They Forgot the P

Originally posted on January 24 2011, 3:22 PM




Enterprise Resource Planning.

The juggernaut of all the business software. The largest IT projects revolve around ERP implementations. Countless man hours and emotional energies have been spent in the effort of making it work like desired.
ERPs take the center of the scene not to let it slip away. Many are so feature packed that could easily pick up every conceivable function, if only configured right.

Every process in a company can go through the ERP. Usually the entire value chain relies on it to operate; procurement, inbound logistics, production, sales, outbound etc. By the ERP documents are produced, loads are moved, machines are programmed to do some work etc.

As the name says, every enterprise resource is under control, prone to the users power. With a click of a button a customer order can be routed to production, unleashing enormous consequences.


Up to the point you have to plan what to do.

My personal experience: every end of month, by a customer of mine, a specific amount of orders had to be processed to generate the desired income. There was no way to cluster the orders in a way that would have produced that specific amount. More, while processing some order lines could be cancelled due to logistic reasons and there was no way to actually calculate the effect of these cancellations to the overall amount before actually running the process. No use to say, it was always a painful end of month.

It’s like the P, planning, on the name has been forgotten. I’ve never seen an ERP providing an efficient insight to the user to plan the next moves. They let you do things but provide no support for what-ifs. This is the reason why so many planning and budgeting apps are still around.
It’s a kind of weird, of course. All the data required to make sound predictions and good planning are already there, but there’s little or nothing to help the users doing that.
ERPs, like they’re implemented today, are focused around compiling records and batch processing them. This is good, but it’s only a fraction of the tasks required to manage a process.

The #newBI idea, so, is about filling this gap easily and seamlessly, not from the ERP  inside but from a lateral point, where data and information can be harnessed, processed and controlled. All this idea is yet to be developed, so there’s some work to be done about.


Please! Ho, Please! Tell me that I'm wrong!