December 14, 2009

The first time I was exposed to a guaranteed ERP implementation advert, I had to check the calendar.  Nope, not April 1.  Quick look around – nobody watching me quietly grinning, no sign of hidden cameras…  OK, better read it again – I must be missing something obvious.

” We guarantee a successful ERP implementation, following our simple 2-step process.  First we carefully analyse and model your business, then we change your business to make it fit the software”

Today I would put my glasses on and try again, but that was a long time ago and my sight was perfect.  OK, I give up – I dont get it.  Am I supposed to laugh, cry, what?  Yes, it was one of those laugh and cry situations – funny to you but real and so you want to cry.  I could not imagine people actually choosing to do this – I had technology and processes that could easily develop a perfect-fit solution, yet people were willing to pay good money for a generic solution (although guaranteed implementation success). 

ERP had such a bad name that companies had to do that – guarantee success – to get a foot in. 

Now in reality, there could be nothing better than an all-in-one integrated ERP system that covers every aspect of an Enterprises systems.  No duplication or integration hassles.  All reporting data available at one place.  Beautiful.  And in real time.  Almost. 

Whats missing?  Well, the endpoints of your business – the customers and suppliers.  They are outside the Enterprise.  They are part f the larger community that touches your Enterprise.  They need access to your ERP system – so we have rebranded ours CRP – Community Resource Planning – because we love to open portals for customers and suppliers to create and manage orders, accounts etc.

Now thats better.  A single source of truth – all data in one integrated system, that is open to the community and all in real time.  And 100% customised fit for your business.

So you ask how technology and processes can achieve that at reasonable cost?  Easy – nothing different than we’ve been talking about.  Abstract business objects, complete separation of business layer from presentation layer, rich/thin clients and enhanced Business Process Modelling.

I can inherit from a string.  I can inherit from a business object like a person.  I can inherit a parent class and recast its aggregate children to a better class at the same time (see https://expanz.wordpress.com/2009/11/10/multi-context-inheritance-and-other-space-time-phenonema/).  Finally, I can inherit an ERP CRP system.  In a single line, I inherit a full system, and then I customise it.  Inherit, not copy/paste.  With screens, yes I can copy/paste because there is no code there – just layout.  In fact I use that process – screen customisation – to help with the gap analysis, leaving behind tailored functional screens.  Easy.

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