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Adopting a human-centric approach to drive value-led ERP transformation

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) capabilities have expanded beyond automation of transactions, and wide-ranging digital capabilities are now incorporated within ERP platforms. A typical ERP platform today comes with a mobility-enabled user interface, includes analytics and intelligent automation capabilities, and can be hosted on cloud. Such platforms can interface with internet of things (IoT)/sensor data directly or through adjacent solutions.

In a world where users navigate and execute complex transactions intuitively on the internet, ERP solutions are being developed to provide similar intuitive user experiences. An ERP platform is at the ‘core’ of a digital enterprise and a prerequisite for organisations to maximise the benefits of their digital transformation.

Given the critical role played by ERP platforms in digital transformation, clients expect higher value realisation from their ERP investments. They describe value in terms of both tangible (revenue, cost and productivity) and non-tangible outcomes (user experience/ease of adoption, compliance/controls and effectiveness of decisions). They expect the solution to fit into their current contexts/ways of working and support scalability/flexibility as their organisations grow. Clients also expect implementation partners to deliver business outcomes almost parallelly during implementation of the solution. However, they are often unaware of the steps to be taken to measure and achieve the intended benefits of ERP solutions.

The following image shows the expected benefits of ERP solutions as per a recent PwC survey of 264 participants across multiple countries. 

Digital Enterprise

At PwC, our value-led ERP offerings are designed to fulfil the expectations of our clients. As the first step towards implementation, a majority of our ERP programmes baseline the client’s current position with their operations across the domains of people, governance/controls, data, process, digital and user experience. We develop an estimate of the value our clients can realise through the adoption of enhanced ERP capabilities and work towards delivering the same.

Our value delivery is further enhanced when tax imperatives are factored in during the implementation phase. Given that such transformational journeys often focus on a seamless alignment of real-time financial statements and management information system reports with business realities, bringing on board tax experts early in the journey enhances the outcomes significantly.

Embedding tax in business decision-making workflows (for example, providing a feature for the sales team to have the tax cost calculation handy) or developing automated dashboards of accumulated tax metrics to identify the need for intervention (for example, available accumulated tax losses and tax credits), automating tax compliances across jurisdictions or enabling an ERP system for tax reporting under non-financial reporting requirements (for instance, in the ESG space) are areas that are increasingly showing up on the radar.

Revenue authorities too are adopting sophisticated technologies to identify and plug tax evasion and trace tax evaders. An area that often leads to tax adjustments relates to insufficient or, at times, inaccurate data made available to revenue authorities. Requirements such as these not only account for the urgency to build tax functionalities into an ERP system to meet local and global tax audit requirements, but also pave the way to create a tax function of the future.

Our entire approach is driven by our Business Experience Technology (BXT) framework that treats human experience as a core element of digital transformation. Following are a couple of select examples that underline our approach in ERP programmes:

Adopting a human-centric approach to drive value-led ERP transformation
  • We used our BXT approach to re-envision the processes of a leading pharmaceuticals client and obtained key insights during the exercise. As an illustrative use case, we saw an opportunity to enhance the adoption for production confirmations in the system from the shop floor, with subsequent downstream benefits. Our BXT workshops helped unearth several constraints, most of which required interventions which were a combination that went beyond mere system configuration. We then created the right enabling infrastructure for operators to conveniently enter the production confirmations.
Adopting a human-centric approach to drive value-led ERP transformation
  • Another engagement with a rapidly growing, owner managed specialty and intermediate chemicals company also demonstrates our focus on value generation. The client aimed to double revenues in the medium term and had ambitious investment plans. As it was set to raise funds through an IPO and listing in a 2-year timeframe, it wanted to adopt significantly different ways of working. We worked with the client to re-imagine end-to-end processes and associated policies and reporting/ analytics. We assessed each design option based on tangible outcomes related to revenue, cost, productivity and controls. This resulted in a potential ~8-10% EBITDA improvement. 
    This improvement potential was owned by all business process owners, and they, along with our team, translated these re-imagined processes into an extensive solution blueprint. This was subsequently implemented using the S/4 HANA platform, along with proprietary PwC solutions for taxation and foreign trade.

These examples illustrate how we identify value-creation opportunities and deliver the same through the right, human-centric technology solution, paving the way for a better tomorrow for our clients.

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Contact us

Aravind Ramamoorthy

Aravind Ramamoorthy

Leader, Value-led ERP transformation, PwC India

Tel: +91 22 6669 1203

Priyesh Chaudhary

Priyesh Chaudhary

Partner, Value-Led ERP, PwC India