What is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a type of software that integrates business processes and mobilizes data throughout an organisation. ERP is widely used by companies across industries to help manage daily business activities, such as financials, operations, commerce, reporting, supply chain, manufacturing, human resources and more. It’s data connectivity extends beyond the ERP system as it also connects data to productivity tools, e-commerce, and customer engagement solutions. A comprehensive ERP system also includes enterprise performance management which is a software to plan, budget, predict, and report organizational financials.
In essence, the ERP system connects the network of business functions and data within the network for better insights towards optimizing processes across the entire business.
Benefits of ERP
Most organisations readily operate with a financial and operational system in place. However, the silo of single business function software’s used by the organizations do not have the capability to go beyond daily business processes nor can they help with prospective business growth.
As organisations expand, there is a critical need for a more efficient and effective business system and ways of working. The implementation of ERP systems helps to keep up with these business needs. Today, ERP software’s are widely used to help manage businesses of all sizes and in all industries.
How Business Functions Benefit from ERP
Connectivity & Integrity
ERP systems connect the network of business processes and enable the flow of data throughout. This transparency and availability of an organization’s shared transactional data from direct sources ensures data integrity from a single source of truth, instils accountability of work and eliminates data duplication.
Achieve Process Efficiency
ERP systems bridge information gaps across various departments within an organisation. This allows managers across the organisation to see a more holistic view of process flows, finances and critical issues. This replaces silo work with a more collaborative business management.
Elevate Business Performance
ERP solutions that utilize the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) enables organisations to display performance dashboards and extract business insights from operational data. These insights will help enhance the decision making process and reveal ways to improve operational performance going forward.
ERP solutions are built to adapt to varying business needs and growth. These solutions offer flexible deployment options and highly customizable software. Most importantly, it builds continuity and resiliency into business processes to proactively prepare for and respond to any operational disruption or market change.
ERP implementation describes the process of planning, organizing and deploying an ERP system to integrate an organisations business functions. A structured and phased approach is important to ensure
a successful ERP implementation.
Phases of ERP Implementation
The agility of ERP systems means that adjustments can be made post deployment to ensure the business achieves the desired benefits in the long run. Post go live, the project team may still be responsible to gather user feedback and update the system accordingly. As new features are added into the system, additional development and configuration, along with new user training may be needed. In terms of system updates, on-premises ERP system will require periodic software updates or hardware upgrades over time while cloud-based ERP system may get software updates automatically.
The design phase focuses on gathering detailed system requirements to create an ERP solution. It is important to involve users in requirement gathering for a comprehensive first-hand understanding of current workflows on business processes and their gaps. Users will need to sign off the blueprint with all the business requirements confirmed. This will ensure a detailed ERP system design that will improve overall workflow efficiency and productivity. Additionally, involving users in this phase provides insights on resource capabilities, willingness for change and training needs for the new ERP system. A thorough change impact assessment (CIA) and training needs analysis (TNA) enables the project team to design an effective change action plan around users business-as-usual activities.
AGOS Asia Offerings
Organize and conduct the local process validation workshop
Recommend and streamlines the business process during the workshop
Review the blueprint
Planning for ERP implementation includes setting up a project team and selecting an ERP product based on business needs. It is important to acquire and setup a strong project team to handle various roles throughout the implementation, such as timeline planning, goal setting, software developing, training and communications. When choosing an ERP system, thorough research must be done to select the best fit solution for organisational needs. For example, on-premise ERP system requires buying and installing hardware and software in a readily available data center, while cloud-based ERP system means subscribing to a service provider and accessing the ERP software via the internet.
AGOS Asia Offerings
Overall Project Management
- Change Management and Communications
High level process understanding and business requirement gathering
Source and evaluate the ERP as per business requirements has been gathered.
Evaluate the vendor / solution implementor
Software development involves configuring and customizing the ERP software to support the redesigned processes. Before data migration begins, business users must perform data housekeeping activities to ensure data readiness. Data migration involves extracting, transforming and loading data from existing systems. The data used may require verification and reformatting before they can be migrated. Several data migration loads is the recommended practice to ensure accuracy and completeness. In this phase, the project team should also develop training materials to help users feed the skill gap and adjust to using the new system.
AGOS Asia Offerings
Coordinate in data housekeeping
Coordinate between business users & developers
In preparation for go-live, the project team needs to fix a data migration cut-off date for verification and sign off by business users. System access must also be assigned with correct role profiles. Upon go live, Early Life Support (ELS) should be prepared for any potential issues on system functions or employee navigation. Project teams often create a war room onsite for users to drop in and station nominated change champions within business units during the peak of go-live. The implementation partner also plays a continuous role for troubleshooting needs. Reachability and responsiveness is of the essence during this phase. It is expected that users may take time to adapt to the new system and achieve the anticipated implementation gains.
AGOS Asia Offerings
Early Life Support coordination and monitoring the status
Preparation of Standard of Operating Procedures (SOP)
System Integration Testing
The testing and development phases may occur concurrently. During development, testers can perform System Integration Testing (SIT) to test specific modules for fixes or adjustments before retesting. SIT focuses on testing the technical performance on the system stability. It is important for the project team to prepare and share comprehensive test scripts. Testing should be done rigorously on the full capabilities of the new ERP system in SIT.
User Acceptance Testing
After SIT is signed off, User Acceptance Testing (UAT) can begin. UAT focuses on testing system features with various business scenarios. Users also need to ensure system effectiveness from the user experience and user interface perspectives in UAT. In order to test more productively, the project team will also need to prepare a UAT test script and train users on the intended outcome. A UAT monitoring and reposting tool is used to record UAT progress. The test results recorded in this tool is important to track any UAT glitches fixed during UAT and serves as learning points for process management. Upon completion of testing, UAT is signed off by business users. The project team needs to ensure sufficient end user training is conducted and change champions are nominated. A hands-on classroom training enables more focused learning on heavier modules, while an online training platform gives users the option to learn at their own pace and revisit modules when needed.
AGOS Asia Offerings
Review the UAT test scripts
Review the training materials
The success of an ERP implementation is measured through KPIs and metrics based on the original implementation goals set during the planning phase. Primarily measuring user engagement on how effectively a system is utilized and process efficiencies on how well daily business operations are conducted. This can be seen by assessing the improved productivity levels, quality of work done and overall organisational financial performance.
AGOS Asia Offerings
Performance and productivity evaluation with existence of ERP
Identification of ERP gap and recommendation on alternate solutions
The AGOS Advantage for ERP
We are a group of Shared Services Practitioners with > 15 years of Finance Shared Services and Shared Services experience. We have been Senior Finance Leadership Team members and have the experience in driving implementation of large scale technology projects such as single instance ERP implementation, finance automation and RPA for Finance for organisations within FMCG, Fintech, pharmaceutical, public sector, shipping, retail clothing and automative
Our Finance Domain Expertise
We help Finance Shared Services and Chief Finance Officers in readiness activities, blueprinting, implementation and change management for ERP Implementation, Robotics Process Automation (RPA), Automation of Finance Processes and Automation of global Finance consolidation and Finance Analytics.
Our Finance Automation Implementation
Thus far, we have implemented 60+ Finance related RPA processes, ERP ( Oracle, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, SAGE) , procure to pay solutions ( Esker, Ariba), visualisation tools, finance consolidation tools.
Our Superuser Business Knowledge
We have in dept business user knowledge for key ERP systems, procure to pay solutions, finance consolidation and visualisation tools.
Our Change Agent Role
We are effective change agents for your team in undergoing finance digital transformation. With our experience in managing 300 to 600 staff strength within Global FSS, we are able to bring out the best in the teams we work with.