Implementing new processes and technology as well as a new operational model may seem like a huge accomplishment, but it’s only the beginning of achieving operational excellence. 

In fact, benefits realization should continue many years after go-live. How do you make this possible? As soon as you begin the journey of selecting an ERP, CRM, or supply chain management system, we recommend establishing a digital center of excellence.

What You Need to Know About Centers of Excellence

A center of excellence is not only relegated to ERP systems. Centers of excellence are born out of a need to establish areas of expertise for certain business functions, such as project management, business intelligence, IT, or research. This begins with the concept that there are people, facilities, and other resources that can provide leadership and best practices for a particular area or discipline within an organization.

If you’re beginning a digital transformation, those resources can be pooled to maximize efficiency and return on investment. This is known as a digital center of excellence.

A digital center of excellence is designed to support continuous improvement after an ERP implementation or digital transformation. For example, it can ensure alignment between changing business requirements and system design. It also can proactively identify potential process improvements. 

Other roles that this team might play include management of system upgrades and deployment of end-user training to develop new organizational capabilities.

You should ensure your digital center of excellence touches every area of your organization that uses the ERP software. Along the same lines, we recommend designating business process owners from each functional area so you can use their knowledge to continuously improve processes across the organization.

Software Selection & Process Improvement Case Study

In helping the client get its project back on track, one of our primary focus areas was decreasing their customization needs by improving their processes to align with the system's best practices.

6 Benefits of a Digital Center of Excellence

1. Extends the Life of Your ERP Solution

An ERP system is an investment your organization makes with the intent of receiving a significant return. Aligning ERP system design with new business requirements ensures you attain this high return on investment. 

While your organization will look different five years from now than when the system was first implemented, it’s still possible to ensure that your system supports your organization in the long-term. A digital center of excellence ensures a continual focus on business process management after go-live so you can find ways to support your changing business needs.

2. Reduces Long-term Reliance on ERP Consultants

Using ERP consultants when selecting and implementing an enterprise software is a smart strategy for reducing risk. 

However, once these consultants have guided you through the project lifecycle and helped you establish a center excellence, you should be able to cut them loose. You’ll be equipped with the tools and expertise to continually make effective use of your new technology.

3. Allows Greater Flexibility When Adapting to Change

The adage that no one likes change is especially true when you implement new technology.

A digital center of excellence allows you to anticipate organizational changes while being mindful of your organization’s culture. This team can help you build an organizational change management plan by leveraging their knowledge of your organization’s culture and assessing employees’ readiness for change.

4. Ensures Organizational Alignment

Another benefit derived from a center of excellence is the alignment among operational areas in terms of project goals, resource allocation, and prioritization.

A center of excellence breaks down operational silos and encourages cross-functional collaboration, which ensures alignment among stakeholders and alignment between operational needs and technical capabilities.  

5. Ensures Resource Optimization

Once stakeholders are on the same page, you can determine what areas team members should focus on to provide the greatest return on investment. 

A digital center of excellence can be charged with making decisions that allocate resources in a way that provides the most benefit to the organization.

6. Promotes Accountability

A digital center of excellence promotes accountability by ensuring all business demands are balanced in relation to available resources, business values, and future needs.

When held accountable, project team members are more likely to perform their duties with an understanding of resource needs and organizational objectives.

Is Your Organization Poised for Long-Term Growth?

A center of excellence dedicated to the longevity of your enterprise software can position your organization for long-term growth.

Our ERP selection consultants are experienced in establishing digital centers of excellence, and we can help you build the capabilities to evolve your processes and technology as your organization grows. Contact us below for a free consultation.

About the author

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Panorama Consulting Group is an independent, niche consulting firm specializing in business transformation and ERP system implementations for mid- to large-sized private- and public-sector organizations worldwide. One-hundred percent technology agnostic and independent of vendor affiliation, Panorama offers a phased, top-down strategic alignment approach and a bottom-up tactical approach, enabling each client to achieve its unique business transformation objectives by transforming its people, processes, technology, and data.

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