Enterprise grade applications, like Prophet 21 ERP software, are usually large and complex. There is one thing that all of these systems have in common. They are only as good as the data that they have to work with. The term “Garbage in – garbage out” is highly applicable to any software system, and P21 is no exception. If you put low quality data into Epicor Prophet 21, the results you will get are likely to be less than stellar. Although you are likely to be able to muddle through and keep working, real efficiency gains you should have gotten from a modern ERP system will probalbly be elusive at best. At worst, you will have to add more resources to keep things moving at an acceptable pace. This is not how you envisioned your life after ERP deployment.
Key Data in Prophet 21 ERP Software
Having high data quality is sometime more like a journey than a destination. Companies with a mass of data may find it difficult and demoralizing to tackle such a project. As a result, these projects usually get put off or never done. Frequently, there is always some fire to fight, or some other important business project that needs attention. These things make it hard to take a long term view of the situation and commit to the fact that as data quality improves, efficiency improves. When this happens, fire fighting starts to go away and there is more time to focus on driving the business forward.
The key is to prioritize and focus on areas that have the most impact on your Prophet 21 ERP software data quality. While all data should be pristine and of high quality, some data matters more than other. Getting the priorities right is a big part of getting ROI on your ERP investment. Examples of mission critical data include, but are not limited to:
- Purchase Pricing
- Sales Pricing
- Inventory Quantities
- Inventory Locations
- Customer Settings
Trust is a Big Word When it Comes to Data
Ultimately, users of Prophet 21 ERP software decide when data quality is good. When they begin to trust the data, good things happen. Unfortunately, trust is often an “all or nothing” proposition for computer system users. I have never heard anyone say, “I trust this system about 70 percent”. I only ever heard people speak in absolutes. They either trust the system or they don’t. It is binary, and there is no middle ground.
When users distrust ERP data, they check behind it. That sounds great in principle. In reality, it is a massive time sink. It take much longer to look up a purchase cost in the catalog than it does to just key the item and move on. This can easily double or triple the amount of time is takes to enter a transaction. This wastes precious time and resources on a non-value added task.
The Cost of Finding Nothing Wrong
When a user checks a price and it is wrong, you avoid a mistake. This is a good thing. Time is saved on cleaning up the mess later. However when a user checks a price and it is right, that is bad. There is no value added to the company when a quality check results in nothing. It makes you feel better, but it is a cost, plain and simple. In a cast where your data is 80% good, that means 8 out of 10 price checks are a waste of time.
On the other hand, if your data is 99.8% correct and there is no price checking, you will have 2 mistakes for every 1,000 opportunities. The cost of clearing up those 2 mistakes is much lower than the cost of checking 1,000 items and only catching 2 errors. It is a numbers game. Strive to make your Prophet 21 ERP software work for you, not the other way around.
Identify Your Data Fanatic
Fortunately for all of us, there are people born into this world who are highly detailed. They hate even the smallest of errors, and they love to comb through mountains of information looking for mistakes. Most of the time these people are misplaced. They are sitting at the end of the process catching errors. Why not put them at the head of the process? Put them in a place where they can start helping you avoid the error in the first place.
Chances are someone in your organization thrives on spreadsheets and lives to see a job done perfectly right. Start using that to your advantage. Put the data fanatic in a role where he or she is driving the quality of your most important data. The rewards will pay huge dividends in efficiency and operational costs. You will begin to see activity replaced with productivity when people stop fighting the Prophet 21 ERP software system and start trusting it.
Help is Available if You are Struggling
Atlas Precision Consulting loves to help people achieve a higher level of data quality. Our expertise with the Prophet 21 ERP software system can help you get more from your investment and drive return on your one of your most substantial software investments. Contact us today for help with your Prophet 21 ERP software system.