This are our thoughts based on our observations of what’s happening in the industry.
- 1. Data centric decision making
a. Businesses are trying to mine data from every kind of possible sources to analyse their customer’s mindset and purchasing habits so that they can position themselves better. For example, if you are right now reading this article, be rest assured you are leaving a digital foot print which some company such as Google and other search engines could use your clicks to land on this page to analyse and understand your likes and dislikes, patterns etc.
b. While so much is happening in terms of analyzing the potential customers behaviors, not much is happening within the businesses. I am not referring to the high-tech companies but to the brick and mortar industries. At best they still use ERP systems. Which have limited data gathering features. For example, in a warehouse, most cases it’s the Supervisor who does most of the data entering while almost all the other staff just do their work as usual. There is no way to analyse the productivity of the department, the people working in it, Who is a great performer, who is not etc .It is all left to the biased judgment of Warehouse supervisor to elevate right people or gauge the work load.
2. Delayed data capture
a. Let’s take the same example as above. Typically, the staff either work on oral or paper-basedinstructions. Once they complete their work, they handover over some kind of written slips so the Supervisor can tally and enter into the system.
b.Firstly the ‘data entry’ part of the activity happens to be one of the least priority things while ‘getting the work done’ takes precedence.
c. Which means there is no way to understand ‘what happened and when’
d. There is a significant delay in the data capture
3. Loss of actual ‘producer’ level data
a. The actual ‘producers’ in the organization, the people on the shop floor, the warehouse, the logistics etc don’t capture most of their activities anywhere.
b. Which means there is no way to analyse what’s happening ‘on the ground’on in real time, why it may be happening etc
c. To do any kind of ‘root cause’ analysis, its either too slow or not possible at all due to lack of data
a. There are so many ERP’s available these days. Even the so-called Open source ERPs need some customizations and hosting whose cost runs into thousands of dollars though they are little less expensive than real ERP solutions out there.
b. There is also the maintenance / upgradation costs
c. More importantly there is the resource cost in terms of the time and effort of key people in the organization
If you already have an ERP system or considering one, just remember there are better solutions at a much lower cost. Just that they may not be so well known yet.
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