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At Panorama, we have been known to talk ourselves blue in the face about the benefits of business blueprinting. In fact, it’s one of our favorite tasks to perform for a client because the result offers both immediate and long-term rewards. Blueprinting gives organizations the opportunity to design improved processes to not only better business but also to integrate into a new ERP system. Unfortunately, responses analyzed in our forthcoming 2012 ERP Report (to be released Wednesday) show that more than two out of five (41-percent) of respondents changed their business processes to fit their ERP software. While this is OK for areas that are non-differentiating (e.g., human resources, accounting, etc.), processes that provide differentiation should never be changed to fit ERP software. And those processes, as identified in a business blueprint, should be the absolute best you can make them — not necessarily the ones you’re currently using. Additional benefits of blueprinting include:

  • Competitive Edge. Blueprinting identifies areas that need to be maintained and protected during ERP implementation to avoid losing processes that give a company its competitive edge. If you select and implement enterprise software without conducting due diligence on your company’s own needs, you run the risk of losing processes that earn revenue and/or expand market share.
  • Training Needs. Improving and redesigning processes via a business blueprint provides visibility into training needs that must  be addressed as part of an overall organizational change management strategy. As a result, an organization can be proactive in designing, delivering and addressing training to mitigate the risks rightfully associated with this magnitude of change.
  • Organizational Change Management. Any time there are role changes or reduced headcount due to software efficiency gains, it produces fear within an organization. Understanding how processes will change, and the result of those changes, gives an organization time to address the changes appropriately to reduce the fear and negative impact to company morale. This type of forward-thinking management reduces the risk of losing key people and mitigates any organizational distress that could impact the implementation and usage of the ERP system.

Don’t make the mistake of rushing into selection and implementation without taking the time to conduct thorough blueprinting and process-mapping. You and your team are the ones who know your company and understand its needs the best — certainly more than your ERP vendor or whomever came up with the canned “best practices” supposedly used “industry-wide.” For more information on business blueprinting, view our on-demand webinar, Tips on How to Build a Business Blueprint for ERP Systems. And be sure to check this site on Wednesday to download the 2012 ERP Report.