Why ERP discoveries are a waste of time and money

I should clarify; the traditional approach to ERP discovery is a waste of time and money.  Gone should be the days of backing up the bus, unloading the consultants, and spending three months asking everyone in the company what they do and what they need.  As businesses need to adapt and change faster than ever to outside forces, the need for their business solutions to become equally as nimble and flexible has never been greater; and if a new system is required the traditional approach to implementation has to change in order to deliver that efficiently and quickly and at a manageable price point.

A recent study in North America as the economy starts to recover cites that as much as 35% of business efficiencies are going to come from standardization of processes.  Today’s leading ERP solutions are the result of decades of investment by their publishers in process automation, streamlining and technology advances.  As the pace of ERP development continues to accelerate, it seems redundant to spend any time asking a user how they need to process vendor payments for example.  Chances are that the software you are considering, the experienced partner you are talking to, and the technology they have at their disposal have already been combined to create the most appropriate and efficient process for  your business.  Apply this to around 80% of the business processes that are standard across the board, agree to adopt them out the box, and you can reduce your discovery time from three months to three weeks and become automatically more efficient.  Find a partner that has this all preconfigured – note the word of the use “preconfigured”, NOT an accelerator or a framework – and you could be going through your first conference room pilot in six weeks instead of six months!

Adopting standard industry best practices, finding a partner that has a true “preconfigured” solution that matches those best practices, and focusing instead on only the 20% of your business processes that make you truly unique could actually deliver the competitive edge from a new ERP solution that you need to stay ahead of the pack in this ever-changing business climate.