Companies tend to accept the status quo of their ERP system while operational performance deteriorates until they can no longer bear it. This is the point where they enter another ERP selection cycle. It doesn’t have to be like this. A continuous improvement approach — like those used in other parts of your business — can be applied to your business processes and supporting systems. While we may not know what the future will look like in five years, we do know that it will be different. The only constant is change. In such an environment agility trumps the best laid plans.
Toward a Continuous Improvement Approach
The rigid nature of ERP stems from attitudes on both the ERP vendor and customer sides. It can be found in the software, services and customer engagement strategies of traditional ERP vendors. At QAD we play a different role. Our vision is to help our customers become an Effective Enterprise where all business process are running at peak efficiency and perfectly aligned to their business strategy. In an ever changing world, continuous improvement is a fundamental requirement for achieving this vision.
Through award winning customer engagement, QAD delivers a continuous improvement process to ensure alignment for the long term between your business strategy, the people, process and best practices you utilize to achieve your goals and the technology that supports it. In an ever-changing environment, the design of your ERP implementation is less important than the agility of your ERP solution to respond to change.
The QAD Customer Engagement Program
We meet with each customer, every year, to understand their business challenges and how they can overcome them. These are not sales pitches. These are unpaid consulting engagements based on the simple idea that successful customers will become long-term customers.
We conduct a deep discovery process that allows customers to understand their current business goals and challenges, and work to determine root causes.
During this engagement cycle we start by looking at high level processes to steer the initial discussion. Through discovery we identify your specific processes and review areas unique to your model.
High Level Processes
Customer Specific Processes
We evaluate performance against desired outcomes, leveraging our KPI framework, discuss the process, skills, and best practices that impact these outcomes. It is very likely that source of performance issues exists outside or in addition to the technology. Often it is about alignment. The framework acts both as a diagnostic tool and a roadmap for addressing your business challenges.
The framework is focused around the areas where we can help find the greatest improvement.
QAD Key Performance Indicators (Level 1 Metrics)
We meet with our customers’ senior executives to discuss our findings as part of the vision workshop. The outcome of these efforts is a series of alternatives that can drive meaningful improvement in focus metrics by improving business processes and supporting them with a rational set of software. Often the Vision process identifies how to use current assets better – without need for new software or services.
Where alternatives generate significant interest, deeper dive assessments are available to further validate and quantify the potential value. We call these assessments Q-Scans. They are predefined engagements with agreed deliverables focused on specific areas identified in the Vision process.
Q-Scans are both diagnostic and prescriptive. They are led by QAD consultants to focus on a specific area of business and can be customized based on specific needs and goals.
Alternatives once adequately researched can turn into projects. Each project starts with a baseline measurement and concludes with an outcome measurement of the metrics the projects was designed to improve. The comparison of outcomes to baselines allows us to assess the value delivered and optimize where needed. The value we deliver is the means by which we retain the privilege of having you as a customer.
QAD works with customers as partners through our customer engagement process in an effort to support continuous improvement efforts. Gaps in performance are highlighted and alternatives presented. The result is an ERP that provides greater fit with and in support of business needs, one that provides value into the future, and is agile to respond to a changing business environment.