running experiments looking to improve in thousands of various ways.
Workflow software can help manage these changes off to the side of your transaction system without having to custom-code your system and can be done by the people closest to the process who understand it best.
Furthermore, the changes listed above can happen on a daily basis, might be temporary and are typically not something that will ever rise to the top of your IT department’s priority list. The net result is a lot of additional manual work, with people consulting spreadsheets off to the side which contain their “business rules” for the management of their processes.
Additionally, as companies scale the work that any one particular person does often gets more specialized. Where in the past one person was doing all the transactions related to an order it is now done at different times by more specialized people. These people need to be notified that they have work to do (typically still done via email or report downloads) and metrics created to measure this work.
Here too, workflow software allows business owners to *CHANGE” business processes and rules within a system, connected to their ERP software, that is simple to use and results in automated processes.
If you would like to learn more, please reach back to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to talk to you about your specific use case and how Decisions can help optimize your ERP system.
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