5 Ways to Improve Your Lawson Software or Any ERP System Performance

Whichever ERP system you are using, be it Kronos, PeopleSoft, Oracle, or Lawson, you know the value of that software and how important it is to the smooth operation of your company. And like any complex system, your Enterprise Resource Planning system needs continuous maintenance, upgrades, and evaluation to ensure it’s doing its job right.In this article, we will cover five general tips that you can use to not only ensure the system is running properly, but to make changes so that it runs better. We hope this guide will assist anyone who uses the Lawson software, but in particular, we hope this is valuable to the smaller business who may not have the budgetary resources to hire an employee or regular help. Anyone who uses this system relies on it just as much as any other, and this article should at least give you some ideas on how to proceed.Tip #1 – DocumentationOne of the first things any Lawson or ERP user can do to improve their install is to review and update the system’s documentation. Often, this is a neglected area and while it might not seem that vital in relation to the everyday tasks of managing your business, in the long run it can be a very useful habit to get into. And conversely, not keeping up with the documentation can be a real pain when it comes time to install patches, modules or upgrades.So if you are not properly documenting the system, it is wise to take some time and correct this. Ensure that all system documentation procedures are running properly, and that archived information is categorized properly. Ensure that your staff is using the documentation features at all times and understand them and how to use them. When it comes time to make any kind of change to the system, you will be glad your environment is up to date.Tip #2 – Keep your ERP currentAs any long time Lawson user will know, there is a never ending stream of new patches, upgrades and service packs to be installed. And they all come out at different times of the year and each has its own set of requirements and complexities. It is very important to stay current on these, however, for several reasons.First, if you allow your Lawson ERP to get more than one service pack behind, it could mean losing support for the entire system. Additionally, one of the reasons these additions keep coming out is due to changes in the business and legislative landscapes. By keeping current, you can not only ensure you are up to date with the latest in social and government requirements, but also are well prepared for future updates, adding new modules, and doing some in depth tweaking of your system.Tip #3 – TrainingNo matter if you have a full time Lawson System Administrator on staff, hire a third party consulting firm, or just have a qualified staff operating the system, there is a regular need for training. Just as with the need to keep current, this also means keeping the training current as well.Generally, there are two options for Lawson, Kronos or other ERP system training. The first is the most common, which is to send the people who need the training to a remote location. Remote training is somewhat costly because it entails not only the price of the training, but hotels, airfare, food and so forth. It also means that key personnel are not on site to do their jobs, which means you lose time and productivity.Another less common but far more effective form of training is to hire an independent ERP consulting company to come in with a trainer and perform the training on your site. This has the double benefit of saving you all the ancillary costs as well as allowing the students to work with their own system and real world models which means higher knowledge retention.Whichever method you use, it is vital to keep up with the training. This will ensure that the people who are using the system on a day to day basis are familiar with all the latest changes and can keep your company running at peek proficiency.Tip #4 – Get a checkupEvery complex system needs to be looked over now and then. Just as we go to the doctor for a checkup, or to the dentist, so do we need a skilled Lawson expert to do an occasional analysis of the ERP software. This is a good idea for a variety of reasons.First, even if there is no indication of a problem, an expert can go through your application suite and see how it is running and if there might be any unforeseen or impending issues. Second, such a checkup can provide great insight on how to improve the system for better results and faster processing. Finally, if there is a problem, the skilled professional consultant can solve it and any associated issues at the same time.Tip #5 – MonitoringOne of the best ways to keep your enterprise resource planning software in good health is to keep monitoring it at all times. Such close observation can help prevent upcoming emergencies, make changes easier and quite frankly, save your company money. There are several forms that monitoring can take.The most obvious is if there is a full time System Administrator on staff. This is because it will be this individuals job to make sure the system is running properly. However, this does come at a high cost in salary and annual training. While this is not such an issue for larger companies, for smaller ones who rely just as heavily on their ERP, it may not be an option.Another way to keep the system under watch is to hire a qualified Lawson or other ERP consulting firm to do regular evaluations and maintenance on your system. This can be a good option, because while not on site all the time, an independent consultant is usually very responsive and takes a personal interest in your software suite and company.There is another option as well. This is to set up a Virtual System Administrator. This allows a consulting firm to constantly monitor the state and operation of your ERP system without having to be on site. This can be a great money and time saver, as most of the upgrading and maintenance tasks associated with a system like Lawson can be done remotely. This can be a great solution for a small company, because it’s much cheaper. While not a total solution, it is a valuable one. Because even with a VSA, you can still bring in the consultant for special needs projects and on site training.Hopefully this has given you some ideas on how you can stay on top of your ERP system and make sure it is doing the best job possible for you. It’s too important to ignore, and by doing some preventative maintenance, occasional checkups, and vigilant oversight, your system will continue to be a valuable part of your business’ profitable future.

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