A Paradigm Shift in IFS ERP Strategy: Tickets to Value

November 3, 2023 | Matthew Carswell

Setting the stage

We all know IFS and really any Enterprise Resource Planning system plays a critical role in modern business operations. They are the backbone of the modern industrial company. Traditionally, IFS support has focused on resolving issues through ticket-based efficiency, while a capital approval process is used for efficiency, optimization or innovation type projects.

At JumpModel it’s our view that this is a huge miss.

The winners in the competitive advantage game don’t operate this way. Rather they treat ERP systems as living, breathing partners, emphasizing the importance of nurturing and continually optimizing these systems to extract maximum value. This article will compare and contrast the traditional ticket-centric model with the evolving dynamic partnership model, highlighting their respective benefits and implications for businesses, particularly in terms of capitalizing on strategic projects.

Tickets are king

Traditional IFS Support Model: Ticket-Centric Efficiency
In the traditional IFS support model, the primary objective is to address issues reported through tickets promptly. The support team’s main focus is on closing tickets as quickly as possible, often driven by predefined metrics such as response and resolution times. This approach aims to maintain system efficiency and minimize downtime, ensuring smooth operations. Capital expenditures, on the other hand, are typically reserved for larger strategic projects that have a significant impact on the business.

Limitations of the Traditional Model:

  1. Reactive Problem Solving: The ticket-centric model tends to be reactive, focusing primarily on resolving immediate issues. While this approach ensures operational stability, it may overlook the proactive identification and prevention of potential problems, particularly in strategic projects.
  2. Missed Optimization Opportunities: By solely prioritizing ticket resolution, the traditional model may miss opportunities for continuous improvement and optimization within strategic projects. It fails to leverage the ERP system’s full potential, limiting its ability to drive efficiency, productivity, and innovation in these critical initiatives.
  3. Limited Strategic Focus: Strategic projects being relegated to the world of capital expenditure restricts the ERP system’s contribution to overall business growth. It may overlook the system’s potential to adapt to changing market dynamics, respond to customer needs, and drive operational excellence across the organization through targeted capital expenditures.

Your living teammate

The Dynamic Partnership Model: A Living, Breathing ERP System
The dynamic partnership model represents a paradigm shift in IFS support, treating the system as a living, breathing partner. This approach emphasizes the need to provide the ERP system with the necessary inputs and strategic capital expenditures to generate value consistently. It recognizes that strategic projects require ongoing investment and optimization to achieve their full potential.

Advantages of the Dynamic Partnership Model:

  1. Proactive Problem Solving: By treating the ERP system as a partner, businesses can adopt a proactive approach to problem-solving, including within strategic projects. They can identify potential issues before they become critical, enabling preventive m1easures and reducing risks that could hinder project success.
  2. Continuous Optimization: Embracing the living, breathing ERP concept encourages ongoing optimization efforts, including targeted capital expenditures. Businesses can invest in the necessary resources, technologies, and enhancements to drive process improvements, automate tasks, and enhance decision-making within strategic initiatives.
  3. Enhanced Strategic Impact: The dynamic partnership model recognizes that capitalizing on strategic projects extends beyond initial implementation. It allows businesses to allocate resources for continuous development, expansion, and adaptation of the ERP system to support evolving business needs and maximize the strategic impact of these projects.

Balancing Efficiency and Strategic Capitalization:
While the dynamic partnership model emphasizes the ERP system’s living, breathing nature, it does not dismiss the importance of operational efficiency. It recognizes the need for timely issue resolution but expands the scope to encompass continuous improvement and strategic capital expenditures within the broader context of strategic projects.

The shift from the traditional ticket-centric IFS support model to the dynamic partnership model represents a fundamental change in how businesses approach their core systems. By treating the system as a living, breathing partner and allocating strategic capital expenditures through a less rigid approach, organizations can optimize their systems to generate long-term value, drive innovation, and achieve strategic objectives. This approach ensures that strategic projects receive the necessary resources and ongoing optimization, enabling businesses to adapt, thrive, and capitalize on their ERP systems’ full potential in today’s dynamic business landscape.

How can the change be made?

Transitioning from a ticket tracking model for ERP support to a business value-driven support model requires careful planning and implementation. Here are five steps that a business can take to make this transition:

  1. Define Business KPIs and Objectives:
    Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with the organization’s goals and objectives. These KPIs should be measurable and directly linked to business outcomes. For example, KPIs could include improved operational efficiency, increased customer satisfaction, reduced downtime, or enhanced revenue generation.
  2. Align Support Metrics with Business Goals:
    Review the existing support metrics and identify how they can be aligned with the defined business KPIs. Instead of focusing solely on ticket close times, establish metrics that measure the impact of support activities on the identified business goals. For example, measure the time it takes to resolve critical issues affecting revenue-generating processes.
  3. Implement User Satisfaction Surveys:
    Introduce user satisfaction surveys to gather feedback from ERP users regarding the support services provided. This feedback will help identify areas for improvement and enable the support team to prioritize actions that have a direct impact on user satisfaction. Consider using a combination of quantitative and qualitative survey questions to capture a comprehensive view.
  4. Establish Cross-Functional Collaboration:
    Foster collaboration between the support team and other departments to ensure a holistic understanding of business needs and challenges. Encourage regular communication and knowledge sharing to promote a shared sense of responsibility for achieving business outcomes. This collaboration will enable support teams to better align their efforts with broader organizational objectives.
  5. Continuous Improvement and Optimization:
    Implement a process for continuous improvement and optimization of support services. Regularly review and analyze support data and user feedback to identify areas for improvement. Use this information to refine support processes, enhance training programs, and allocate resources effectively. Encourage a culture of learning and innovation within the support team to drive ongoing improvement.

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