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Everyone has heard the proverbial saying, “Garbage in, garbage out”.   If you’re considering implementing an ERP software solution to solve your data problems, you need to first establish a vision – “The what and the why” as well as “The how?”

Here are some steps needed prior to selecting or purchasing an ERP software solution:

  • Assess the Current State of Master Data
    • Scrub the data where needed, by de-duplication efforts, standardize common data fields and then enforce standardization.
    • Ensure that any historical data is suitable for the changes that are taking place in the organization.
    •  An Information Difference survey in 2011 found that only 40% of organizations made any attempt to enforce data quality across the enterprise.
    • The more thorough and clean the data is, the more success you will have in integration, testing and go-ive!
  • Identify Master Data and Assign Business Data Owners
    • As long as issues with data are seen as “an IT problem” it will be hard to make progress.
    • Business owners are critical for establishing standards and guidelines to maintain quality and thorough data.
    • IT staff should participate in identifying the data flow, integration points  where the data is being updated and from what data sources.
  • Start to Establish Data Governance
    • Assign specific business owners (not IT) responsibilities for data consistency and quality  and set up the organizations and processes to make this work.
    • The more “buy-in” from the business, the more success you will have.
  • Don’t Wait for the ERP project – Start Clean up Now!!
    • Begin by picking a small, manageable data area that is causing a current business pain point (customer data,product data, item data, etc.,)
    • Once the organization sees the improvement, others will want to join the bandwagon.

Organizations that successfully use an ERP software solution to align all activities with their business vision will be in a position to access the right information at the right time. Allowing for better, faster and  more strategic decisions.

Written by Kim Harrington, Senior Lead Manager at Panorama Consulting Solutions.