Series: Why do ERP Implementations fail: Over-reliance on the consultants.

Over-reliance on the consultants.

Too much dependability on consultant can make the team more redundant. Most ERP implementation projects involve consultants, for the expertise, best practices, and additional resources they bring. While their outside experience is definitely helpful for a project, there is a risk that the company can become over-reliant on the consultants. The company needs to maintain control over the key business decisions, hold the consultants accountable, and have an explicit plan to transfer the knowledge from the consultants to the internal employees when the project is winding down.


Want to be part of the excitement? We offer a range of services, anywhere between ERP Implementation to mobile development. We are your one stop shop! Give us a call at 623-800-7660 or email us at admin@expotechinc.com for more information!

Using our Project Plan for our next Project, we gain support from additional resources. P.S. Lunch was on us!

Meeting with additional resources to review and revise our new project!

 



 



Reviewing Architecture designs for the new building.


Our CEO Rod offering explanation on the special items he has created for his new project.


With lunch being on us, everyone dug into the project to review specific things to go over.

Want to be part of the excitement? We offer a range of services, anywhere between ERP Implementation to mobile development. We are your one stop shop! Give us a call at 623-800-7660 or email us at admin@expotechinc.com for more information!

Series: Staying Competitive in the Automotive Parts Distribution Industry – Part 2

 

Globalization

The business landscape is rapidly becoming more global. Largely due to improvements in communications, globalization is dramatically impacting the way business is managed and transacted, even on the most local levels. No area of a business is more affected by the trend to a global business environment than the supply chain. Manufacturing, distribution, sourcing of materials, invoicing and returns have all been significantly impacted by the increased integration of a global customer and supplier base, and many companies find that existing processes and technology are not flexible enough for this new business environment.

For example, historically, many companies have brought in container shipments from Asia Pacific through the ports in southern California. As the volume of container shipments has increased, all of these ports have experienced capacity issues relating to customs clearance and transshipping. As a result some companies are contemplating rerouting these inbound shipments to alternate ports. This change may seem subtle, but a shift in logistics of this magnitude has far-reaching effects on the overall cost and efficiency of the supply chain network. Dynamically repositioning the point of entry for inbound container shipments can have a positive impact on customs clearance times and access to increased transportation capacity, however, there can be a negative impact as well. Better understanding the total landed cost and service implications of alternate ports of entry can help improve supply chain costs and performance.

The right supply chain design is critical to managing the changes brought about by rapid globalization. A well thought-out supply chain network design can optimize the supply chain network and the flow of materials through the network. In doing so, network design captures the costs of the supply chain with a “total landed cost” perspective and applies advanced mathematical technology to determine optimal answers to both strategic and tactical questions.

The following are strategic questions answered by a well thought-out network design:

  • Where should facilities be located?
  • How many facilities should I have, and what capabilities should they have?
  • What kind of capacity should they have?
  • What products and services should they handle?
  • Whose manufacturing and distribution orbit should they source?
  • Which contract packers or contract manufacturers should I use?
  • How can I achieve operations synergies through integrating acquisitions?

At ExpoTech Inc., we help our clients take successful strategic and organizational decisions. We closely monitor the problems being faced by organizations through various angles and engage organizational leaders into the thinking and development process, implement findings through carefully constructed road maps and practices to help them achieve their goals and success.

Our clients are always our #1 priority, that’s why we offer our services at 40% the cost of our competitors, GUARANTEED. And you won’t ever have to worry about change orders. Plus, we hold back our money until sign off is obtained. Each member of our dedicated staff has at least 15 years of experience and 3 years in end-to-end project implementation. CONTACT US for a free business assessment.

Series: Staying Competitive in the Automotive Parts Distribution Industry – Part 1

The automotive parts aftermarket is a 2 trillion-dollar business. Major OEM’s like General Motors are eager to win a substantial portion of that market in one of the most difficult supply chain systems in the world. SKU proliferation, competition from dedicated aftermarket suppliers, (many of whom are OEM suppliers) plus razor thin margins make proper pricing critical to profitability.

Over the next few weeks we will be going over ways to stay competitive in the automotive parts distribution industry. Now, this doesn’t mean we will stop the ERP Implementation series (Of course not!); we will only be putting it on hold. Let us know in the comments what you think!

Demand Planning Begins at the End of the Cycle

As sources and capacities for manufacturing have increased, more companies have moved away from focusing efforts on plant-level production planning and are adopting more of a demand-driven focus of trying to influence and manage demand more efficiently. Rationalizing what your company is best at selling, making and delivering, and aligning the sales force with that mindset, is critical to adopting a demand-driven model. The demand driven approach can help a company create a more customer-focused mindset, without sacrificing operational efficiency. Ultimately, a demand-focused approach to planning can significantly improve demand planning and management efforts and help overall costs and customer service efforts.

