Lean organization the world-class practice believes in the common language within an organization. This culture is predominantly observed in lean enterprises, thus resulting in the best fit for the ERP environment.
A lean organization has detailed specifications of all the actions required to bring a product from concept to launch, from order to delivery, and from raw materials to finished product that goes into the hands of the customer and throughout it useful life. This takes care of perfect and complete data sets availability to load into ERP for accurate estimations and recommendations. The lean organization believes in absolutely flat organization structure with empowered employees. The structure is purely based on process, and for at all on functions. Every business process or sub-process exists to provide a needed product or service for a defined customer. These products and services are produced within the process according to the defined requirements, rules, or constrains.
The process requires materials and information, which are provided by suppliers, and consumes the resources allocated to the process. Since ERP conceptually integrates the process and not the functions, this process-based culture is the primary criteria for ERP fitness. The main job of ERP in such environment is to replace all these processes into a seamless flow of information.
ERP for lean Manufacturing thus provides authority of getting all the information about the organization to all the users. No constraint like confidentiality, hierarchy, or authority exists. Hence the right of information seeking is never questioned. Every employee is motivated to browse, analyze and comment on the performance of the organization through the ERP system. Thus ERP expects an employee to be much more matured and accountable with resource of the organization.
ERP calls traditional purchase person as Buyer and a buyer is expected to have four types of skills like Technical skills, Commercial skills, Negotiation skills and Integrated planning skills. ERP assumes this type of empowered people as users and then further helps them take accurate and cost effective decisions in their daily transactions and planning. The best practice of ERP here could be to share all the information of the organization to the entire set of users without any obstacles to facilitate both productive and best mixes of planning decisions.