From its advent in the early 1990s, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has become an increasingly popular business management tool. Having evolved from a back-office operation automation software, ERP functional capabilities have drastically evolved over the years and now encompasses financial applications, customer relationship management (CRM), human resource and payroll management and even business analytics. ERP has been successful in providing real-time capabilities and seamless communication to numerous organisations all over the globe. Implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning software is an enterprise-wide undertaking and has implications on multiple aspects of the business such as process, people, and culture. As a result, organisations looking to deploy ERP systems must consider a number of factors.
Here’s a list of 5 key considerations to take into account while implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning software:
1. Integrating ERP into existing business functions
To start of the implementation process, the organisation implementing the ERP software must gain clarity on individual business functions and the value of integrating them with the ERP. It is essential that only functions which can help the business gain a competitive edge are integrated. To achieve this, map out a specific plan of how to configure, integrate and optimise the ERP system to suit individual business functions.
2. Business Process Optimisation versus Customisation
ERP software is developed to automate operations irrespective of the business or industry the software is implemented in. It is not uncommon to have differences between the ERP’s functional capabilities and the unique requirements of the business. This should be seized as an opportunity to relook at existing processes, eliminate redundant and obsolete process, and explore adopting available processes with the ERP software from a process optimisation prism. Understand the ERP solution’s framework and how it applies to the business to uncover the best way to customise the ERP solution.
3. Value addition
It is also imperative to consider how the ERP implementation will translate into benefits for the organisation. To be meaningful, an ERP investment should add value by cutting costs, enhancing revenue, mitigating risk, or improving asset utilisation. The organisation should be able to reap the benefits of advanced scheduling and planning features of the ERP software that help increase throughput and decrease downtime.
4. Mobile adaptation
Accelerating enterprise mobility is on the top of the agenda for most companies across the globe. Organisations must consider enabling ERP mobile adaptation for faster and intermission-free operations.
5. Enabling Cloud ERP
By choosing to go on cloud, organisations can eliminate the need to purchase the necessary storage hardware and server and maintain it on site which, in turn, can reduce operational expenditures. Also, organisations have a choice to host the ERP solution fully or partially on the cloud.
When organisations consider ERP implementation, it is essential to understand critical business challenges and requirements, and its impact on the business. These factors, and not just the implementation cost, should drive the implementation approach of the company.