I was reading a blog post about documenting processes for ERPs and I had a flashback. At my last job, working at a mid-sized company, I was given the project to select and implement a CRM that would eventually integrate with an existing ERP, necessitating common processes that would leverage both systems.
First I created a team of stakeholders and asked each stakeholder to bring to the next meeting the documentation for the relevant processes in place in their departments. In addition to managing the project, I was acting as the stakeholder for Sales and Marketing, so I went back to my office and started calling around, only to find there was there no documentation. Not a problem, I thought—I’ll interview the VPs of sales and marketing as well as some informal leaders such as the contracts manager and the person who calculates commissions and create the documentation myself.
But soon enough, the real problem surfaced. There was absolutely no agreement on what the processes were. The SVP of Worldwide Sales and the Marketing SVP had these strict processes in their minds, but, unfortunately, that was the only place they existed. Individual sales and marketing functions had developed processes that made sense (at the time they were put into place) and worked (for the few who actually used them) and individual employees had disregarded nearly everything but the shortest processes that involved the least amount of administrative work—they needed to devote their time to selling.
And it turned out that most of my fellow stakeholders were having the same issues.
For about a minute, I thought this was a horrible setback and then I realized what a fabulous opportunity we had to help create, document, and put into place processes that would give guidance to newer employees and enable repeatable success for veterans. I explained to the president of the company that our schedule needed to be adjusted while we gathered and prioritized requirements and created processes that would have buy-in from VPs and “do-ers” alike. As a result, we put into production good, sustainable processes throughout the entire company.
Next we determined what we could automate so the system would actually provide value for the users. We were able to automate about half of the processes and most of the manual system updating. We also needed to ensure the proper checks and balances and controls were in place so, for instance, no inside sales rep was scheduled to call the same person being called by another inside sales rep working on a different campaign. Finally, we had to develop metrics that would provide value for managers, directors, and VPs and create dashboards and reports that made it easy to see where everyone stood.
This development, unification, and vast improvement of processes would not have happened if we did not implement this system. Did it help? In the 5 years from final implementation until I left the company, revenues grew over 30%–not bad for a mature company with a mature product offering. Of course, that cannot be attributed entirely to better processes and better measurement, but it certainly made it possible.
Implementing an ERP for the first time or switching ERPs gives you a tremendous opportunity to create, analyze, or modify central processes within your organization. Acumatica’s Cloud ERP and CRM in a single platform offers options for tailoring the system to your workflow and NexVue can provide any further customizations you find necessary. Use your ERP to improve your business and increase your bottom line.
To see how Acumatica Cloud ERP can be used to improve your business processes, contact NexVue at 203.327.0800 or visit us online at www.nexvue.com.
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