Consider this scenario. It's 12 months after the 'go-live' of your new ERP system. The management team invested to cut costs, bring products to market sooner, comply with regulations, and improve core end-to-end processes, like the order-to-cash process.
So, what do you say when the CEO is asking why your company didn't reduce the "order-to-cash" cycle time by 10 percent,as planned? Even if your company has an effective, integrated ERP system, chances are you won't have a good answer. Because, even the 'best of breed' ERP systems don't give the business stakeholders sufficient visibility into what's actually happening to ensure performance improvements.
- Are employees actually using the right transactions to execute the business process?
- Are system problems and slow performance impacting productivity?
- Are the employees efficient, or are they making significant errors?
- Are the transactions effective, or are they cumbersome, requiring employee-invented workarounds?
There's a new type of software solution that can give you those answers and not leave you hanging: end-user experience and performance management(EPM). EPM solutions give organizations a global perspective on the performance an application delivers to the end-users and then go beyond that to monitor end-user adoption, utilization and performance. This complete picture of the end-user experience and behavior is catching CIO's attention because it can simultaneous improve both application and end-user performance.
ROI isn't real, until it's realized.
It's the end-users of the enterprise applications who execute the transactions that drive the processes that drive the business. The most critical factor determining your long-term business results from an ERP application is the ability of your end-users to effectively execute your business processes. This means that each of your end-users must:
- Adopt and use the application
- Be able to effectively execute the key functions for their specific role
- Reach a level of proficiency where they can execute efficiently
There's a new generation of solutions that can give you those answers and not leave your CEO hanging: end-user experience and performance management (EPM). EPM solutions give organizations a new focus on end-user adoption, utilization and performance, uniquely capturing a complete picture of the end-user experience and behavior, including:
- Comprehensive application utilization metrics: which transactions are used, in what sequence and for how long?
- Actual user-experienced response time metrics: which transactions are slow and inefficient leading to unproductive employees?
- Comprehensive system, application and end-user error metrics: What critical errors do users encounter? Where are users having specific issues, and what training is required? Which individual users need specific assistance?
To understand the impact of this insight, consider the following scenario concerning a billion-dollar heavy equipment manufacturer in Georgia. One core priority for this manufacturer was to improve the order-to-cash (OTC) process. This process comprises a number of unique business processes, from order entry to cash receipt. Because most companies are functionally managed, the order-to-cash process usually touches multiple enterprise applications and departments including sales, order entry, order fulfillment and accounting. Therefore, it is important for each department to complete its part of the overall process error free and transfer correct information across functional boundaries.
Eighteen months after this company had implemented a new ERP application to improve process efficiency, the order-to-cash cycle had not improved. And no one could really pinpoint the root cause of the performance shortfall. The company implemented an End User Experience and Performance Management solution to "take the guess work" out of managing the ERP application. Executives discovered, within weeks, that the OTC process was compromised by ineffective and inefficient transactional execution.
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