Whether you are upgrading your ERP system or migrating to a new one, you’ve likely heard the buzz words about “transforming your business processes” and “streamlining your workflows” from your ERP vendor. When you are implementing a new ERP system, it’s certainly a good time to optimize your business processes and ensure you are taking advantage of all the new features the system has to offer.
But don’t forget to evaluate what’s already working well for you. Early on in your ERP project, have a working session with each core HR, Finance and Supply Chain team to identify:
- What’s working well? What do you like in the current system?
- What’s not working well or is just plain broken?
- What’s your wish list? What would you like the system to do if it can?
Beginning this process can seem tedious and daunting but starting with each component of your RICE matrix (Reports, Interfaces, Conversions and Extensions) can help make this more manageable. In this article, we’ll focus on the analysis of the Reports and Interfaces (aka Integrations).
Reports are the first component of the RICE matrix. Meet with each team and evaluate all of the existing reports to make sure the new system gives you, at a minimum, the functionality you have today.
Ask the groups the following questions and document them in your RICE matrix:
- What reports do you currently have and who uses them?
- Which ones are a core business requirement – a “have to have” in the new system?
- Are some reports used by multiple groups for different purposes?
- What fields are needed in each report? What is available in the new system? What isn’t?
- What reports are needed, but may not currently contain all the information you’d like? What additional data elements would be helpful to give you what you need?
- What can be consolidated? Do you have multiple reports that contain the same data?
- What new reports would you like to see based on business requirements. What’s your reporting “wish list”?
Once you’ve documented all of your reports, you can then determine what reports might be “native” in the new system or what might need to be created as a custom report.
Similar to reports, you need to also catalog all of your interfaces or integrations.
1) What integrations do you have? List the integrations you currently have and take the time to do the analysis of each field for each current integration.
2) Which ones are still active, and which aren’t used any longer?
3) What groups use the integrations and for what purposes?
4) How do the external systems integrate with the ERP? Are they flat file downloads? If so, how frequently do those run? Are they direct interfaces with other applications?
5) What integrations might get retired or replaced with the new system?
6) What new integrations will be needed, either to existing systems or new ones?
By working through the questions above with key end users from each of your ERP teams (Finance, Payroll, HR, Supply Chain), you’ll help ensure you are providing the core functionality needed in your new ERP system when you go live.