To make it happen, companies need to begin by assessing the systems they're using, Krueger continued. How many are there? How standardized are they? Are differences being driven by real business need, or by some combination of happenstance and perhaps practices established before parts of the company were joined in a merger? Careful planning and the consideration of options such as outsourcing and shared services are also critical, as is strong support from senior management.
Krueger added that change management is a critical element. To keep people from backsliding, companies may need to go as far as shutting off old systems and processes as soon as the new ones are working, he said.