To get the most from one’s ERP system, detailed, top-to-bottom audits can help organizations optimize their systems for future success. Recently, Surety Systems was called in to conduct a comprehensive review of a regional healthcare provider’s Lawson finance and supply chain applications, and endorse actionable recommendations on how best to optimize those applications across several hospitals.
The healthcare provider has been using Lawson technology for more than 14 years. Prompted by several recent management changes and an upcoming scheduled integration of a new Epic Software-based clinical information system, the healthcare provider made the decision to review their current configuration and utilization of its Lawson applications, and its Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) platform.
In April, the healthcare provider approached Surety to assist with their first audit of its ERP system in more than five years. Backed by years of Lawson expertise in procurement and supply chain management, the Surety consultant lead a comprehensive audit that included Lawson Supply Chain Management, Lawson Financials, Lawson ProcessFlow, Lawson Mobile Supply Chain Management (MSCM), and Lawson Business Intelligence (LBI), as well as its EDI system.
Over the course of a two-week period, the Surety consultant conducted more than 40 interviews with management and users across five hospitals to determine their system usage, their general awareness of the system’s capabilities, and collect input to help streamline the integration of electronic materials records across the hospitals. In addition, the consultant, with the help of one of the healthcare provider’s support team members, reviewed and analyzed thousands of system files.
During the audit, several easily correctable system coding issues were uncovered. For example, common units of measure for the interface programs for the provider’s clinical information, EDI, and Lawson systems for non-stock inventory were not consistent or compatible, resulting in significant problems matching invoices and purchase orders in the system. This was an issue that needed to be resolved quickly prior to the imminent addition of a new hospital into the healthcare provider’s network of healthcare facilities.
Based on the interviews, the consultant was also able to deliver a detailed, actionable plan for improving processes and system efficiencies for the healthcare provider, including the deployment of the Lawson Contracting and new ProcessFlow modules, as well as an Omnicell point-of-use control and tracking system.
To further leverage the current platforms, Surety also endorsed an expansion of the healthcare provider’s use of Lawson’s MSCM, and the EDI 810 and 832 protocols, among other recommendations.
In addition, the interviews showed an interest from users to have the Lawson Business Intelligence Dashboard restored and learn how they can leverage this powerful tool better, as well as how they can use EDI to process more transactions.
As a result, the consultant identified specific training that needed to take place on a regular basis to build general awareness and knowledge of features and functionality to help improve users’ productivity on the Lawson platform.
Training that includes updated new employee training, continued in-house education sessions for current users, and the creation of additional modules for specific functionality training, such as inventory transaction processing, purchase order processing for authorized buyers, and Lawson Reports and Analytics.
In a short period of time, the Surety consultant came in and put actionable items and recommendations in front of our senior management that will make a real difference in the future use and integration of our systems,” said the IT manager at the healthcare provider. “From uncovering small, correctable coding issues and recommending new Lawson modules to outlining training needs across the organization, Surety conducted one of the most thorough system audits that our organization has ever undertaken. We look forward to working with their consultants again, as we implement many of their recommendations.