ERP is Not Enough!

When your organization was sold its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution suite back in the 1990s or 2000s, it was probably told that the ERP suite was the answer to all of its information management problems and it would be the last suite the organization would ever buy. As the evolution of Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) software — which was focused primarily on product planning, manufacturing, and inventory management — ERP was supposed to address all of the weaknesses in the MRP software as well as give Sales and Marketing, Finance, and Executive Management visibility into operational status. Specifically, ERP was supposed to handle sourcing and procurement, receiving and distribution, sales forecasting and integration into production planning, and provide a solid foundation for accounting and finance. ERP was supposed to provide the organization with a real-time end-to-end view of core business processes that could be used to effectively monitor, manage, migrate, and market the business. ERP was supposed to be delivering on the single system promise that you were waiting for since the dawn of MRP. But it didn’t.

Why ERP is not Enough by b2bConnex (Registration Required)

Those of you who are regular readers know that SI rarely promotes vendor-authored white-papers, as many turn out to be more marketing fluff than solid content, but every now and again SI finds a real gem, and this paper is one of them. Not only is it a solid, factual, educational piece, but it’s echoing a message that SI has been promoting for years (and often while screaming at the top of its lungs). ERP is Not Enough, and the continued over-reliance on ERP is why so many organizations, especially in manufacturing, are struggling to find efficiency, savings, and value in their supply chains.

Even though Sourcing and Procurement platforms are now mature technology, the number of your peers that have still not adopted modern platforms is still quite high. That’s why a number of new SaaS-based start-ups are still finding success a decade later with streamlined, on-line, implementations of sourcing or procurement modules that are almost a commodity at this point. When a company finally realizes the value, SaaS allows for a quick, easy, low-cost entry point to a modern platform.

And a modern platform is needed. Just because your ERP might support document exchange, that doesn’t mean it supports online tenders. Just because it supports price quotes doesn’t mean that it can maintain detailed price history and do trend analysis. Just because your ERP can store a contract doesn’t mean that it can store all of the delivery schedules, rate tables, and agreed upon performance metrics in formats that can be easily accessed, queried, and automatically compared to invoices and time sheets. Just because it can store a PO, that doesn’t mean it can store a full requisition and approval history. the doctor is sorry to say that he knows of more than one company that has spent over a million dollars trying to implement a good e-Negotiation platform or contract management platform on an ERP, only to fail when they could have bought a best-of-breed solution for 1/10th of the cost.

One has to remember that where ERP is concerned:

  • it is still rooted in MRP & on-site inventory management
    and distribution, logistics and supply chain optimization was never in the core vocabulary
  • it is all about reporting
    but supply chain success is all about analysis and actionable data
  • it is designed around an old-school data store with a rigid format
    and not a modern, extensible, workflow-based Master Data Management model
  • it was based on the concept of an activity journal
    not around transition management for an evolving supply chain
  • it is internally focussed
    but supply chain management needs to be externally focussed

This paper addresses all of these issues in detail, outlines the shortcomings of an ERP, and helps you understand why you need, depending on your business, a modern sourcing platform, a modern procurement platform, or, particularly in manufacturing, a modern supply chain communication and collaboration platform that handles all of the communications necessary between a provider of consumer or manufactured goods and their product and component suppliers from the initial tenders through the delivery of the final goods receipt and invoice pair when the contract has been completed. Moreover, the paper does this without any reference to any particular platform or marketing spiel and really helps you understand why your ERP is not, and will never be, enough and why you have to move to modern Sourcing / Procurement / Collaboration platforms, depending on your vertical and needs.

If you are not on a modern Supply Management / Supply Chain Collaboration platform, the doctor strongly encourages you to register for, and download, Why ERP is not Enough today and spend a good deal time of understanding the issues addressed. The sooner you understand what you need and why you need it, the sooner you can acquire the right platform and supercharge your supply chain. All the technologies you need to do so are out there waiting for you. You just need to know what to look for!