ERP systems, like cookies, are best if kept as one, integrated jar – everyone knows where to find the cookies, there is no confusion as to the number of cookies, and you can accurately see when it is time to go buy more Nabisco.
When a private company is choosing an ERP system, an often overlooked but important consideration is how this new system will improve service to customers. Crazy, right?
For example, with one integrated system, there is only one database and everyone has access to the latest information, which provides customers with accurate and timely information on the status of their order. Same goes for the Oreos. If there are multiple jars that may or may not contain the cookies you are looking for, you will get a little “hangry” when you can’t get your cookies delivered on time, or worse yet, you reach in for chocolate chip and you get an oatmeal raisin.
What about government and other public agencies? They don’t necessarily deal with “cookie-hungry” customers, but they do have citizens paying hard-earned tax money. What happens when these citizens are caught with their hand in the cookie jar only to find there are no cookies inside?
In the private sector, if the customer is upset with a company they can always take their business elsewhere. In the public sector, citizens who are upset with their government, may just get up and leave the country. They can, and they have, even right here in the good ol’ U.S. According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the number of Americans who renounced their citizenship in 2013 increased 221% from the previous year. With an issue as resounding and complex as this, I cannot claim to know the cause (and I don’t want the NSA knocking at my door next week when this is published).
However, there is a little system called enterprise resource planning (ERP) that might help the U.S. Government and other public agencies point their fingers at the right problems. Governments can use ERP software to effectively improve service to citizens, while simultaneously increasing the level of engagement and real-time dialogue between the citizen and the governing body. This can boosts return on citizenship (ROC) to levels never seen before!
Here are four considerations for selecting a government ERP system:
1. High levels of service and responsiveness: Citizens have come to expect the same high levels of service and responsiveness from the government that they do from private entities
2. Transparency: The definition of ‘transparency’ can vary greatly. To some citizens, it might mean being able to see dollar-by-dollar where their tax money is going. For public agencies, it could mean departments being open with their records and documents.
3. Efficiency: The cost to build Healthcare.gov, according to U.S. Government records, appears to have been $634M, which was paid to CGI Federal, who originally won the contract back in 2011, but at that time, the cost was expected to run up to $93.7M. Any contractor, individual or vendor providing services to the government must share in the principle in order to be congruent with the overall success of lining up taxpayer dollars with key government initiatives.
4. High ROC: A concept Panorama has termed as ROC, or “return on citizenship,” can be defined as, “The value of services that a citizen feels he/she receives from a public entity in exchange for his/her tax dollars.” It’s basically the equivalent of return on investment (ROI) but for the public sector.
In short, when selecting a new ERP system to run your government agency, please be a good host and keep your cookie jar well-stocked to keep your citizens happy.
Learn more by downloading our on-demand webinar on Organizational Change Management: A Critical (and Often Overlooked) ERP Implementation Success Factor.