The future of enterprise resource planning belongs to postmodern ERP software, modular systems that integrate data from both back-end administration and real-time performance to finally uncover all the once-hidden clockwork guts of industrial businesses and the sums of their processes. What results from this is streamlined operations, efficiency in automation and less work leading to greater returns.
There is, however, one gigantic catch: You have to know how to use it right.
From now until 2018, 80 percent of businesses with postmodern ERP in place will not execute on their ERP strategies as best as they could, according to Gartner. Even with a new look and advanced functionality, many users will still hit the same bumps in the road as always, such as overdrawn integration and high implementation costs. Why? Because these adopters have yet to correct how they think about ERP and act on the intelligence therein.
What is a bimodal IT strategy, and how can applying it to ERP guarantee the efforts businesses expend on their latest technology upgrade?
Success with postmodern resource planning solutions requires a bimodal approach, something that has garnered heaps of praise in IT circles but has yet to reach ERP specifically. What is a bimodal IT strategy, and how can applying it to postmodern ERP guarantee the efforts businesses expend on their latest technology upgrade?
Bimodal IT Part One: Playing it safe and smart
As we'll demonstrate, bimodal IT involves the simultaneous management of two distinct, interlocking growth methodologies, the first being one that is careful, measured and predictable. Such is the way of traditional ERP, and that's not a knock. ERP certainly has to be reliable. After all, these systems are made up of data channels around which whole businesses are built.
In this one sense, ERP-endowed organizations must use their solutions to take the data they have and apply it confidently in ways that will, without question, improve operations. Data sharing between sales and inventory is one such connection. Any sales representative who can access up-to-the-second records or send out a procurement order in a flash will convert leads to sales at a much higher clip.
Bimodal IT Part Two: Breaking molds and taking names
The second bimodal model is all about exploration, experimentation and risk-taking. Innovation cannot happen without cracking a few eggs, so to speak. Businesses these days are not static enterprises. They evolve constantly, and this shapelessness - fueled by cloud computing, the internet of things and enterprise mobility - demands an ERP solution equally as flexible and agile.
Postmodern ERP is the end of an era, but it is also the beginning of a new epoch of challenges. Tomorrow's problems have no guidebook. Leaders in the industrial sector will write it themselves using trial and error. When those businesses execute well on this half of the bimodal equation, they will have the capacity to scope out the frontier, try things out and bounce back from trouble unscathed. Applying enterprise mobility management tools to a burgeoning on-site mobility program is one such example.
Where these two roads converge, in the place where businesses can balance both the foreseeable and unknown, that's where postmodern ERP thrives. If your company wants a postmodern resource planning system capable of encouraging bimodal thinking, decision-makers should look for these three qualities:
1. Integration explained
The complexity of postmodern ERP is not to be trifled with. But just as adopters have an obligation to learn, ERP vendors have an obligation to teach. How will users recognize assured success or the next wild opportunity when they see them?
Trust an ERP partner with tons of expertise and a commitment to outreach that can deploy teams and train users on the ins and outs of next-gen resource planning.
2. Modular design
To avoid those high costs that have long plagued ERP implementation and day-to-day operations, don't settle for bulky software packages with features you don't need or can't use. Instead, be on the lookout for highly customizable solutions that also play well with third-party integrations you plan to keep.
This serves both sides of the bimodal coin: Your business builds the system it needs now and can develop it cost-efficiently as things change. That way, discovering new ways to do business won't require a complete overhaul.
3. Automation for everything
If postmodern ERP adopters aren't careful, the intricacy of these systems will consume them whole. Big data is both a blessing and a curse. Prediction and experimentation alike deserve Postmodern ERP that ultimately reduces data entry and manual "fact-finding." Information should flow frictionlessly to all immediate stakeholders and be available to whomever might need it otherwise.
How will harmony between cloud-based, mobile postmodern ERP and bimodal thinking carry your team to greatness in your industry? That depends on how you plan to compete. For information on how the future of the manufacturing sector will disrupt the very nature of competition, check out our latest e-book, Unbounded Manufacturing.