Within any organization, there are bound to be organizational silos. Whether your organization has data accessibility silos or cultural silos, implementing ERP software may be one of the best ways to break through these isolating barriers.
One way that silos are created is when different departments and job sites use different tools, technology and standards for inputting and analyzing data. The finance department may be using the full capabilities of a Tier I ERP system while the manufacturing department is pulling data and manipulating or adding to it in Excel and never reconciling the two. This technological inconsistency creates silos of unstandardized data that an organization cannot rely on as the one version of truth it needs to make sound decisions.
Implementing one ERP system companywide and ensuring that it’s used in the same way by all departments not only increases the reliability of business data but also serves to break down departmental silos. For example, if the sales department signs a contract to sell 500 units, this information somehow needs to be communicated to manufacturing so that the inventory can be checked, the job scheduled and so forth. Through its use, ERP software can unite these functions by automating information sharing and unite employees by encouraging communication.
Following are three ERP implementation strategies that will ensure your organization achieves the standardization and organizational collaboration it expects from its ERP software:
1. Meet with managers and executives to clarify organizational goals and determine what silos are hindering these goals the most. These are the silos that your organization will need to focus on during its business process reengineering and organizational change management efforts.
2. Conduct business process management workshops to determine what processes should be reengineered to enable better collaboration. Involve employees from a variety of departments so that they understand the upstream and downstream interdependencies between processes.
3. Designate departmental liaisons to supervise employees and ensure they are using the new system to manipulate and exchange data in a standardized method. Develop an organizational change management plan that includes employee training and communication.
With the right amount of business process reengineering and organizational change management, ERP software can increase collaboration within your organization and dissolve silos caused by process and communication breakdowns.
Learn more by downloading our latest analysis, The 2013 ERP Report: Organizational Change and Business Process Management.