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Digital Transformation Beyond the ERP: Simplifying Multi-ERP Environments with Automation

June 29th, 2021 by Daniel Reeve

Simplifying Multi-ERP Environments with Automation.

In today’s highly competitive business environment, many organizations are expanding through mergers and acquisitions (M&As). Unfortunately, success comes at a cost. Growth via M&A activity often involves absorbing disparate ERP applications, which, over time, can create significant inefficiencies — particularly procurement and AP departments

Digital Transformation Beyond the ERP

Not too long ago, digital transformation of supply chains was rooted in the idea of standardizing business processes through the use ERP systems. The value proposition of the ERP was to centralize and standardize internal and external business processes, gain some flexibility and save on operational costs. While the basic functionality and organization ERP systems brought to businesses was transformational, they still left gaps to fill in the supply chain. And should a company grow through M&As, it can be left trying to piece together disparate ERP systems acquired through M&A activity — creating a complex, multi-ERP environment.

The vision of one enterprise/one ERP system simply does not reflect today’s reality; complexity is the name of the game, and it’s not unheard of for a company to have as many as five ERP systems in use across its global enterprise. Some companies also run different ERP systems, each needing special attention despite being based on the same platform. Multiple instances in different locations around the world can require integration of multiple workflow tools in order to automate P2P workflow, even with a standard enterprise-wide ERP system in place.

Simplifying Multi-ERP Environments with P2P Automation

When it comes to P2P automation solutions, the first instinct that organizations typically have is to install workflow inside the ERP system. However, this can have numerous detrimental effects such as: major investments in time and money, functional limitations, drain on resources allocated to core ERP applications, workflow discontinuity and user inconvenience.

Solutions that reside outside of the ERP system, on the other hand, enable the same integration capabilities without the added time, costs and risks that come with implementing a tool inside the ERP system. Under an external ERP workflow environment, P2P departments benefit from:

  • Shared data across multiple business applications
  • Flexibility to include other departments or pre-/post-processing steps in workflow
  • Instant access to invoices and audit trail outside an ERP application without needing to be on site
  • Immediate email notifications when invoices need to be approved
  • Easy deployment via a web browser to increase user acceptance
  • Increased internal controls and maintained business continuity throughout IT landscape changes Standardization for shared services center (SSC) initiatives, including logic to avoid errors

Automating Beyond the Supply Chain

Rather than just accepting the limitations of their standard ERP, finance leaders are looking to see what options they have in the ERP but are also looking at best-in-class technologies, especially those that provide opportunity for automation across many aspects of both P2P and order-to-cash (O2C) cycles. With automation, businesses can automate even automate both their P2P and O2C cycles end to end through a single cloud platform — standardizing business processes company-wide, while simplifying once-complex IT environments.

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Posted in: Automation

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