Competing April 2005 Edition

Are you happy with your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning), WMS (Warehouse Management System), or SCMS (Supply Chain Management System)?

* Is data easy to find and use?
* Is you data complete and accurate?
* What about your perpetual inventory accuracy?
o Are your inventory cycle counts on the money?
o What do you do when they are wrong?
* Does you system effectively support your needs, or do you spend too much time “fixing errors so that you can run and report, batch update etc”?

After years of evaluating and implementing information systems and then two plus years of demonstrating an ERP system (Made2Manage) I believe the following to be true:

Too much data is waste.

The more data you have the more it costs to enter, fix errors (the more transactions the more errors), maintain and report.

In my career I have suffered from the too much data syndrome. That means a pile of “so what” reports. “So what” is information I cannot act on in a timely fashion.

Apply lean concepts; such as 5S or 6S (safety added), to information systems can look like this:

Sort your data, eliminating all but the absolutely necessary.

Straighten your data simplifying transactions, making it easy to enter, find and use.

Shine your data – error proof transactions, fix all existing errors.

Standardize your data transactions – variation is the enemy of accuracy.

Less is better… or when in doubt throw it out. Determine what critical data you really need. Organize and mistake proof what is left. Shine existing data and Standardize all data transactions.

Start small, but start now… plan-do-check-act.

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