ERP Consulting & Implementation
Your Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) should represent the core of your business. It depends on your company’s goals, processes, operations and people and is always unique. This leads to a very large amount of systems for various industries and organization sizes. We help you to navigate through the jungle of choosing the right ERP, gathering your needs, optimizing your processes, implementing your new ERP system, improving it over time and running it efficiently.
In the end, we have only one goal in mind: creating a competitive advantage for your company by optimizing your business with efficiently running IT systems. Here we show you how we will deliver on this promise. But let’s start at the beginning (if you just want to know what we offer you can check the list at the end of this page).
What exactly is an ERP system?
The Enterprise Resource Planning System (or short: ERP) core task is to help you run your business as smoothly and efficiently as possible. In detail, the ERP helps you manage, steer and plan
- routine business processes (e.g. sending invoices by email automatically),
- deployment of assets, employees, material & capital (e.g. plan machinery)
with the goal of making your business better, more profitable and subsequently giving you a competitive advantage.
It supports you hands-on to run all core processes of your business, for example:
- lead-to-quote-to-order: talking to a potential customer, sending a quote and signing the order
- order-to-invoice-to-cash: selling a product or service, delivering it to the customer, sending an invoice, enforcing payments
- purchase-to-pay: buying something from a supplier, tracking the delivery, receiving & checking the invoice and paying it
Every industry has different use cases and challenges. Schedule a free 1 hour consultation to discuss your use case.
The main goals of improving an existing or implementing a new ERP system are:
- Combating margin pressure in your industry by eliminating inefficiencies
- Curing your growth pains by creating standardized processes and automating routine tasks
- Achieving compliance with regulations by tracking information throughout your organisation
- Data driven management & decision making on real time business information
You can find out how to get started in our extensive ERP guide or continue reading to see how we support you in the process.
What we offer to make your ERP system a success
Throughout the lifecycle of your ERP system, you have to (1) select the system & vendor, (2) analyze and model your processes, (3) implement the system, (4) import & optimize your data, (5) end-to-end test all processes, (6) go live and (7) maintain, upgrade your system and receive support. If you are in a compliance heavy industry or to uncover the true state of your current system an (8) ERP audit could be necessary.
1) Select an ERP system & vendor
1. Potential analysis
To find the right system & service provider for your ERP project it is crucial to understand the potentials. This will give you a good idea of how much money can be saved and thus how much you can invest for a positive return on your investment.
For this assessment, we analyze the current system, processes and your midterm strategy. Afterwards we identify potentials including new processes, redesign and automation of existing processes and possible integrations with your team. Additionally, we evaluate how your mid term strategy can be supported best and if new business projects can be automated from the beginning. In the end, the potentials are gathered and presented to management with a first idea of possible savings.
If analyzing the potential for your ERP is too narrow for you, check out our services regarding a full-fledged IT strategy and company spanning architecture.
2. ERP Architecture definition
Designing the best architecture, module combination and tools requires fully understanding your business & processes. Building on the learnings from the potential analysis we select standard ERP modules, 3rd party apps, new developments and additional software that will be used.
After selecting all systems we can map out the main process steps and how they flow through the modules. In the last step, all contact points with other systems and the integration into your IT infrastructure are defined.
3. Preliminary requirements analysis
By conducting workshops with your teams and gathering related information from existing documentation, we build a complete requirement specification. The focus is on having a first picture of the most important needs and their priority.
The specification does not only span usability, use cases and specific features, but also technical requirements and integrations.
In the end, we cross reference the requirements with business goals and build a final functional specification document to enable service partners to create offers for your ERP project.
4. Market overview
With your requirements set we can compile a list of relevant implementation partners and systems. This enables you to receive a multitude of offers and different options and attached cost points.
In the end, it can be advantageous to receive multiple offers and check multiple partners to find the best fit for you on the budget, timeframe, requirements and personal level.
5. Request for proposal / call for tenders & vetting vendors
Using our list of systems & vendors we request proposals for the implementation or start a call for tender. We help you by analyzing the offers, vetting the vendor and the technology, asking the right questions in the demos, uncover the true final cost and rank systems & vendors by total cost of ownership (TCO) over 5 and 10 years.
2) Analyze and model processes
1. Process modeling
The core of operating a company is having robust, efficient and fast processes. Improving them requires a full picture of the core processes. Therefore we work with your team to define all core processes, model their current state and company peculiarities and competitive advantages.
