Value engineering: building the case for a ERP technology migration

26th November 2019 Written By Edenhouse

Digital transformation is here: it’s most likely not so much a case of if but when — and how — you’ll make the move to a modern ERP platform like S/4HANA. However, when it comes to large-scale technological and data migrations — the kind to bring a sea change to the way you do business — there’s a lot at stake. That’s why you’ll need to build a strong case and, once you have buy-in from your stakeholders, a robust plan.

We often see parallels between the work we do here at Edenhouse, planning and delivering next-gen ERP upgrades, and the epic animal migrations you’re more likely to see in a David Attenborough documentary:

  • There’s a lot to be gained by undertaking the migration… While animals may be seeking fertile grounds in which to raise their young, the organisations we help are looking to gain a competitive edge by leveraging the cost simplification, visibility, flexibility and productivity a new ERP system like S/4HANA can deliver.
  • And much to be lost by standing still… By not making the migration, you not only miss out on the benefits that await you at your destination, but you also have to deal with any perils you may encounter in your current location. And in the context of ERP, that’s a system that’s creaking at the seams and not giving you the insights you need to drive your organisation forward.
  • But there’s also an element of risk. Large-scale data migrations, for example, are not minor undertakings and getting them wrong can leave you in a worst position than when you started. The weakest and most ill-prepared may not survive the migration, so it’s really important to plan carefully and have an experienced guide with you for the journey.

While most animals tend to follow their instincts, perhaps tweaking their route to deal with the prevailing conditions, humans tend to be more cautious. So how do we properly assess the benefits of setting out on a migration journey, so we can make an informed go/no-go decision?

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Building the business case for a modern ERP system

The first step is to gather the facts and figures you need to build your business case. The trouble is, if your current system isn’t doing what it should be — and it won’t be, otherwise you wouldn’t be considering an upgrade — it can seem like an impossible task to gather that info in the first place.

That’s where value engineering — the evaluation of function over cost — comes in. Tools like our huge bench-marking database, can help you identify and demonstrate the benefits of an upgrade. It will show you, for example, how you can speed up the time to close month end, reduce delivery errors and reduce total cost of ownership.

Experts can then help you interpret the data to build the business case. They’ll ask the right questions to get to the core of all the issues you’re facing, and help you build the road-map to achieve your business goals. They can also help you overcome potential showstoppers — like the scale of the data migration process — by showing how specially designed upgrade tools can help you strip out obsolete data and apps, and map the rest to your new platform.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

– Lao Tzu

Animals are programmed to make the same journey every year and it’s perhaps key to their survival that they don’t ask questions or allow doubts to take over. Organisations necessarily need to make careful, informed decisions, but that doesn’t mean you need to sit still — having the right partner on hand, you can set out on your journey with all the speed and confidence of African swifts.

To learn more about how value engineering can help you make the case for change, check out our Innovation Watch video series.