To get the most out of an ERP solution, whether it is SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, or another system – members of the Five Eyes community suggest that defense organizations need to fully understand what they have now and what kind of solution will bring them to where they want to be in the future. One solution might not be able to answer all of a defense organization’s requirements.
“I wouldn’t say one ERP system would solve every problem. We hope a consolidated ERP system would cater for at least 80 to 90 percent of processes, and then the other systems would be used to cater to the others,” says Australia Defense Chief Technology Officer Mohan Aiyaswami.1
At its most robust, ERP can provide an integrated solution for most back office activities within a defense organization - from human resources and financial management to procurement, logistics and customer relationship management. Defense organizations can choose to implement an ‘off-the-shelf ERP solution, or customize based on their organizational processes.
A factor that can impact what type of solution is implemented is the pressure to simply get the ERP implemented and operational and to worry about the business processes later. Additionally, some organizations reason that trying to reengineer core processes while managing a complex ERP implementation is too much for the organization and its stakeholders to handle. They feel that adapting business processes to better align with the software’s functionality would increase the likelihood of the project’s failure. Ideally, business process reengineering should not be done in parallel with the project, but before implementation regardless of the type of solution.2
With all the options that exist – each with its own cost model – it is important for defense organizations to have a strong understanding of their requirements from both the technology and user perspective, so they can make a decision that works for their organization and operating environment. Too many unnecessary requirements can balloon both costs and the time required for implementation. By setting the requirements for the solution upfront, defense organizations will be well positioned to implement a solution that will align fully with their needs.
1Defence begins major business process overhaul. (n.d.). Retrieved June 08, 2015.
2Newman, E., & Davidson, G. (2011, May 1). ERP and the Public Sector: Useful Implementation Insights from Peers That Have Been There, Done That. Retrieved June 18, 2015.