In the end, you receive documentation and graphical overview of all your processes and a list of the low hanging fruits for improvement. This enables you to start becoming more efficient right away and also lays the groundwork for in detail requirements.
2. Process automation
Our core offering at much. Consulting is making your business more efficient.
If you are interested in introducing new automated processes, automate existing processes or rebuild them from scratch, have a look at all the information about the most efficient processes.
3) Introducing a new ERP system
Introducing a new ERP system puts a lot of work and pressure on your company. We help you by adding experience, skill and man power in all areas. No matter if you need us to develop your apps, set up or evolve processes & automations or set up change management plans & train your employees, our competent team can support you wherever needed.
The majority of your requirements are already developed in the system. To use the features available to the most extent, our consultants know exactly how they work and how they need to be configured.
In the initial set up we add all your companies and entities, languages, currencies and install all needed apps, modules and extensions. Afterwards the base data is created and configured so your core processes can easily & efficiently be run in the system. This includes customer data, product data, bills of materials, supplier information and many more. Afterwards, our module experts will support you in areas such as:
- CRM & sales
- warehouse, logistics & supply chain management
- purchasing & vendor integration
- manufacturing management
- service delivery, time tracking & project management
- billing, finance, accounting & controlling
- BI, forecasting & planning
Requirements that cannot be reasonably well satisfied the system has to be customized. Here, we have a focus on staying close to the standard and minimizing intrusion into the core of the systems to save cost in maintaining the system and keeping it as simple as possible. Customizing includes the creation of new modules, an extension of existing modules with new features, adding new interfaces, processes, buttons, fields, actions & workflows.
As our development team is highly skilled (minimum computer science-related university degree), experienced and located in Munich, Germany we can deliver the highest quality and fastest turnaround times. Also, the close collaboration between developers and consultants ensures that customizations are not underestimated and the developed features meet the requirements exactly.
3. ERP Integration
Your ERP system is only as good as the data in the system. To avoid manual data entry, we integrate all systems that touch your business processes. This includes incoming transactions from shop systems (Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce & Shopware), One-to-One CRM solutions (e.g. Salesforce, Pipedrive & Hubspot) or industry specific solutions (e.g. booking engines), but also a direct connection to your logistics provider, shipping services (package & pallet), call center, finance systems (e.g. DATEV) and other custom systems. For many common systems, we work with standard connectors that we can adopt to your specific needs.
4. Usability optimization
Enabling your employees to use the ERP is one of the key factors for adopting efficient processes into day to day life. Therefore, next to training [> training], we optimize the usability for your specific needs, so your employees can use the system easily and effectively.
To find the most important pain points we analyze the system usage and business relevance to identify an ABC pattern and have a starting point to optimize. Next, we either add additional training for the employees or improve the usability to make the system easier to use.
5. Document design
Professional, exactly fitting documents are often lacking in ERP systems. Either the standard designs do not meet all functional requirements or the design language lacks professionalism. We help you by creating 100% fitting documents based on our existing designs to solve the conflict between fit and cost for you.
The most common documents in the ERP system are quotes, sales orders, invoices, delivery slips, call for proposal, investor reportings, timesheets and email templates. Additionally, specialized documents for authorities (e.g. VAT reports), investors (e.g. monthly reporting) and tariff documents can be created according to your individual requirements.
6. Business intelligence
Your ERP system will hold the most important data in your company. Thus, we make information accessible by providing standard reports and configuring individual dashboards.
Additionally, we offer a broad range of data services, including advanced analytics reports and statistical forecasting. For the most advanced wishes, we bring the ERP data into your data warehouse and support your BI team to interpret the data in place.
7. Project, Change Management & Training
The most underestimated dimension of large IT projects are the people that will work in the systems. To deliver all requirements on time and budget we provide a wide variety of project management service. Additionally, we also support your organization in adopting new processes and a new system through Change Management consulting.
Training, reviews and user testing are at the core of our project cycle. This enables all employees to get used to the system early on. At the end of each project milestone, a full training is held and recorded for future training.
In our unique project management tool, we also track all questions, concerns and build an FAQ to provide everyone instant access to all relevant questions.
4) Optimize and import data
Moving from an old ERP system to a new one is often a great occasion to clean up and to get rid of legacy issues. This is especially true for base data.
1. Base data optimization
Base data is all data that is shared and always required to work in your ERP and includes products, customer & vendor contacts, prices, bills of material and more. To bring this data into a new system, we analyze the existing data & structure, define minimum quality requirements for future automation and perform needed clean ups and transition it into the new structure. In the new system, we implement ongoing data quality checks and create responsibilities & roles for ongoing improvements.
