Recently Liberty Technology Advisors President, Joel Schneider, was invited to take part in a discussion panel focused on Leveraging Technology to Achieve Operational Excellence. Hundreds of professionals ascended to downtown Chicago for a day of learning, networking and discussing manufacturing at the 2020 Middle Market Manufacturing Conference hosted by ACG Chicago.
The session was moderated by Craig Smith, Enterprise Executive at Plex Systems, and Joel was joined by panelists, Sargon Guliana, Global Director of IT and CIO at Deublin Company, and John Jackiw, Manufacturing Consulting Manager at Dassault Systémes.
As a starting point, to be successful one needs to define their success factors. Too frequently we find that companies underestimate the effort, commitment, and resources that are required to be successful and to make positive change. Once you have defined the success factors, it’s time to create a strategic plan and then work the plan.
Getting new technology or just upgrading existing technology and thinking you’ve now got a strategic plan is not the case. As Joel discussed, a “rip and replace” of your current Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system usually is not going to solve your inefficiencies. Companies shouldn’t just put in the new software and think yay, we have the new ERP system. The real goal is how to get value out of your (often existing) ERP system. With that in mind, companies need to think about how they can reengineer their processes. How can you move your company from 30% to 50% or 80% utilization? Typically, we find the answer is to address redundancies, create the plan and work the plan
If your company decides that they will invest in getting a new system, you need to look at the big picture. As Joel pointed out, there is a lot to take into consideration, not just installing and configuring the software. Companies need to think about optimizing processes, education around the software, specific training (procedures), and communications both internally and externally to name a few. We can’t stress enough; these are all factors that need to be discussed and considered before making these big decisions surrounding your business systems.
A great example of having a plan and being prepared is being displayed by Deublin Company. As Sargon stated during the panel, while he was on stage Deublin was in the middle of an ERP go-live. Because his team had put in the hard work and planning ahead of time that needs to go into a successful ERP project, he was able to trust his team to continue to execute their plan for the day so he could be speaking to the attendees.
At LTA we have over 20 years of experience with enterprise software and optimizing business processes. We help evaluate, select, plan and implement new systems and / or processes to achieve success for our clients. If you are interested in talking more about ERP success factors or would like to learn more about our services, please contact us. One of our ERP and BPR experts would be happy to help!