3 Steps to Integrating ERP with Internal Systems
Integrating ERP with internal systems is all about successful processes, overlaid on more successful processes, and subsequently devolves down to sets of solid task lists. For example, in the case of integrating a new ERP inventory module with an existing enterprise financial system, here are several of the more important elements in the integration ‘gotcha’ constellation.
1. Ensure All Systems and Processes Are Deconflicted and Validated before Launch
Conflicted or invalidated processes occur when managers forget that complex systems typically operate like helicopters; ‘groups of loose parts flying in close formation,’ Consider this, most ERP system sales pitches typically tout only the most obvious elements to rationalize their value to enterprise management; and even then, those elements are also usually marginalized some way or another due to cost concerns.
However, what about the potential of missing significant impact associated with more mundane and subordinate systems like the reporting module? Is this particular element up to scratch, and readily compliant with other internal, relevant systems and platforms within the enterprise infrastructure. To a point, one will not know for sure whether integrating ERP with other internal systems will generate conflicts unless one tests, and testing takes time and money, which in itself is yet another hill to climb.
2. Ensure All Data Formats Are Compliant Across Systems
If backend data formats are not well-understood or irregular in some way, the ultimate results of your ERP integration effort will be skewed badly from the outset, and the more data is plowed into and across both sides of the pipe, at some point the integration is going to deliver a guaranteed crash.
3. Ensure All Systems Hooks, Utilities and Affiliate Scripts Are Mutually Compliant and Available for Activation
In the case of integrating ERP with internal systems, the ’$.50 cent part’ concern applies exponentially. In other words, details certainly matter, but embedded and active affiliate system minutiae matters even more.
So, drill-down and map one’s ERP integration early and often. Be sure that one understands what is going to happen above and below the bonnet during the process of integrating ERP, lest one finds oneself floating down the river with no paddle; or more specifically dealing with an irregular database, compliance issue, or an uneducated user base, null script-fetch, recurrently corrupt field results, and non-compliant DLLs that one can’t find until its too late to fix without enormous intellectual, and/or financial pain.
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