September 27, 2019

ERP Implementation: Building Strong Foundations

The Technology Driver for Industry 4.0 and how to make it a reality

Industry 4.0 is discussed a lot these days. It has a number of specific areas that need to be considered for manufacturing companies wanting to embrace the technology. The most crucial place to start is the underlying database. As this will affect the future and the migration to a next generation ERP system based on artificial intelligence (AI).

The SAP HANA database that SAP Business One uses has built in intelligence to help with this. It will analyse data in real time and provide automatic commentary and insights into the information you are looking at. SAP HANA and SAP Business One will essentially give you the answer before you ask the question. It’s always best to base insights on huge volumes of data, such as real time information from the shop floor. This allows AI to provide much more detailed insights into trends and solutions.

Intelligent Computing

After implementing SAP HANA, our customers who manufacture equipment can embed devices in their products. These then feedback vast amounts of real time data. Which means they can keep track of information about the usage and condition of their devices in the field. This simply wasn’t possible before SAP HANA and means they now benefit from a huge customer service advantage. This type of advantage only used to be possible in the realm of blue-chip companies. However it now comes as standard for SMEs with the latest offering from SAP.

Chosing the right implementation team

Manufacturers often struggle to understand the amount of effort they need to put in to introduce a new ERP system. The due diligence required in selecting an appropriate solution alone is considerable, and it doesn’t stop there. It’s important to assemble key stakeholders and make sure they have a complete understanding of the process. The fundamental keystone of the project is making sure everyone understands exactly what you want the system to do.

At Ochiba we start every project with education. It’s vital that everyone knows how a project is going to run. As well as being comfortable with the checks and controls in place to keep things moving. Then, the stakeholders from around the business need to give their valuable time and share their business knowledge. They’re the ones that know how the critical activities for that company need to take place. These people have to educate the ERP provider about their specific system requirements. Then gather and cleanse data, test the system in a sandbox environment and provide feedback.

At the outset of a project, much of the emphasis is placed on the ERP provider. They are busy gathering requirements and helping the business to analyse how to get as much benefit as possible from the new system. However, as the project progresses, the burden of effort inevitably shifts to the manufacturer. At this point a strong implementation team will make all the difference as they battle day to day business issues against the pull of the project.

At Ochiba, we do everything we can to help potential and existing customers. We make sure that they understand time demands by providing an overview of the project tasks and a potential schedule up front. We then support the customer in delivering these to their business. The most successful projects are those where the key stakeholders within the company really take ownership of the project. They can see the potential benefits that the new system will bring and are happy to champion the change throughout the business in partnership with their ERP provider.