A large number of ERP implementations fail at the very first hurdle. It is common knowledge that the implementation of such a system will not happen overnight, but why is the failure figure so high? ERP software solutions are slowly becoming the industry standard as technology continues to advance and competitors continue to invest, so you would think that the introduction of such systems should be common practice. We have put together three things to consider when it comes to the implementation of an ERP system;
– The functionality of the system. There are so many different systems to choose from that all offer a different perspective when it comes to ERP. Choosing a system to suit your exact needs is a must as if you get this wrong, it is only going to go one way, and that’s downhill. Different packages offer different core features and are driven by different values and theories. For example, some are very good at handling financials and the accounting side of things, whereas others prosper when it comes to the front end of the system such as CRM (customer relationship management). MIETrak Pro is predominately production, reporting and costing driven. We can export financials that are then handled by an independent third party accounts packages. We have a basic CRM system in place but also integrate with CRM specialists Workbooks for the people who require more depth in this area. Here at MIE we are production people and so that’s why we keep to what we know and declare ourselves as a production control specific package.
– Be sure of the cost. I cannot outline this point enough. The amount of times I have personally walked into a manufacturing company to find that they have spent tens and even sometimes hundreds of thousands on an ERP system that is still ‘sat in a box’ is untrue. According to a Panorama ERP Study, 74.1% of ERP projects exceed budget so make sure you are clear of the financial implications from the offset. Be sure to question things such as the structure of the software (modular or complete), potential charges for report changes and find out if the company have a tiered based support contract. Of course I can only speak on behalf of MIE and the way we do business. Report changes are covered by your annual support contract and we do not have a tiered system. Once on support, our support team is at your disposal to whatever extent you require. The system itself comes as a complete package so there are no bolt-on’s, and once you have purchased the software it’s yours.
– Speak to people in your shoes. So you have just had a demonstration by a potential ERP supplier that went well and they answered ‘yes’ to every question you threw their way. Great, sounds to me like you may have just met one of a thousand software sales reps trying to make a living. I’m not trying to say every sales rep will try and miss sell you something, but at the end of the day they are there to try and secure a deal. First things first, get them to show you there and then that it can do what they say it can do. Also, be sure to cross reference what they say they can do with people who actually use the system on a daily basis. Make sure to ask for a list of references that you can contact directly for an unbiased opinion and try and speak to companies who work within the same industry. Generally if it works for them, there is a high chance it will work for you. According to Mint Jutras, a staggering 67% of companies reported that they needed a solution with more industry-specific functionality than their current ERP system. As I’m sure you will agree, this statistic alone makes the point I have just highlighted a major priority.
The general rule of thumb when looking at such an investment is to take your time. Make sure you have all of your questions answered as once you have committed, it is very hard to turn back and go elsewhere.
If you would like any more information or would like to discuss your requirements in further detail then please either;
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