POV: You've implemented an ERP but you are struggling to optimise the workflows around it.

POV: You've implemented an ERP but you are struggling to optimise the workflows around it.
Photo by Alvaro Reyes / Unsplash

This is how to get unstuck:

1. Schedule a workshop session with each of the teams that don't use an ERP as their system of action or even have a login:

- Product Design
- Product Development
- Garment Techs
- Production
- Logistics
- Brand & Creatives inc. photoshoot production
- Social & Gifting
- Client Concierge

2. In advance ask each team to create a log of the documents they are using including examples of the document.

3. Run 15-30 minute workshops with each team where you present to them the goal of your role (operational effectiveness e.g. wasting less time in meetings or manual data entry).

4. Log every issue that they raise with you and do that against the documents wherever possible so you can identify the workflows that are causing the most pain.

5. Don't forget to ask them for their ideas on how else it could be done or if they've done it in the past differently. What I find is that if you do this, many self-starters will go and improve their process straightaway. It could be redesigning a Google Sheet to be much cleaner and using the columns and rows in a structured way, this is how changes start to get made.

7. Expensive meetings with 4,5 or even more people where everyone is looking at a different report or sitting there scrambling for information are the worst.

Map each team's meeting rhythm and ask them about the frequency of meetings, how they run and what documents are used in the meetings. If you want to go full PRO, create a list of the meetings and tag the documents back against them. Doing this will highlight why having a Production Schedule that is out of date or hard to update is worth improving.

Finance, IT/Systems and Customer Operations are usually the main people around the table when an ERP gets signed off and implemented.

For extra points, think about doing these workshops BEFORE you go and change everyone's workflow.

Oliver Rhodes

Oliver Rhodes