Imposed system workflows does not follow your processes ?

Users utilize many workarounds to do their day-to-day tasks ?

Difficult to implement or follow company procedures ?

Process changes are costly and challenging to put in place ?

Important lack of system flexibility ?

How would you evaluate the degree of accuracy of your data? Are you ready to bet that every team member follows the company processes and enters in the system all the information they are supposed to, data on which you base your decisions? How many workarounds do you estimate your employees currently use to go about their daily tasks?  Worrisome?  You should be.

But why would one began to use workaround solutions when established procedures are in place?

The answer is rather simple:  It is because the system they are using is not adapted to the way they do their work!  Users therefore come up with workaround solutions that are less complicated and more efficient to them. They use alternative routes, outside of the ERP, CRM or other system applications.  Ingenious for sure, but a dangerous practice!

We are not referring here to mere information, but also and rather important company data, such as:

  • The spreadsheets on which your sales team members keep the details of their sale pipeline and upcoming business opportunities;
  • The handwritten notes, lying around, where customer shipping information is detailed;
  • The calendar that list the resource allocations required for the following week;
  • The budget that is shared by email among the Department Directors for them to update at each month end;
  • The daily tasks and follow ups handwritten on « Post It »;

Not only do these different recurring practices result in inaccurate system information on which decisions are based, but they also prevent the data from being properly shared throughout the company. Consequently, some of the information is not taken into account as withheld or even lost. The intellectual property of your company is kept outside of your business management system, with no protection. Your company core business information is at risk!

What now?

In theory, we should never use data management tools that are external to our ERP system to go about our daily tasks.  The system should enable us to do everything we need to do.  However, in reality, its conceded that it is very difficult to avoid completely workarounds. But what should we do when they become the norm? How do we limit their use? The first step is to identify the source of the problem.

In general, either of the two following reasons trigger the extensive use of workarounds: 1) the ERP system in place does not enable you to do your task as per your real business processes and/or 2) the user does not know how to do his tasks according to the processes.  In both cases, you have a system adoption issue that is directly linked to your business processes.  It then becomes crucial to proceed to a quick audit to evaluate your company processes against the capacity of your users to actually accomplish them as they should. Certain conditions may have changed since you first implemented the system that no longer correspond to the way you do business today.

Did you know that:

  • By improving their productivity level, order processing and decision-making processes, mid-market businesses have increased their on-time deliveries ratio by 24% on average? (Aberdeen Group)
  • That companies, that provided to their employees an interconnected environment with adapted tools and processes, raised their productivity level by 20-25% in average? (The McKinsey Global Institute)
  • That 23% of corporate leaders are incapable of growing their business as fast as they would like due to the inefficiencies of their ERP system? (Mint Jutras).

Bottom line, do not try to resolve issues in a temporary fashion.  If you have already witnessed a few cases of business process that are not followed or well defined in your system, you are probably only looking at the tip of the iceberg!  It is conceivable that it is quite likely that there are much more similar issues yet to be uncovered.  Act now!

Inmind Technologies offer consultations to help you identify potential gaps and inefficiencies in your organization’s operations that hinder user productivity and competitiveness. Contact Inmind Technologies immediately!