Lean Your ERP System

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Kaizen is a Japanese word commonly used in manufacturing for “continuous improvement” and is often heard when discussing lean. Lean is the process of maximizing effort while minimizing wasted time, effort or materials. Lean projects within a company improve overall customer value and increase profitability. Throughout my career, I have participated in many lean workshops and projects. I worked on the manufacturing line from a young age and I have seen first hand the difference that kaizen projects and lean principles make in production.

When working with manufacturing lines in an operations role, the terms lean and cost improvement projects are thrown around on a regular basis. These terms are almost always in reference to the manufacturing floor and relate to processes in production. However, it should be noted that lean applies to every process of an organization.  There are just as many opportunities inside the office where lean can be implemented to improve the company’s overall performance.

One key business system that can benefit from lean is ERP.  A common practice among many professionals working with traditional ERP is to export their data and manipulate it using Excel. This is effective, but not efficient.  With Excel and a traditional ERP—sometimes jokingly referred to as Excel Runs Production—a company can run their business, but they are not minimizing wasted effort.

Kenandy is built on the Salesforce1 Platform and is designed to empower the user. Kenandy uses all of the great Salesforce features ranging from reporting, user permissions to approval processes. With all these features available on the platform, Kenandy can focus on what it does best, ERP- Empowering Real People.  Now users are able to build out real-time reports and dashboards that give them complete, continuous visibility into their portion of the business. Reports that previously took hours to build each week are now available in real time, and employees can respond to them immediately.

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On my first Go Live with Kenandy, an employee in the shipping department showed me a report he created every night to see if it could be built in Kenandy. Ten minutes later, I had the report built and saved , much to his obvious surprise and amazement.  He admitted that this particular report took him 45 minutes each night to build using Excel. Kenandy was able to give back almost four hours to his schedule each week to do more important work for the company. In addition to the time saved, these reports can be viewed in real time by anyone in the company.

With the flexibility of Kenandy, companies have the ability to customize their organization’s ERP and continue to make it an environment that limits non-value added work. This is the whole basis of lean. In a future blog, I will give more examples of the ways that Kenandy supports lean ERP.

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