In Your Mind, What Would the Best ERP Software Look Like ?

“ The Simple System, the one you always wanted”

 

Have you ever been asked: In your mind, what would the best ERP software  information and accounting system look like?

If so, might your answer have been something like this?

It would know every detail about everything my company ever did. And if I had any possible question about anything that ever happened in my company, I would always have an answer, within seconds. It would make no difference as to who did it, who recorded it, where it took place, or where I happened to be when I asked the question. This information system would be simple, easy to use, and, seeing as we are asking for what might be the impossible anyway, it would also be very affordable, even for my small company.

Just to add a bit more assurance to my investment, I would also request that it be one hundred percent virus proof, as well as be every bit as hacker proof as humanly possible. Being blazingly fast and featuring 99.99 percent or better up-time; well, I would take that too.

Now that you have presented us a bird’s eye view of what it would look like, what would it do for you?

Decisions are always based on information and the more accurate and more timely the information, the better my decision should be so it would be designed so that every piece of data it picked up would be validated before being written to disk. That way, at least theoretically, there would be no errors in my data.

But, just to be on the safe side, and because we all sometimes do make honest mistakes, or unexpected changes do occur, it would also be able to totally and instantly reverse existing entries, with just a keystroke or two, And, then, in another keystroke or two, I’d then be able to copy the original entry and make it look exactly as it should have been entered in the first place.

When I finally post my replacement entry, it would be an absolutely one hundred percent correct entry and have a perfect audit trail for everything everybody had done along the way. You couldn’t possibly ask for better than that.

Besides promoting pristine data, it would be constructed so new things could easy be tried without disruption to existing data or data workflows. That way innovation would be able to flourish resulting in new winning strategies being developed and implemented before the competition. It would make no difference what I or the company wanted to do in the future, the system could easily and readily adapt to its new environment, readily adapt to virtually any new way of doing things.

A totally seamless workflow system such as this would make it really simple and allow for virtually anything to be plugged in at any logical point along its natural workflow structure. There would be virtually no limit to the possibilities one could manage with its vertical and horizontal referencing. That way, there would be absolutely no end to the possibilities for financial reporting and for people who are into cost reporting, regardless of their industry or application. The only limits would be those of ones imagination. And the beauty is, you would never have to replace the system in order to make something new happen.

Is there anything else? 

Yes, it’s simplicity, ease of use and flexibility would not only promote innovation through the development of new opportunities, something every business desperately needs, but it would also promote an unending, continual process of improving process and behavior thereby maximizing the efficiency and productivity at every possible opportunity for all those things we are currently doing right now.

It would also help us adjust the number of technical and administrative personnel required to support and run the company because almost everyone would be working for the company, promoting the companies core activities, rather than indirectly working for the software vendor or fixing complex mistakes created by shortfalls in modular integration and methodical removal of data.

You mentioned affordability. How and why would it be more affordable?

There are a number of reasons, the first being that this fully integrated workflow system would be constructed of integrated data rather than integrated modules. As a result, there would, in effect, be no modules and therefore, little or no integration required. Less or no integration would mean there would be little or no up front costs to perform integration services and therefore little or no cost to maintain the integration code once installed. Entire modules would be replaced by simple functionality and overall programming effort would be reduced by about 80 percent. In addition, because there would be no data duplication and all corporate transactions would share a common format in a common file, many input, update, and reporting programs would be either highly reusable or, in fact, global. For example there might be only one program to update the general ledger, payroll and inventory files from the details of any kind of transaction regardless of its origin. The net result of this system is that there would be that a whole lot less to it but less really would become a whole lot more at a highly reduced cost and a newfound ease of use.

This sounds like a great concept. If it were for real and you actually could approach someone to discuss a mythology for delivery, what would be your preference be?

It should be implemented as either a “Cloud” service over the internet in order to make it affordable for very small companies as well as being supported as in-house for all those larger companies wishing to have their own server and are keen on corporate expansion through diversification and innovation of resources. Outside of that, there is little or no preference. It’s whatever works best for each individual company implementing the software.

It is obvious that for a small company, implementation would be quite easy. What about companies who are currently using modular systems, do you envision that as being a long or extremely involved process?

No, not at all!  In fact, compared to existing ERP systems where complete implementations can take months to years, this model should be complete and fully functional in just a few weeks and in most cases, once the decision to move is made, conversion methodologies properly designed, and programmed, perhaps happen even over a long weekend.

Why do you see it as being a relatively easy process?

Well, in the first place, there are no integration services to hold up progress and secondly, because every transaction has the exact same data structure and format and every transaction follows a natural workflow process, it would be far faster and simpler to implement. Doing it this way makes a lot more sense than moving all that data from one mixed bag of modules to another mixed bag of modules and then trying to get each module to talk intelligently to all the others in harmony. In this new model, once data is converted to a common format, any and all transaction will process because they would all share the common structure and every transaction would be handled as a unique transaction unto itself rather than a complex batch of variables.

If I told you an information and accounting system such as you have just described were available, how long would it take for you to order it?

Please give me the telephone number!

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