2. Data migration
After the base data is optimized and restructured we import it into the new system. Building on this base data we transition all important data points e.g.:
- Sales: quotes, orders, deliveries
- Purchases: frame agreements, vendor prices, incoming deliveries
- Inventory: warehouse structure, stock levels, serial/batch numbers
- Accounting: chart of accounts, account moves, cost accounts, budgets, payments, follow ups
This process is set up in a repeatable and testable way, so we can make sure it works before go live and import differences between the initial migration and the point of go live. Most ERP consultants and implementers dread the work of migrating data as it is cumbersome, difficult and requires high skill. We at much. believe you need your past data to work successfully in the future. Thus, we have developed tools and processes to reliably transition your data with limited effort and a relatively low price. For many systems we have experience and existing templates we adopt for your needs to be as efficient as possible.
One of the top 6 reasons why ERP systems fail is insufficient testing. To avoid this obstacle we have multiple layers of testing.
Every piece of customization will always be tested by the developer to avoid technical errors. Next, the responsible project manager or consultant reviews the change in the interface to find mismatches between the implementation and the requirements. Afterwards we hand over the ticket to the requesting team with information on how to use and test the feature. In our project cycle, users will have one initial point to review and later get a full 2-3 weeks period for testing thoroughly.
In the last step before going live, we test all main processes end-to-end to identify issues that arise in the collaboration of multiple modules and with the integrations. This dry-run ensures avoiding major surprises in the go live week.
Additional to the interface testing we provide automated unit, integration and interface tests. Those are run on every new increment of the software and won’t allow modifications to be added if they lead to failing tests. With this automation, tricky issues can be found faster and earlier in the process. This is especially important for large custom components.
Schedule a one hour free consulting session
to discuss your needs with our experts
6) Go live support
Bringing a new system live is usually difficult enough if everything goes perfectly. But issues arising when the system goes live without enough support can lead to a bad experience. We help you to get through by being on site as the first contact point for user issues, to categorize issues quickly and resolve critical ones immediately. We always got your back.
7) Upgrades, maintenance & support
After the initial go live, your ERP system goes into a more steady state. Often, additional features are added over time and new processes are introduced. But the system also needs upgrades, maintenance and user support.
Systems we work with usually automatically install non security updates and bug fixes. Additionally, the release of new features is fully automated. This leads to very few cases where the system actually has to be upgraded. The most important one is the major version upgrade. Next to installing the update, existing customizations have to be adjusted to work in the changing environment. This often leads to the removal of customizations, if they are introduced as standard features. After bringing all capabilities over, your data has to be migrated as well. This can be a challenge especially when data structures change.
To avoid jumping multiple releases at once, we usually try to upgrade our customer every 12 to 18 months. This reduces the overall cost and brings new features into play quicker.
If analyzing the potential for your ERP is too narrow for you, check out our services regarding a full-fledged IT strategy and company spanning architecture [> IT Strategy & architecture].
As our system is now up to date, we still have to maintain the code base by refactoring and cleaning up, resolving issues, fixing technical bugs, optimizing performance, extending the technical documentation, ensuring availability and adding cosmetic features. Also, if changes on integrated systems happen, we identify them and adopt our integrations accordingly.
We make sure that our customer’s system is in a good state, always online, cheap to maintain and easy to upgrade.
A system running flawlessly on the technical side should also be used in the most efficient way by the users. With our support packages, all users receive access to our customer portal with the possibility to report bugs and ask questions. All questions will be answered and documented as an FAQ item with screenshots and videos. This enables all the following users to check out already asked questions and helps us work more efficiently for you by answering questions only once.
Additionally, our knowledge database also includes all recordings of workshops and training in the past so new employees can be sent in to get onboarded quickly.
Overall we help you by managing and documenting your ERP knowledge, answering all questions, fixing & identifying user mistakes, training existing and new employees, explaining new features and gathering all new requirements in one place
8) ERP audit
If you have an old ERP, a running implementation or just released a new ERP, it can be either required for compliance or helpful by identifying the current state, to conduct an ERP audit. Here we provide the analysis of a system for compliance or an audit of an off track implementation.
When analyzing the system, we review all existing core & support processes in areas like purchasing, logistic, warehouse, manufacturing, service, production and finance. We audit for future readiness, base technologies and chance of using all efficiency potentials.