What to expect when you’re expecting... ERP system downtime
To be blunt, no enterprise looks forward to system downtime, but the potential becomes particularly critical when a company is largely dependent on its ERP platform. As we have discussed many times, resource-based companies don’t do particularly well without constant streams of information, so when a system goes dark, things can go south quickly.
Nevertheless, the acceptance of planned outages must be considered to be endemic with any technology. At the end of the day, its characteristics associated with what a company’s downtime plan calls for that tend to make, or break operational stability.
Expect reduced management efficiency
In the case of any planned ERP system downtime, companies are typically able to respond with some prudence before the switch goes “off”. However, planning at a technical level must be granular regardless, and the use of operational checklists should be paramount to ensure that a shutdown is well-established, and its impacts will be crystal clear.
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That said, the same thing applies in the case of management reporting. In this event, if an enterprise knows that the lights are going to go off on a particular day, a company’s complete ERP reporting system must deliver requisite reports prior to the event. Once those processes are complete management must be prepared to produce manual workarounds for each module and operational process, since the longer the downtime the slower the company will run operationally.
Expect reduced production efficiency
As one might expect, if a company is going to be offline, and overall operations are going to be effected, the same impacts will be felt when considering production processing. Again, previous reporting will be critical, since one will still be able to build widgets the “old-fashioned” way, get products out the door, and try to make a buck regardless.
However, this kind of planning also requires a degree of “historical memory” in order to make it work. So, if one faces planned ERP system downtime, ensure all production documentation and reports are at hand, and if possible, do workforce refresher training before the big day.
Expect costs to go up
As the old saying goes, “time is money,” and all enterprises tend to get used to thin cost efficiencies and revenue responses that ERP systems typically provide. However, if a company is facing a planned outage, and in the event that the downtime will extend beyond a couple of hours, expect that operational costs are going to up by pounds, not just ounces.
it might feel that one’s JIT operation is just about to go off the rails, but having too much inventory on-hand will provide far more confidence in the event that Murphy’s Law raises its head
If an outage is on the near horizon, prudent production-based companies expand inventories to marginalize production costs during the downtime. Granted, at an operational level, it might feel that one’s JIT operation is just about to go off the rails, but having too much inventory on-hand will provide far more confidence in the event that Murphy’s Law raises its head, and causes a planned outage to last longer than originally expected.
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