Finance and Operations

Human Resources, Finance set the stage for Clemson’s first new ERP in more than a decade


Clemson’s Human Resources (HR), Finance and IT departments play pivotal roles in preparing for the University’s new, cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system – the first new ERP at Clemson in more than a decade. This system will streamline important HR and Finance tasks to make it easier for faculty, staff and student workers to focus on their primary Clemson missions of teaching, research and service. The scope of the ERP implementation will include performance management, time tracking, compensation, talent acquisition, learning and training, absence management (time and leave), payroll, benefits, budget, grants management, capital projects, gifts and endowments, and more.

Clemson’s ERP implementation efforts include specialized HR, Finance and IT workstreams. These teams have already put in more than two years of work to study current processes, identify opportunities for system and business process enhancements, and transform select University IT teams in support of implementation of the new ERP and beyond. Below are key highlights of the ERP pre-implementation work of Clemson’s HR and Finance workstreams; the efforts of the IT workstream will be examined in a future OUR Clemson story.

ERP pre-implementation projects

Mapping major processes
In preparation for the new ERP, HR and Finance workstreams have mapped major current state processes in their respective areas of expertise. This includes engaging with affected Clemson users to gather feedback and assess opportunities for improvements.

Identifying pain points
Along with process mapping, HR and Finance workstreams identified and recorded more than 600 unique pain points in Clemson’s current HR and Finance processes – the delays, hassles and gaps that could be resolved by a modern ERP solution. The work completed to date is only the beginning as these workstreams continue to engage with Clemson user groups for insight into how best to design functional business processes within the new ERP.

Developing program priorities and guiding principles
Working with functional areas across Clemson, HR and Finance workstreams identified official guiding principles and program priorities for the University’s upcoming ERP implementation. (see sidebar, Guiding Principles for Clemson’s new ERP) These guiding principles were approved by Clemson’s Executive Vice Presidents and serve as the ERP’s North Star, leading program team members, user groups, external partners, and other engaged stakeholders in remembering the “why” and staying on course as the program heads into the implementation phase.

Guiding Principles for Clemson’s new ERP

These five principles, developed after in-depth stakeholder engagement and an exhaustive study of HR and Finance processes, guide Clemson in the development, maintenance and optimization of the University’s new ERP:

1) Remember the customer’s perspective. Clemson University stakeholders help to inform the design and implementation of the new customer-centric ERP.

2) Sustainable and built to last. Clemson expects the new ERP to reduce custom-built reports and, where possible, deploy custom workarounds only when necessary.

3) As common as possible, as different as necessary. The new ERP will enable improved, standardized business processes designed from the ground up with a focus on the big picture.

4) Don’t let past practice get in the way of best practice. Clemson’s new ERP revisits previous ways of working and adjusts policies and procedures to improve how employees complete core tasks.

5) Enable business efficiency. With the new ERP, the University will minimize manual activities to achieve process and business efficiencies.

A look ahead

At the conclusion of the procurement process, Clemson will announce the vendor selected to help implement the new ERP. That vendor will work closely with the entire ERP program team and Clemson stakeholders to ensure a successful implementation of a modern system that empowers faculty, staff and student workers to spend less of their valuable time on recurring HR and Finance tasks – and more time supporting the mission of Clemson University.

As the new ERP is designed, tested and launched over the next few years, the ERP Program Team will collaborate with the selected systems implementer and Clemson user groups to develop and deliver comprehensive, role-based training for faculty, staff and student workers.

Faculty and staff will continue to learn about additional aspects of the ERP program in future OUR Clemson articles as the University’s effort progresses toward design, testing, training and adoption.

General Questions

General questions about Clemson’s new ERP can be submitted via the “Ask a Question” webform.