5 Ways the ERP Team Is Changing in 2014

In order to assess how our ERP team is changing, we must first ask “How is the typical ERP project changing?”. This should inform the process of building any ERP project team and should be indicative of 2014 trends in ERP team composition.

Mobility Experts

ERP will continue to become more mobile. Users want to connect with the ERP through their smart phones and tablets wherever they happen to be. This will require new expertise on the project. Your ERP team needs to contain experts on mobile user access, BYOD programs and security awareness. This member of the team must also understand each users requirements in depth as this will inform access and training decisions.

Collaboration Experts

Social networks like Facebook and Twitter encourage people to use software in a social manner. A social aspect of ERP software which is growing in popularity is collaboration with other system users. This is nothing to do with liking or sharing. This is a tool for advanced communication and workflow that brings employees together to improve productivity and employee buy-in for the system.

Cloud Supplier Communication

The cloud is here to stay. Your ERP might run completely in the cloud with remote data and applications. It might be partial with only some applications or data remotely stored. Even if your ERP is 100% in-house, there will be reasons to connect with the cloud. It might only be the part drawings stored in the cloud but when you click the drawing icon, you still want to see that drawing.

The establishment of the cloud as a necessary delivery platform requires our ERP team to be in constant communication with our cloud service suppliers. Your team must develop a strong relationship with this supplier to ensure system compliance as well as developing an avenue through which you can learn about expected down-time and report any connectivity issues.

Big Data Experts

Big Data will continue to grow in importance and will create big and small benefits for us all. Big data enhances forecasting, workflow and a billion other ERP processes. We are beginning to see mathematicians finding homes on our ERP teams. Someone has to find the data and prove the correlations that allow us to use predictive analysis.

User Experience Experts

Improved user experience is another changing field. We used to provide a screen form and say to the user, “here it is, use it.” Users now want that form to be pleasant to look at and incredibly intuitive to use with the input fields in the same sequence the user thinks of. Marketing and ergonomics experts have made the user experience better with many products and services. Will they be the people we call on to make the ERP experience better? At the very least, your ERP team needs to contain test users for every ERP function that you will be using.

Embracing collaboration and innovation are some of the ways we make our products and services better for our customers. ERP users are the customers of your ERP team. The old team of domain experts, executive sponsors, IT staff, the sales person from the provider and a project manager got us to where we are now. If we want to get somewhere else in 2014, we will certainly need a fresh approach to our ERP team.

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Tom Miller

About the author…

Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at customerteam@erpfocus.com.

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Tom Miller

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