ERP Optimization Program

Designed for companies running home-grown or purchased business application software, according to Hackett Group

Designed for companies running home-grown or purchased business application software, according to Hackett Group

Atlanta — July 22, 2003 — The Hackett Group, an Answerthink company, today introduced a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) Optimization program that offers a combination of measurement tools, peer-to-peer learning and one-on-one business research and advisory services.

According to Hackett, the new program is designed for companies running business application software from J.D. Edwards, Lawson, Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP, Siebel and other vendors, as well as companies that are utilizing systems they have designed themselves.

Answerthink's Best Practices Implementation (BPI) methodology is used in the program to help analyze how a company has optimized its design of business processes and the configuration of its ERP applications in more than 50 sub-processes across a dozen functional areas where business applications play a role. Companies then receive a measurement of how they compare with world-class design and configuration in all these areas based specifically on the application they are using.

Additionally, recommendations that highlight both short-term and long-term performance improvement opportunities are provided. The program's confidential collaborative learning environment is designed to help companies gain insights and guidance from the successes and missteps of their peers.

Hackett said that nearly a dozen corporations have agreed to serve on the client advisory panel for the program and will help determine the initial scope of the program, including the processes and issues that will be focused on. These companies are in a number of industries, including aerospace and defense, air courier services, automotive, electrical products, medical diagnostics, metals production, retail apparel, toy manufacturing, and travel and real estate services.

An online assessment tool available as part of the new ERP Optimization program generates a value grid that analyzes how well companies have optimized various business processes that are executed utilizing the ERP systems. It also examines how effectively the company is leveraging technology, and whether it is utilizing the features and capabilities of the ERP systems currently in place. The assessment measures how well critical information is being delivered to staff, partners, vendors and others. Finally, it evaluates the overall effectiveness of the organization's systems.

For this program, Hackett has also created a collaborative learning environment that enables participating companies to share results of their initial online assessment with one another confidentially. The collaborative learning environment also offers white papers, Webcasts, conferences and other venues to enable companies to learn from each other.

Finally, the ERP Optimization program offers access to business research and advisory services that take an individualized approach driven by interviews, workshops, and consulting and advisory services.

According to Hackett's 2003 research, companies spend 44 percent less on finance costs than average companies, in part due to their reliance on standardization and centralized systems. They also rely on 44 percent fewer transaction processing systems per billion of revenue, and are up to five times more likely to utilize the Internet to automate key procurement processes, extending the power of their ERP system to integrate suppliers.

Hackett Group President Bruce Barlag, said, "The companies we've been talking with as we've designed this program have some very clear 'hot buttons' when it comes to ERP. They want to achieve comprehensive internal and external integration and use ERP to more effectively link up with suppliers, partners and customers. They understand the tremendous power of data standardization. Finally, they are determined to improve the alignment between IT and business strategies."

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