There is a puzzle party game for older children. Every team gets a complete 25 piece puzzle, broken apart, and there is a table in the center of the room with the puzzle’s 4 corner pieces on display. One team member from each team approaches the table, with only one piece at a time, and tries to find this piece’s place. The team member may return to the team with or without having placed their piece. A relay ensues. When the puzzle is complete, the team with the least pieces left wins.
Now, imagine the advantage if one team was permitted to have all members approach the table at once. This lucky team could see the unfinished puzzle, their team’s pieces and the puzzle picture in a collaborative moment. Any team with this privilege would surely win because having all the information, in one place, accessible by all, is a literal game changer.
Consider that your financial data is the puzzle and your financial and operational departments the game players. Many departments often have a scattered and complex relationship with data. Payroll, tax, ordering, manufacturing stages, fulfillment, shipping, invoicing and so forth can represent chaotic and interdependent puzzle pieces. If efficiency suffers, some are tempted to add more employees to the department (more players to the puzzle-building relay team), but it would be much more effective to change the game rules and find a way to share and collaborate with the pieces. That game changer is ERP.
With an ERP system means you can enter accounting information once and then have it shared to the different departments immediately. Everything from sales to material order data could be entered and shared in real time, making gathering, processing and interlinking relevant data, from all departments, quick, coordinated and useful. This would help workload and workflow in all departments.
When data sharing is automated, workflow is smoother. No more waiting on one person to finish a manual backlog of data entry tasks, or communicate that a final review has been done, as the software helps expedite both the tasks at hand in real time and the communication of the where a department or person is in a task. Situational awareness rises throughout the organization.
The real winners in the puzzle party game are the decision makers. Once you can easily gather and compile data in one place and approach the strategy table, analyzing and compiling the data to make complete and informed decisions is easier. This, in turn, increases quality of product and service, reduces unnecessary work and excess inventory and ultimately improves cost efficiency.
Want to get better at piecing together your company’s financial and growth puzzle? Give Parallel Solutions a call at (440) 498-9920. We are a full service provider and our experienced staff can help assess all your needs from software to training and support.
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Mary Jo O'Neill