A jaded consultant once told me that if it wasn’t for users, even the simplest of ERP solutions could solve every problem a business faces.
When I was young and inexperienced, I admittedly agreed a lot of the time. But over the years, I’ve come to realize that it’s not “users” who ruin ERP based processes. It’s a particular kind of user: Dinosaurs!
In my last post, I defined an ERP Dinosaur as follows: “a person – generally in a leadership position or other key role – that refuses to change.”
In that post, I gave seven examples of sure signs that your company is stuck in the stone ages ERP wise.
In case you’ve not read it, most of them relate to unnecessary manual entry and a lack of integration or automation. But the argument was raised towards the end: does it really matter as long as the old way of doing it is working? After all, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right?
So very wrong.
Nine times out of ten the process that a dinosaur comes up with does exactly what they want it to do. It's actually a rather ingenious, seemingly simple solution most of the time! Kind of like the spork. On the surface it seems extremely logical – why not a spoon and a fork at the same time? Ever tried to eat with one, though? You can’t eat the soup OR the chicken.
Here are five reasons that a dinosaur’s processes will hurt your organization over time:
They limit access
When someone has a unique process they have developed on their own, I generally find that the information is not available to anyone except for them. Or the people who think to ask them for it. For example, if you are tracking sales in a separate system so that you can do your financial statements in Excel, that is not available to anybody except for the person who is building the workbook. It is not shared throughout the company. What happens if you need that information and T-rex isn’t there to give it to you?
The same processes that tend to limit access to data are also extremely prone to both human and technical error. What happens when your dinosaur isn’t informed of a key sale or becomes human and just forgets to record it in their spreadsheet? What happens when they forget to click on save, or their network connection breaks before they can? Unless the data in a workbook is being updated directly from a SQL Database, like the one used by Dynamics GP, it simply can not be trusted as up to either date or accurate.
They waste money
If you are paying somebody to do a manual process, such as to print out a piece of paper and walk around the building for autographs, or to manually update a spreadsheet then you are wasting money. Neither of those steps add value to the process or to the business. Ever. And the money sucking pit that these processes create only gets bigger as your business grows.
They are not easily corrected
I heard someone once say that a person could do similar things multiple times, but only a computer could do the same thing every time. I think that they actually said robot, but you get the idea. Even with checklists and other users to confirm our work we screw up. If you studied accounting, you probably remember at least 2 classes where you were explicitly taught how to identify transposition errors. If those mistakes are made in Dynamics GP, at least there are tools to help you identify and correct them. And the system keeps track of things like the source subledger document link to the General Ledger transaction. With a workbook based system, you really need to recreate the data if you want to correct it – and pray you don’t make the same mistake!
They are not easily transferred
If your dinosaur wins the lottery tomorrow, does anyone know what they did? For example, they manually compiled data from multiple sources to produce a report, in a specific template, that the CEO wants to see every Friday morning. Since that report is not in the system, can you replicate it? Does anyone know where the data came from?
If you don’t drag them along, sometimes kicking and screaming, Dinosaurs will always hold you back from using all the new innovations and time saving features that are inherent in Dynamics GP. An objective, outside assessment of your processes can help you identify inefficiencies or opportunities for improvement.
At Briware, we have experience whispering to the dinosaurs and implementing change in a way that makes everyone happy.
If you are interested in seeing how you can modernize your Dynamics GP processes, contact Briware Solutions. 844-BRIWARE
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