What is an ERP System?
"ERP" stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. An "ERP" System is business management software that consists of a set of integrated applications which consolidate common business operations and create uniformity across multiple platforms.

At its core, an ERP system is designed to connect essential business functions such as management, accounting, and human resources across departments, so that everyone is working with the same data and processes. This software allows a large entity (such as Milwaukee County) to collect, store, manage, and interpret data from varied business activities, such as fiscal activities and human resources. One of the main goals of an ERP system is to facilitate the flow of information, so that business decisions can be made intelligently and based on measurable data. ERP software can aggregate, collect, and organize data from various organizational levels to provide management with insight into key performance indicators (KPIs) in real time. ERP software modules can assist in the monitoring and management of mission-critical components of an entity such as procurement, inventory, finance, projects, and human resources through interconnected programs and dashboards.

Entities often use ERP systems to streamline and improve the efficiency of their processes and operations to save time and money. In the course of the implementation of an ERP system, a large entity can engage in standardization and automation of many business processes, which cuts down on manual time and effort. ERP systems offer a single repository for enterprise-wide data and make that data accessible to all users, reducing the risks associated with working with systems that are not in communication or integrated, such as data integrity problems, the potential for error, and duplication of business functions in multiple departments. This allows individuals across many departments some degree of synchronized reporting and automation, because each department has access to accurate data without having to rely on separately maintained databases and spreadsheets that have to be manually accessed, merged, or updated to generate reports. Because of the need of an ERP system solution to communicate among its own programs and with existing solutions used by an entity, it must be integrated with the other software systems the organization uses. Deployment of a new ERP system can be a challenge, and often requires considerable business process re-engineering, employee re-training, and back-end information technology (IT) support for database integration, data analytics and ad hoc reporting.

For Milwaukee County, an ERP System will control the types of activities we currently use Advantage and Ceridian to process. It will include functionality for:

Accounts Payable Accounts Receivable Budgeting Cash Receipting
Contract & Document Management Employee Benefits Employee & Manager Self-Service Financial Reporting
Fixed Asset Management General Ledger Grant Accounting

Human Resources Core

Inventory Management

Payroll Pension Administration Project Accounting
Purchasing Recruiting Talent Management Time & Attendance
Treasury Management Volunteers & Interns    

What do we know about current ERP systems?
During Phase I of the ERP Project, "Needs Assessment", IMSD and our partner vendor, Plante & Moran, performed high level market research to provide County employees with a general overview of some of the types of ERP solutions that currently exist on the market. Generally, these solutions are ranked by Tiers - 1, 1.5, and 2. Tier 1 solutions are highly customizable and often used by large and complex business entities, but can be difficult to implement due to their flexibility and customizability. Tier 2 solutions are primarily focused on government entities, but are more rigid and offer less customization. They can be easier to implement, but may be difficult to scale up to the size of an entity like the County, and may lack certain desired functionality. Tier 1.5 solutions are somewhere between Tier 1 and Tier 2 solutions, and have some pros and cons from each camp. To learn more about ERP solutions and our market research, visit the Market Research page by clicking HERE.
Where can I go to view ERP system sample videos?
During Phase I of the ERP Project, "ERP Feasibility Study and Needs Assessment", IMSD and our partner vendor, Plante & Moran, performed high level market research to provide County employees with a general overview of some of the types of ERP solutions that currently exist on the market. The video samples of these ERP solutions can be viewed on our Demonstration Video page by clicking HERE.
Why does the County need this project?
The County's current legacy ERP systems are based on technology that is more than 30 years old and requires specialized expertise to maintain. Many hardware components of the system are proprietary, and are no longer manufactured or supported by vendors. Over the next three to five years, more and more of these hardware components and technological solutions will become outdated or go off support, increasing the County's risk for failure of these mission-critical systems. Annual software maintenance, support, and licensing costs necessary to sustain these legacy applications have been regularly increasing. It is the strategic direction of the county to move applications off the mainframe and utilize more cost effective and modern server- and web-based platforms. The mainframe currently hosts the core financial system which provides Milwaukee County with general ledger and accounts payable functionality.
Who is leading this project?
The ERP project is a County-wide initiative, requiring the time, assistance and buy-in of all County employees. IMSD hopes that every County employee will assist in implementation of the new ERP System by being leaders in their own Departments and Divisions. The project is being actively managed by the Information Management Services Division, supported by an ERP Project Executive Steering Committee composed of high-level County employees in key areas which will be impacted by a change in the County's ERP functionality. You can learn more about the Executvie Steering Committe by clicking HERE. Additional information about the ERP Project's Governance and governance structure can be found on the Project Governance page. To visit the Project Governance page, click HERE.
Who will be affected, and who should get involved?
Everyone! As the largest technology-based, business modernization project the County has every undertaken, the ERP Project will require "all hands on deck" and will affect all users throughout the County. While some business-critical areas may feel a greater impact of this change (Accounts Payable, Human Resources, etc), every County employee will see changes to the way he or she works and the systems that assist with that work. Instead of many independent systems which do not communicate with one another and often require manual data re-entry and updating, County users will interact with one system and have access to all the same data in real time. Every employee is asked to help develop this process and assist IMSD and our partner vendors in understanding your particular day-to-day needs from a business perspective, so we can best serve our clients and provide the most efficient, useful system possible. The more involvement we have from County employees, the better the system will run and service business needs when implemented! For more information about the Project Governance or how to get involved, visit the Project Governance page HERE.
I have a different question!
No problem! If you have a question we haven't answered, please e-mail the Project Team!


Current Project Status:

Active in Phase II: Analysis and Design

Click to learn more about Phase II.

Have Questions?

Click the letter to contact the ERP Project Team!

We are happy to answer any questions you may have about this important enterprise business initiative.


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