Advanced demand planning systems and proper strategies can also help uncover data and identify trends buried in a company’s information systems. Companies should conduct an enterprise-wide internal Demand Review to gather information from all aspects of the organization. Goals are then set to gain consensus on what will be sold each month for each product line or category and the resulting revenue. Of course, the driver of the Demand Review process is continuous improvement of forecast accuracy.

Critical to the success of any Demand Plan is having all stakeholders, including sales, marketing, finance, product development and supply chain agree upon a consensus Demand Plan. It’s important for all participants to discuss factors affecting customer demand patterns (such as new or deleted products, competitors or market conditions), the aggregate demand plans and associated revenue plans. Once all demand for products and services has been recognized, the information is consolidated into one Demand Plan.

Demand planning is a key input to the larger sales and operations planning (S&OP) process and can have a significant positive impact on new product introductions, inventory planning and management, customer service, supply planning efficiency and sourcing strategies. Demand planning success is often tied to organizational structure. Companies with dedicated resources focused around demand planning and forecasting yield stronger results and drive more value to their company. Organizations that focus part-time on demand planning and forecasting efforts, however, often yield sub-standard results. With the strategic importance of demand planning, companies need to be committed to this from both a resource and technology perspective.


Series: Top Reasons Why ERP Implementations fail – Failure to Take into Account Common Application Deficiencies

Finally, our middle topic related to knowing and compensating for common application deficiencies. While it may seem reasonable that your system integrator understand the applications well, we’ve found that these requirements are often overlooked on projects:

  • Workflow security risks – how to manage delegation of workflow approval authority.
  • Workflow history retention – retention requirements related to workflow approval history.
  • Read-only configurations – lack of inquiry access to configurations throughout the application.
  • Lack of system-based audit trail for critical system changes – to support the quality assurance of your change management process.
  • SQL Forms – how to monitor activity in forms that allow SQL statements to be embedded in them.

Seeded users – vendor supplier application and database users.

  • Business processes that cannot be secured via normal function security such as:

■ Approval of transactions in the Receivables module.

■ Approval of orders in the Order Management module.

■ Managing credit in the Receivables module.

■ Entering of negative orders in the Order Management module.

■ Entering of negative transactions in the Receivable module.

■ Approval of POs in the Purchasing module.

■ Maintenance of Salaries in the HR module.

■ Maintenance of Direct Deposit information in the HR module.

 

Oracle, like most software companies, has design flaws in their software and technology that often gets identified by their end user community. Oracle has a strong relationship with the OAUG’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and the SIGs provide invaluable feedback to Oracle on bugs and enhancement requests. OAUG membership includes involvement in the SIG communities and allows you to interact with other Oracle customers through the OAUG’s various forums (conferences, listservers, etc). Therefore, your OAUG membership helps to identify and resolve these types of deficiencies.

 

Series: Why do ERP implementations fail? – Failure to manage business benefits

Really this just a fancy way of saying if you don’t ask, you won’t know. How do you really know your install has “failed,” for example? You have to look and measure and then compare what actually happened to what you wanted to have happen. All projects of this scope will have some things that go exceptionally well and some that don’t, says Panorama’s Kimberlink, and this is key: ERP gets better over time with tweaking. But, to tweak, you have to have visibility into what you are tweaking. This is how you identify areas for improvement.

As we mentioned at the outset, however, most companies don’t do this because they are so exhausted by the whole process they’re just glad to be done. This is a mistake. Most ERP installs don’t fail outright but by degrees of unrealized business benefit. Huge failures like the ones outlined in the introduction are really the exception. Most failure are incremental and made up of small incidents that accumulate and amplify: Maybe you are using the wrong software and only figure this out post-implementation because of the rush to get the project going. Or maybe you didn’t fully realize how your business processes work or that all of that customization to get things to “look like they used to” caused too many cost overruns or, like Lumber Liquidators, you training was insufficient.

Whatever the cause, you won’t be able to pin point remedies if you don’t shake the tree to see what falls out. There will be problems. But, if you use this exercise to learn from the things that could have gone better and then work to improve the areas where they did not, you will avoid a lot of hurt feelings and negative energy that could be put to better use elsewhere.

ExpoTech Inc. strives to set the record straight. Being top in the industry helps show where you need to be for ERP Implementation. Call us at (623)800-7660 for more information.