That Old House – Tidying up your ERP

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When you moved into the new house, everything was clean, uncluttered, and ready for you to personalize and adapt to meet your needs. So it is when you first implement an ERP system. However, many people bring with them boxes of things no longer needed – data and structures from their legacy system that were once required or that the users have simply become accustomed to. Once you move into the house, you begin accumulating stuff that looked like a good idea at the time, but now sits in a corner and collects dust. Even worse, those obsolete items need to be moved and re-boxed, and every time you need something, you might spend hours or days looking for it. Feng shui practitioners believe that clutter is low, stagnant, and confusing energy that drains energy from you. Depending on the area of your home where your clutter is located, it can also negatively influence, or even completely block, the flow of events in specific areas of your life. Once again, there are many parallels to an ERP system.

Multiple Charts of Accounts or Org Units clutter the business processes and take effort to create workarounds. Hours and days are spent reconciling spreadsheets looking for data that you know is there, but that is “boxed” so that it is not easily found. ERP clutter is a barrier to the sharing of information, to streamlining business processes, and to complying with statutory and regulatory requirements.

After about 10 years of living in the house, you probably need to make some major modifications to accommodate changes in your lifestyle. Maybe your family has grown and you need to add more space, maybe your children have moved out, or maybe your furnace is not as energy-efficient as you’d like and is costing you a lot of money. Similarly, after a number of years, your ERP system needs to be modified to continue to support your business. You may have acquired some companies, sold part of your business, or want to take advantage of new technologies. You might be looking to migrate from the current system to a cloud implementation. The good news is that in the same way that remodeling your house and upgrading your appliances adds value to your house, cleaning up your ERP system adds value to your business in the form of reduced operating costs, reduced hardware, and fewer people for non-value-added activities. In your house, once you clear most of your clutter with feng shui and have a clear system to avoid its accumulation in the future, you will start experiencing high energy levels, more clarity, and a heightened sense of well-being. In your business, once you clear the clutter left from years of ERP accommodations, you will start experiencing greater visibility to the entire enterprise, transparency in your financial transactions, less complexity, and the ability to drive value from new initiatives.

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