It is not uncommon that companies operate on multiple ERP systems (the average is 4 to 5). And it is also highly questionable whether it would be feasible to overcome this situation or not. Hence this situation will not change for the time to come.
Unfortunately, this situation turns out as being a huge obstacle for any end-to-end process optimization. Because to make matters worse these multiple ERP systems have only little in common. Master data are not complete in each system. And where overlapping their keys are not in sync. And processes are cut in half. And where overlapping document numbers and timestamps are not in sync. All these idiosyncrasies contribute to the Sisyphus task of optimizing processes which are spanning multiple systems.
Let’s assume you are running your logistics in one ERP system. And your finance people have a different ERP system. Of course you can perfectly manage your inventory in the logistics system. And of course you can perfectly pay your suppliers on time. Or? Your goods arrive on March 15 let’s assume. And you transfer your goods receipt note from your logistics to your finance system within five days; e.g. on March 20. And then you pay your supplier on March 23 let’s say. So far so good. But what if your supplier would introduce a new early payment discount applicable if the invoice is being paid within five days? Then you’d be unable to leverage this advantage. Too bad.
What’s the real problem here? This opportunity would probably have gone unnoticed. Even worse.
Actually not everything is lost anymore nowadays. Because in essence we are looking at a big data problem here. We have millions of transactions which we could look into to derive conclusions. We could apply machine learning. We could apply pattern matching. We could attempt to match the processes from the logistics system with the ones from the finance system.
And indeed this is how we at Trufa reconstruct system spanning business processes. And the good news is that it works.
Cross-system process optimizations have just received a second life!