New plans and new initiatives
With 2021 already almost 2 months old, it is time to start realizing the plans for this year. As I wrote in my previous blog “Looking back and looking to the future” there are many opportunities to optimize business operations in the areas listed below:
- Digital Transformation
- Supply Chain Integration
- Operational Excellence
- Data Driven Enterprise
In this blog, I’m putting a little more emphasis on Operational Excellence, because that’s where many companies can still make considerable strides to optimize their processes, thereby improving their margins.
There are plenty of companies who, after an ERP system is implemented, neglect to optimize the system afterwards. They are happy that they are live, that the users have been trained, that the important processes are running well and that there have been no or minimal disruptions. If there is no active policy to further develop and optimize the system, the system will slowly become outdated and no longer meet the changing demands and requirements of the business. Eventually, one will have to invest heavily in an upgrade or replace the system and then incur new costs for software and implementation. For both our JD Edwards and Netsuite customers, the latter scenario is unnecessary and undesirable.
How can this be prevented?
It is important to schedule the following activities on a regular basis:
- Determine key initiatives based on business strategy and objectives
- Identify changed business processes
- What bottlenecks are the users of the ERP system experiencing?
- What improvements in the ERP system can contribute to the objectives and initiatives?
By regularly scheduling the actions mentioned above, your organization can determine which initiatives can lead to improvements. Together with our consultants, we can come up with solution approaches and determine the ROI and priority of a potential optimization.
A few practical examples
Enhanced user experience using JD Edwards Orchestrator
At one of our commodity trading clients, we recently created – using the JD Edwards Orchestrator – links with Slack and Microsoft Teams. These integrations provide an improved user experience, with workflows realized based on various scenarios. For example, allowing employees to approve orders via Slack on their cell phones. A good example of the new possibilities of JD Edwards version 9.2 that leads to more efficiency.
Real-time integrations Tableau for NetSuite and Tableau for JD Edwards
For our Netsuite and JD Edwards customers, we have developed real-time integrations with Tableau’s analytics solutions. By using the Composite Application Framework Enterprise One (CAFE One) and the capabilities within the Netsuite software, users have instant visibility into important data and KPIs. This allows them to make the right decisions quickly.
Taking Timely Action by Using Watchlists
Several JD Edwards and Netsuite customers, meanwhile, are making good use of the capabilities of Watchlists. With the help of queries on the system, users receive “alerts” on their screen or on a dashboard. Based on this, the user can take timely action if, for example, orders are in danger of being delivered late. This allows one to react proactively instead of having to correct afterwards.
A complete contracts and quotes module in NetSuite simplifies and speeds up processes
In the standard Netsuite software we have set up a complete contracts and quotation module. We have created templates for contracts and quotations with various text blocks that generate a contract or quotation based on parameters from the customer, quotation and order data. This can be mailed directly to the right contact person. The integration with Docusign is the last step that we are realizing. In this way, the entire order and quotation process will be greatly simplified and accelerated.
More information or sparring?
Continuously maintaining and optimizing your ERP system pays off. There are lots of opportunities to further optimize the system. It starts with regularly scheduling and discussing the above activities. We would love to think along with you to translate your strategy and goals into smart and usable solutions that will help you in your plans regarding Operational Excellence.
Author: Ed Pieters
CEO at Cadran Consultancy