Looking Beyond Usability and Focusing on Automation
When discussing the operational system of a company the conversation usually revolves around how to push the right buttons to get a product in and out of the supply chain. Every department can detail what they think is the right way of receiving the baton and passing it on. In the countless meetings I’ve attended, I feel most of the time, the essential point is missed…
People will obsess over whether or not it’s easy to work with the system:
Can the system copy/paste information into Excel?
Can I easily find things?
Is it easy to navigate?
Does it look nice?
Does it have lots of reports?
Although Dynamics NAV has all of those qualities, I want to take a step back and clear the table for a minute. Imagine we are looking for the perfect system…
The perfect system of course would look nice and be easy to work with but those would not be its greatest qualities. The single most important quality of a perfect system would be AUTOMATION. The perfect system would do everything for you!
I often wonder why this is not the subject of every meeting that I attend. Let’s try to install the perfect system. Is it that we’ve given up on the possibility? Or are we afraid of losing our jobs to the omnipotent computer system in the sky… or cloud rather?
Do we think that if we’re not coming to work and spending our mornings typing in bank transactions or matching out accounts receivables, then the world isn’t right? If this system makes it easier to key in and is pretty, then the world is great? We would be able export to excel to double check our work and spend a couple of hours making a nice report for our managers.
The need for a new system is often driven by the people who work with it every day. They want a better system, but not a system that takes away their job. I believe this is the reason why we’re still missing the point.
The inevitable advance of technology will ultimately automate and optimize every process. The companies that are too slow to adapt will lose to the competition and be left by the wayside. All levels of the corporation must embrace technology every day and race onwards. The goal simply has to be the perfect system.
If you push for this within your organization, you will not be out of a job. Your value will INCREASE as a proponent of technology.
With the perfect system as a goal, we would then start talking about automating business processes. How can we absolutely minimize the human interaction with a particular process?
Some processes can be completely automated with today’s technology, others cannot. For the ones that still need human interaction, I emphasize adopting an exception handling process. The system can be setup so it handles most of the process automatically and for the instances that is does not, there should be an exception list. An operator would then deal with the exceptions as they come their way.
Dynamics NAV is an excellent choice for people adopting this way of thinking. The standard system already ships with many instruments to automate process flows and with the plethora of independent solution vendors available, the journey to the perfect system is made easier.
Finally, Dynamics NAV acts like a clay in your hands. Even though I don’t advocate heavily customizing your system, you don’t want the system architecture to slow you down on your way to achieving ERP Nirvana. NAV practically begs you to align it to your needs.
Here at iNECTA, we wake up every morning with our guts full of ideas on how to streamline the world. Seeking technological perfection is our way of life. It’s our belief that as we’re improving each company, we are at the same time enhancing value in the world. Value that everyone can benefit from.