Power of Empowering - The new perspective of ERP implementations
The success of ERP does not mean to have very tight control in every transaction that need to be performed. Control without affecting the productivity is fine but excessive controls only adds headache for the people performing the transactions as well as their managers too. Let me share my experience in some of the ERP implementations where the employees are empowered and made meaningful decisions for the overall benefit of the business.
Case1: In one of the ERP Implementation the department manager is very clear to define the requirements as not to impose the approval limits to the buyers as they are supposed to honor the demand that comes from the user department and know the price they need to pay. The approval limits will not only make the buyer limited about his responsibilities and increases the work throughout the approval hierarchy. Rather few reports have been made to know the purchase committed cost on a daily, weekly basis. The belief is that the buyer is supposed to know what he is ordering, how much he is ordering and at what price. If not the buyer is not suitable for the assignment they are assigned with. The buyers have already been approved by way of providing access to the system. Hence additional approvals are not required. This shows the confidence that the organization has put on the buyers and buyers were pride for performing their job without any limitations. This is the power of empowerment that eases the implementation.
Case2:In an another implementation we were demoing basic functionality of ERP and consultants have shown all the controls available in purchasing and payment process whereas not many controls were existed in Order management or sales invoicing process. Traditionally many controls were available for purchase and payment processes and less or nil controls for sales order processes. This made the client very surprised and their business processes requires more control on top line that comes from the sales orders invoicing than the payment process where which controls the bottom line. Most of the sales reps were new to the organization and less experienced. As we know every organization requires control of top and bottom lines. But lack of control on top line can result in no control on the bottom line. Hence it makes sense for the implementation team to put more controls on sales order processes than purchase processes. This is certainly a new perspective of ERP implementation and a shift from the traditional design.
Case3: In this case the ERP team is of the opinion that the there is need to establish a very tight control and provide access for the specific functions and menus for the users including department managers. The sponsor of the project made it very clear to the project team not to spend any effort and introduce such measures. The management was very clear that if a manager does not know what and how to perform his functions is not fit to be in that position. Hence grant all the accesses and leave it to the discretion of the manager to perform his duties. This shows the confidence and trust of the management had in the managers. This is again a shift from the traditional implementation.
There can be many more cases like this where ERP is used to empower the employees and instill controls where necessary only. The lesson here is empowering is the key to the success in the modern times.