Three tell-tale signs you should call in an ERP consultant

When is comes to ERP platforms, useful signs of impending doom are typically fraught with subjectivity. What if a line manager simply doesn’t like the position of a function button within a particular platform’s UI? Or what if a senior manager just doesn’t like the columnar format of a list of inventory valuation reports?

Right or wrong, these types of teeth-grinding experiences occur with regularity in any enterprise ERP workforce. However, just because a single operator or manager fails to appreciate the way that a platform behaves in a particular way, those events rarely call for a platoon of ERP consultants to ride in and save the company.

That said, however, there are more finite markers that senior managers, managers and operators should pay attention to. Here are three signs it’s time to find an ERP consultant and start looking at what’s going wrong before productivity is severely affected.

1. At the C-level: lost enterprise management vision

In the senior suite, effective reporting typically serves as the backbone for a host of critical decision triggers; whether those considerations are driven by daily, monthly, quarterly or annual business requirements. Therefore, malformed information output can cause cascades of error; ranging from simple issues like time/cost issues due to internal production mis-understandings, to complete enterprise project failures caused by inaccurate capital requirements.

However, while these impacts are bad enough, these weaknesses typically emerge in parallel with senior managers who have lost visibility on a company’s practical goals and process needs. In this case, the only sure way to get a ship righted quickly is to engage one or more consultants who can take a look at what needs to be fixed quickly, by applying a fresh-eyed approach to whatever ails the ERP effort.

Recommended reading: convince senior management that the cost of an ERP consultant will be worth it with our step-by-step guide to calculating ERP ROI.

2. At the departmental level: reduced throughput speeds

The practical value of ERP-derived information can either be a boon or a curse, depending on how responsive a particular platform performs. However, small irregularities in daily operational processing tend to build up and create little logjams that can cause larger problems over time. The impact here is usually exhibited by slower and slower throughput on the execution side of a platform.

Unfortunately, since these aforementioned “little logjams” tend multiply and exacerbate whatever any cluster of problems might have evolved, and it can be quite vexing to identify and respond to whatever issues in real-time.

This is where ERP consultants can serve a useful purpose; since you can task these systems ‘mechanics’ with as few or as many fixes as you want, without the need to employ someone to oversee them full-time.

3. At the operational level: balky or difficult process executions

This process malady tends to appear in customizations, although concerns associated with compiled code can also be identified from time to time. In the former case, and in parallel with problems at the departmental level, time is the killer here, and fixing problematic problems in real-time can cause real headaches.

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Rick Carlton

About the author…

Rick Carlton dba PRRACEwire, has worked as a tech journalist, writer, researcher, editor and publisher for many years. In addition to his editorial work, Rick has also served as a C-Level executive/consultant for a wide-range of private and public sector U.S. and International companies.

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Rick Carlton