Today, practically every company is going through some sort of digital transformation. Whether it is a service delivery transformation, operational improvement using ITSM as a framework, or other change, companies need to be proactive and look to the future to stay competitive. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is a core component of this digital revolution, allowing companies to collect, store, manage, and analyze data across a wide range of business functions to drive business goals. However, choosing and implementing an effective ERP environment can be challenging. To succeed, the organization must carefully identify their needs and build a roadmap for ERP success.
Choosing and Implementing an ERP solution
When choosing an ERP solution, it is important to remain agnostic and work with vendors that can meet your unique business and technology challenges. By Identifying unique needs, companies can better map out their path and compare capabilities of individual ERPs.
Understand business goals – The right ERP solution will be matched to business goals. Whether your company wants to achieve market expansion, category growth, brand presence, or expanded market penetration, it is important to build an ERP strategy that aligns with long term objectives. This means working with vendors and effectively communicating goals.
Identify needed functionality – Start with a deep understanding of the business processes that must be enabled, transitioned or delivered by the ERP environment. By listing all the current ERP systems that will be consolidated and identifying core business functionality the environment will need to encompass, you can better choose a solution that meets your needs. It is important to understand the application footprint you currently have as well as the current state of IT infrastructure and technical architecture.
Avoid customization – Tweaking and configuring an ERP environment to your company’s needs is a necessity, but in depth customization can add significant time, risk and cost to the project. It is best to find as close to a turnkey solution as possible.
Choose cloud or on-site solutions – Depending on your existing architecture, scalability needs, and budget, it may make sense to go with an outsourced cloud based ERP solution, at least for certain functionality. This can take the strain off your in-house IT infrastructure and allow the project to get up and running more quickly.
Train and build knowledge – Understand the user community and the level of experience that they may have with current ERP systems. This will inform the training and change management component of the process.
Focus on innovation
Although implementing an ERP that can deliver core business functionality may be alright for today, it won’t keep your business competitive tomorrow. Perhaps the most important component of choosing and implementing an ERP solution is to look to the future. Don’t just focus on current requirements. Think about the company in five or ten years and try to identify future needs. Consider other functionality that could impact customer experience, supplier experience and internal operations.
Think about the scalability and flexibility of the architecture to accommodate automation, predictive analytics, IoT, and other upcoming technologies. How is the solution and architectural framework going to deliver what is needed from a business perspective and how will it scale to meet the future challenges of tomorrow? Answering these questions and finding a solution that meets your needs will allow your company to maximize the potential of ERP to drive business goals.
To learn more about what Wavestone US can do for your company, visit http://www.wavestone.us/capabilities/.
Have a Question? Just Ask
Whether you're looking for practical advice or just plain curious, our experienced principals are here to help. Check back weekly as we publish the most interesting questions and answers right here.