What You Should Know Before Deciding to Implement an ERP System
Regardless of the type of business you run, implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a positive business move. An ERP implementation is a critical project, however, and should not be undertaken lightly. Risks – such as potentially prohibitive costs – and benefits – such as increased efficiency and/or profits – must be considered before choosing to take on an implementation.
The instance of enterprise resource planning implementation failures is high. Many companies jump into the process with little to no planning, not realizing that the old adage “failing to plan is planning to fail” is true. With proper planning and a clear implementation strategy, however, getting an ERP system up and running in your company can be a success.
We recommend doing research before choosing an ERP vendor. There are numerous software choices available, and your research should help you narrow down your choices. As part of this process, schedule interviews with the shortlisted vendors and compare your options before choosing.
Once you choose, there are several ways to go about implementing the ERP software.
By yourself – you can find an ERP vendor, purchase their software, and then install it yourself on your company’s computers and servers. (Before choosing this implementation method, however, consider the fact that two thirds of midsized businesses are running outdated versions of their ERP software because once a system has been successfully installed, companies worry about upgrading due to the possibility of losing data or customizations.)
With a consultant – here again, you’ll need to find an ERP vendor and purchase their software. With this methodology, though, you will have an expert consultant that works with the ERP vendor who will work with you throughout the process. There is an additional cost of working with a consultant but instances of failed ERP implementations are lower.
In the cloud – cloud-based ERPs are relatively new, but show much promise. You’ll have to choose your vendor again, but with a cloud-based ERP, the software and related infrastructure are hosted remotely, on the internet. With this option, there is no physical location or physical server, so you will avoid installation costs.
ERP technology has the power to streamline processes, reduce costs, and change the way your company does business. It’s important to remember that these changes won’t take place overnight. Due to the large amount of tasks your ERP software is going to handle, the process requires both time and patience.
Failures in ERP implementations are common. Two of the biggest issues that cause such failures are a lack of understanding and a lack of communication. You must know – and remember – that implementing and using an ERP system is not something that is singlehandedly done by the information technology department alone. ERP software will affect everyone in the company, and important information needs to be relayed to all members of your team, not just to managers and IT employees.
If the thought of implementing an ERP system seems daunting, you’re not alone! At Mantralogix, we recommend implementing ERP software using the experience and expertise of a consultant. Our people understand the inner workings of the software and can ease the impact of the implementation process. In addition, we minimize the risks because we understand that along with great technology there are great people, so we make sure to include and train all involved.
If you would like to know more about our implementation practices, feel free to contact us at any time. Mantralogix is here to help!