Updated: Oct 28, 2021
This model assesses seven dimensions of your Epicor ERP readiness, including: structure, strategy, systems, skills, style and culture, staff, and shared values and beliefs. We'll take a look at this 7S framework and how you can use it to assess the ERP readiness of your organisation.
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Every business is unique in some way. Play to your strength to maximise the benefit out of your Epicor ERP implementation
Business vision and mission
Before a full-scale Epicor ERP implementation is possible, everyone involved must be clear on the vision
and mission of your business and understand the operational requirements that need to be in
place to achieve it.
Goals and objectives
Before you're ready for an ERP system, it's important to get clear on your goals, and how they
align with your organisation's mission. Otherwise, you risk getting caught in the quicksand of
In fact, poorly defined goals are often cited as one of the top reasons for ERP implementation failure. Start by rallying up your organisation's leadership to craft a well-written goal statement. This statement should include the business value of the ERP system, and the critical business needs the system is expected to fulfill. All goals and objectives should
be timely, measurable, actionable and implicit across the organisation. To avoid opening Pandora's Box of never-ending project scope, specific team members should clearly define what's involved beforehand. It's always better to shape technology to facilitate your goals instead of adjusting your goals to account for technological limitations.
What does your five-year plan look like? How does technology factor in to help you achieve your future goals and objectives?
Centralisation How easy is it for all stakeholders to access the business information at your organisation?
Having a shared, secure location to edit and access important documents is critical. In addition, having access to real-time data updates instead of numerous versions of various spreadsheets prevents inefficiency and errors.
How does your company file and update important information? When it comes to ERP implementation, centralisation is a double-edged sword. To ensure the ERP implementation matches company-wide goals, some opt for tighter control over user access levels as described in hierarchy and span of control later in this document. Specialisation Every business is unique in some way. Usually, it's that very reason for their success. However, there are many processes that are common between organisations within the same verticals-about 80 percent of processes, roughly. Are you currently operating up to industry best practices when it comes to those practices?
Also, what about the 20 percent of processes that are unique to your business? Does your current technology meet the needs of your specialties as you develop these differentiating aspects? Consider areas where your current technology might be falling short. Be as specific as possible. This will help you start to shape your ERP requirements list.
Does your organisation have formalized documented processes? ERP solutions can help you
set standards and automate processes in order to prevent inefficiency and risk. Along the same
lines, they will allow you to introduce process safeguards as interrupts at relevant intervals.
Does your company optimize processes by ensuring proper documentation at all stages?
Is process data reviewed regularly to assess the efficacy of the process? Are you currently able
to test and track process changes as they relate to your efforts to increase operating efficiency?
Some organizations are more formal than others. Most have heavily standardised work processes and documentation across the board. Similar to specialisation, ERP systems may be more readily adopted within formalized organisations that clearly document and communicate standards.
Can your organization's size directly impact the success of an ERP implementation? The
short answer is yes. While smaller organisations shouldn't be underestimated, ones with
more employees and sales have access to greater resources-from a larger pool of talented
professionals, to more expansive IT departments and healthier budgets. Leading experts
suggest that these factors are crucial to a successful ERP implementation.
How large is your organization?
What will training look like?
How many levels of access does each user need? For example, the CEO of your organisation
will need access to critical financial performance data, but sharing this with junior staff is not
appropriate. The result of too much access is information overload and potential security
issues. How will this hierarchy of access affect your ERP implementation? Do you have a
current document outlining the existing access rights and privileges of your teams?
Span of control
In contrast to hierarchy of access, span of control relates to permissions to change and
modify items. Let's face it, accidents happen. If someone unintentionally accesses and alters
key information or functionality, how will this impact your organisation? Who needs to have
access to modify documents and records in your organisation? This span of control should be
identified and documented before beginning ERP implementation.
Does your organization have the adequate IT setup-from infrastructure to hardware and
networking-to support a full-scale ERP implementation? It's crucial to assess these factors
beforehand to troubleshoot any potential issues that could arise during implementation.
Inefficient, end-of-life systems don't just muddle up operations-they could also complicate
your ERP project. Before implementation, it's critical for your organization to get a firm grasp
on the problems that archaic systems cause. What glitches could occur? Are you prepared?
Infrastructure may need to be upgraded for seamless functionality, usability and integration.
Before your ERP project can begin, you must align business processes with software. To fit
the new system-and better meet IT and operational needs-business processes should
be identified, documented and improved to ensure optimal integration. For smooth, error-
free implementation, problematic processes should be identified-and adjustments should
be made. Everyone on the implementation team should have a clear understanding of key
Do you have standardized documented processes that you can use as reference and support material as you begin to consider the ERP functionality you will need?
Scattered project details and spreadsheets no longer work for you. So why rely on the same
ancient methods during ERP implementation?
The ability to access current, up-to-date data is crucial for success. Because modules are closely integrated, incorrect data input into one module could impact the effectiveness
of other modules altogether. For these reasons, accuracy and data quality are major components of ERP success. The first challenge is finding the proper data to load into the system. Then you need to convert disjointed data structure into a unified format before system use. Everyone on the team should understand the importance of accuracy and sound data-entry procedures.
How would you classify your level of data integrity? Do you have data priorities identified so that you can leverage ERP implementation to achieve your visibility goals?
4. STYLE AND CULTURE
Whether you wear jeans or a three-piece suit to work, every organization has its own
unique culture. Each company has a slightly different style when it comes to learning and