Potential Hurdles of an ERP Implementation
By design, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software helps to streamline business processes, enhance communication between departments, and improve overall productivity: (almost) every business could benefit from an ERP solution. Despite these benefits, implementing an ERP can cause of variety of pain points for all parties involved. Understanding these potential hurdles is the first step to overcoming them and establishing the foundation for your company’s future growth.
ERP and the Cloud
Cloud-based ERPs have gained significant momentum recently, and with good reason. There are a variety of advantages of going with a cloud-based ERP solution, not the least of which is expense. With a cloud-based ERP, investing in the upfront cost of buying a server and other hardware is not necessary. A cloud-based solution allows for quick growth and flexible options if growth is stalled, or company storage needs vary throughout the year.
However, while it may be easier and cheaper to get up and running with a cloud-based ERP, this strategy also means potentially moving sensitive data beyond your company’s servers. While sounding nefarious, options for enhancing your company’s cybersecurity are plentiful. There is a safety net out there.
ERP and Customization
While customized ERP solutions have been the norm, this may be changing. Heavily customized solutions can lead to complex code and costly software upgrades. However, that does not mean that customized ERP will go away, nor does it necessarily mean your upgrade will be cost prohibitive. What it does mean though is that your company will need to be thoughtful and strategic in your customizations and only customize when it means giving your company a specific business advantage over your competitors.
Mobile ERP is not new. What is new, however, is how we define mobile. While mobile used to mean hand-held scanning devices on the warehouse floor, today mobile means tablets, smart phones, any personal computing device. As a result, the standard has become all access, at all times, and in all places. Your ERP is no exception. You will need to keep this need in mind when implementing your ERP and work to develop single-function applications that run on any, and all, mobile platforms.
Integration is potentially the most painful of all the potential pain points when implementing a new (or upgrading an existing) ERP solution. The key to overcoming this hurdle is ensuring all applications speak to one another so that end-users have the information they need. Ensure all aspects of your business buy in to the ERP solution and are all working for the success of its implementation, especially your IT department. Having buy-in from the IT department helps ensure a smooth transition, and integration of your ERP solution, not only with your other systems, but the company as a whole.
Implementing an ERP solution can help your company be more productive and foster continued growth. However, like all change, it does not always come easy. Understanding and working proactively to overcome the obstacles that are often encountered when implementing a new ERP solution or upgrading an existing one will help ensure your ERP implementation is a smart investment in your company’s future.