Many companies have spent a considerable amount of effort to create the required business rules to identify conflicts. This task is complicated for different reasons:
- It requires an integrative and detailed knowledge of the full ERP application. Typically, knowledge of the ERP application is dispersed in different areas of expertise, with different people. To achieve consistency, strong coordination is required.
- It requires different disciplines. Not only detailed ERP knowledge is required, also knowledge and expertise of what constitutes a conflict. Therefore, accountants are often involved in the business rules creation process.
- Fault Tolerance is very low. Since only conflicts will be identified in the ERP system, that have been defined in the business rule, the business rules need to be complete and flawless.
- It should be auditable by (external) editors. To trust the outcome of the conflicts, the auditor needs to be able to audit the business rules. Therefore, these rules should be human readable, and not hidden in program code.
Upon creation of the business rules, the next challenge is to extract and interpret the granted ERP authorizations from the ERP system and to execute the business rules. Many companies have been using Excel or other home-grown applications, often with poor results and tremendous effort in terms of man-hours.
Why not think win-win? There are Libraries of business rules available on the market, already mapped with a variety of ERP applications. Using these libraries prevents a complex and labor intensive effort to reinvent the wheel, at the same time assuring quality and completeness of the rule sets, since they are in use by many other companies.