Year on year, much in the ERP software industry has remained the same & lot of things have changed as well. ERP failures are making their way up on the task list for software vendors, IT heads, ERP project managers and of course, all those business houses who have already invested a lot of time and money.
There are Lot of Things that have Turned out to be Positive, Exciting & have Started Gaining that Spot Light.
- Mobile and business intelligence have started gaining that momentum, as predicted by industry gurus.
- Cloud strategies/solutions & Software as a Service (SaaS), have started enjoying that enhanced adoption, after a sadistic start, though.
Looking backward is not what I would suggest; instead let’s see what’s next?
What has the ERP software industry to offer us in near future?
- ERP Failures Are Unavoidable and are Not Going Extinct in near Future. It should begin with “US” and so we should accept the fact, fearlessly, that ERP implementations are a bit complex and risky as well for every organization striving to succeed. Evolving expertise & practice might take care of ERP failure ratios, which is a futuristic approach.
- End Users and Buyers Will Have Enhanced Information About ERP Systems. ERP solution providers are in the process of educating their clients in a detailed manner, to create that additional inclination towards their own ERP implementation, which is good for the consumers to make a detailed decision. Every ERP implementation failure story, available on internet, is becoming a case study for others, nowadays.
- Shirking Off Responsibilities For ERP Success, Will Diminish. Awareness about ERP implementation is bringing in that realization for stakeholders that ultimate responsibility of success or failure is solely in their hands. Delegating entire responsibility to your ERP consultant, ERP vendor or system integrator may sound easy; but implementation will only succeed, depending highly on appropriate, informed and difficult decision making process of your business. Getting rid of shifty ERP vendor, hiring a single ERP vendor to avoid too many cooks spoiling your soup; is what I am referring to.
- Evolving Mobility And Business Intelligence Tools Are The Rising Stars. Increasing number of companies will realize that, ERP implementation standalone will not yield them appropriate ROI. Instead it will work in their favor, to make better use of business information through these tools, which support decision-making for employees and key decision-makers, as well.
- ERP Consultants Will Face Turbulence, And The Change Will Be For Betterment. Businesses would be relieved from the process of selecting between software developing firms, system integrators & manufacturing consultants. The turbulence will stir out the good ERP consultants, able to offer aforesaid, who are more likely to succeed.
- ERP Success Ratios Likely To Elevate. Even with all the adversities, ERP implementations will succeed. Actually there would be a visible difference in the successful and the not-so-successful ERP implementations. One good thing would be that, though it would not neutralize failure ratios, it will give a clear picture to all – that ERP success is not a myth. Instead, when implementation best practices are followed, it can be turned to reality. It also would boost the belief that cheaper always is not better.
You all, along with me, would agree that in spite of an entire hurly-burly picture, ERP is becoming an indispensable proposition for businesses. With so much of time, money and resources at stake, delays and mistakes in ERP implementation are not acceptable.
Let’s have a Look at Some of the Tips to efficiently handle ERP Implementation:
- Advanced Planning Along With Analytical Thinking are absolute requirements for successful execution of an ERP project. Internal audit of all the policies and processes gives an understanding of the right ERP system for your organization.
- Due Diligence Prior To Vendor Selection Would Be Your Savior. Do not get carried away by the sales tactics and sales pitch by the vendors. Always do your homework before selecting a vendor. It is always good to get references, check out client reviews and make sure that the vendor has the right kind of expertise and capabilities to deliver the best and as per your requirements.
- Cost Estimation For An Enterprise Resource Planning Solution is one of the most crucial tasks. It is important to consider how much money you need to invest in a proposed project, and how much recurring costs will it accrue upon implementation. Get a detailed report of software license fees, maintenance fees, hardware, implementation services etc. Ones you are fully aware of costs, you can plan your budgets accordingly and there remain very less chances of your budget going overboard.
- Setting Project Deadlines In Order To Ensure Timely Implementation of ERP system & to start getting the optimum benefits as fast as you can. If you are self implementing, it might take more time however, when a professional handles things for you, ask for estimates and make sure that the deadlines are met.
- Appropriate Understanding Of ERP Features Is Something That Will Decide The Fate Of Your Investment In This System. An organization invests millions in development, implementation and maintenance of an ERP system. However if end users are not aware of the features and facilities, the system provides, then your ERP system is reduced to nothing more than an overpriced excel sheet.
- Training Your Employees, with reference to aforesaid point # 5, are the end users & can make the best use of ERP system, is something that I would recommend to be done religiously. Employees trained adequately to make best use of ERP system will lead to ERP project fruition, certainly.
- Ensuring Efficient Erp Change Management Is A Lifeline To The Success Of The Entire Activity. ERP implementation or up-gradation without change management in place will reflect on the morale of employees & thus affecting their performance, productivity and result in overall deterioration.
- Ensuring Data Accuracy Needs To Be Given Extra Weightage As any ERP system is only as good as the data that is fed into it. Hence, proper programming and procedural parameters need to be implemented and any possibility of errors should be minimized.
- Decommissioning Legacy Applications actively should be monitored as an ongoing process. It can be effectively tagged along with ERP implementation & the most suitable time for this activity is during enterprise wide package implementation. This will help your IT team to detect the obsolete, fit and gap processes, and streamline work flow and reduce costs and waste.
- Focus On Optimizing Value Chain If You Are A Smart Businessman/Entrepreneur. Often companies assume that ERP can be used to run a business end-to-end. However, no matter how flexible your ERP system is, it cannot encompass all business logic & hence, the core focus of organizations should be towards optimizing value chain and trace costs.
I would like to sum it up, that it is really important to know your business goals. Without setting measurable goals, gaining benefits from any ERP system is not possible. One needs to know exactly what they want out of the ERP system, and communicate the same to the ERP vendor. Hopefully these tips may help you successfully implement ERP systems & thus maximize your business benefits.
Chirag Shivalker is one of the very few business writers with flair of social commentary through his technical writing at Crispy Codes. With A decade long experience in technology writing and trend analysis Chirag is an expert in technology and technological trends along with business writing. Technology in mind and words at will Chirag is an all-rounder who has established his writing capabilities’ in multiple technology disciplines.