I recently read, on Brett Beaubouef` blog, an excellent article about influences of business problems over the ERP solution. In his article, Brett said that in business, like in real life, all of us instinctively trying to avoid or minimize problem („pain”, as he named it). And also we are focused on eliminating the symptoms rather than finding the pain cause. „And we may feel temporary relieve”, noticed Brett, „but our short-term decisions only lead us to a point were the pain resurfaces and the available options to address the pain become more limited and costly.”
He proposes a three-step process to transform business pain in something good for your ERP solution.
The first step is taking an appropriate problem solving approach. Because, said Brett, many companies do not execute the problem-solving process effectively. Why? Cause they believe that having an ERP system simplifies the problem-solving process. As Beaubouef says, „the misperceptions and inappropriate expectations surrounding ERP can cloud your view of the real problem. For an ERP perspective, the typical end-result to quick fixes will be more customizations. The key to eliminating this quick-fix mentality is to change the perspective of how pain is viewed”.
Second step is to see business pain as an opportunity. Too often, organizations can’t see past the present pain. „We focus only on the symptoms (negatives) without looking for the opportunities (positives). A red flag to look for is when ERP support problems are seen as an inconvenience rather than an opportunity”, said Brett.
And, finally, the third step is using business pain as a driver to increase ERP value generation. According to Brett Beaubouef, frequent upgrades is the „single largest driver for long-term, rapid delivery of addition value from a customer’s ERP investment. It is important that the internal IT organization resist the temptation for a quick win and illuminate the IT roadmap that will provide the opportunity for greater value from their ERP investment”. Obviously, its a price for every decision made and „the short-term gains will eventually result in limiting your ERP strategy”.
As a conclusion, the business pain is the way that an organization (company) communicate that something is wrong. „Effective root-cause analysis is the first step to correctly diagnoses the pain and identify viable solutions. ERP can play a positive or sometimes negative role in addressing business pains”, stated Beaubouef.