A real hike. I’m not talking about a long walk with a bottle of water, here, I’m talking about carrying thirty pounds of tent, sleeping bag, food, and equipment in a backpack the size of two small children twenty miles up and down mountains.

Whether you have or not, you know that a whole lot of prep happens before a hike: breaking in the boots, getting the pack fitted, paring weighty equipment down to the barest essentials. And if you’ve just finished your ERP implementation project, you’ll certainly feel as though you’ve hiked the Appalachian Trail.

Like a hike, though, your ERP system isn’t just about the destination, it’s about the journey: In the same way that any good hiker will be constantly adjusting their pack, changing their pace and stride, and constantly reorienting themselves via map and compass to keep themselves moving steadily and happily, a good company is going to be constantly reevaluating their system and making upgrades, streamlining processes, and changing to meet market demands.

Encompass will be with you every step of the way in your ERP journey with a BPR: A Business Process Review.

A BPR is like a hiker’s gear adjustment: It is an objective look at how your company is currently operating. It involves a review of current business practices and system-user interaction, with a focus on optimization. It includes an analysis of system transaction use and configuration to identify functionality that may better support your operational needs. Although technology application and configuration is a core part of this assessment, your business processes, resource skills, and infrastructure are also evaluated. We also conduct employee interviews to determine ‘pain points’ for the user and management.

Here’s a list of the mountains we often have to climb while getting your ERP system on the right path:

Poor Data Quality – Incomplete or incorrect data creates mistrust in the system, creating the need for offline work arounds, which increases the risk of inaccuracies while creating unneeded workload.

Mismatch Between Roles & Responsibilities – Insufficient training in the case of high employee turnover and lack of proper training creates inefficiencies and inaccurate data, as does ignoring the hierarchy for responsibilities (managers assuming duties meant for their employees, or giving work to employees that is beyond their skill level, for example).

Offline Processes – Employees may perform work off of the ERP because ‘that’s how we’ve always done it,’ or because they ‘don’t trust the system’. This could be through incorrect implementation of the ERP, through poor training, or the need for a ‘mindset change’.

Growth – Unexpected or aggressive growth may require an expansion of existing infrastructure before operational systems impact and slow growth.

Training – High turnover or increased growth creates a staff with less expertise and knowledge. Even with experienced staff, cross-training or advanced training is needed for employees to understand the ‘big picture’ of the ERP process.

The end result: The BPR provides a suite of deliverables that improve your business by refining and upgrading your ERP system. The BPR identifies the ‘Hot Spots’ where efficiency drops, or where lack of training creates problems downstream, or where features are not being used correctly (or at all) and offers solutions to all of them, through new functionality, increased training, or modifying the procedure.

So break out the boots and the hiking stick: The trail to a better ERP and a better business is a steep one, full of rocks and switchbacks, but trust us: when you’re at the top of the mountain, the view is incredible.

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