Why is a Business Process Review Critical in Your ERP Implementation?

September 25, 2018 John Lischefska

If you are contemplating an ERP implementation such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, completing a business process review is critical to the overall success of the system. It’s an essential step and needs to occur in the early stages of the project, whether conducted internally and/or with partners.

Typically, the Western Computer team performs a business process review as part of the Fit/Gap Analysis phase of the implementation project. This saves time and money by shortening the development cycle. Don’t be tempted to skip the business process review or you can end up with an ERP system that simply automates outdated and inefficient business processes!

 

What is a Business Process Review?

A business process is the sequence of activities or steps required to complete one of the major tasks for a client to serve its customers and compete successfully. In Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, these high-level business processes include tasks such as:

  • Order-to-Cash
  • Procure-to-Pay
  • Plan-to-Ship

The purpose of the business process review is to take the processes that are embodied in the Dynamics 365 system and compare them to the way the customer does that process today. The review is typically done as a team and includes system architects and functional analysts. Working through each task, the team maps each process to how it is performed within Dynamics 365. After analyzing the business environment to see what fits, modifications often occur, either to the customer business process or the system. It is important to note that fewer system modifications result in shorter implementation times and easier support going forward.

 

What is the Western Computer Approach?

We map the customer’s current business processes to the those embodied in the solution. By comparing how the customer performs key business processes to the way those business processes are implemented in Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, we can determine which customer processes “fit” the capabilities of the system and the areas where there are “gaps.” Then we use this fit/gap analysis to identify and document key processes. Among the supplemental tools that can be used to identify and document a company’s business processes are:

  • user interviews
  • monitoring key employees as they perform the various tasks
  • using key employees to brainstorm and document the processes
  • comparing the company’s way of performing tasks to standard business processes

In the end, the overall objective of the business process review remains the same. It is vital to understand how a company serves its customers so the sequences of activities can be tailored to effectively perform all tasks. In implementing Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, we use the fit/gap analysis technique to determine as-is processes, identify best practices for new processes, and plot the course for a successful implementation that enables the customer to better serve its customers, to grow the business, and to prosper. Please reach out today to find out more about our approach and how it will help your business. 

About the Author

John Lischefska

John Lischefska is Product Manager at Western Computer and manages the design and development of the company’s software applications. During his 35-year career, he has designed, developed and delivered numerous production and supply chain software solutions, including a number supporting wholesalers. In addition to performance improvement systems, his work has included supply chain planning solution, shop and warehouse automation systems and projects apply analytics and artificial intelligence to distribution and manufacturing processes. Prior to joining Western, he was Director of Business Development for LINKFRESH and earlier served as Director of Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain Industry Product Management at Microsoft.

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