Reasons for Implementing ERP

This blog, “Reasons to Implement an ERP”, is the first in a series.  We’ll investigate modern ERPs in the new economy, discuss configuration vs. customisation, identify areas for business process improvements, give generic guidelines aimed at assisting in the selection process and the like.  We’ll also address project management, change management and the identification of KPIs to assess the benefits and payback from a new ERP deployment. 

The reasons for implementing a new Enterprise Resource Planning system have changed in recent years. 

Organisations’ system priorities have changed with a shift in how and where people gather information and how they communicate information – new sources and channels that are unfamiliar to traditional ERPs.  The focus now is on leveraging technology to keep an organisation current in an ever-changing environment.  ERPs must be able to address this by operating seamlessly in this new environment and must be flexible enough to cater for ever-changing processes going forward.

The fundamental reason for implementing a new ERP is to improve business performance.  But not all ERP’s are created equal, so not all are sure to deliver on this mandate.  It is those ERPs that can streamline and automate processes across all entities, divisions and departments using any channel and any device that are delivering the goods.  It is such ERPs that can position a business for growth, make key employees more efficient and productive and ultimately, serve customers better.  The ERP must also be flexible so that it can be automated to optimise the integration between various functional areas and disciplines to achieve multi‑functional alignment when processing an activity from start to finish.

The need for a functionally rich ERP that processes formal transactions (credits and debits) efficiently, cost-effectively and securely is a given, but an ERP system’s ability to automatically receive, analyse, process, interact with and store informal transactions is now key.

ICT professionals tend to work towards the creation of a common IT platform across an organisation.  In addition to integrated processes, modern ERPs have an integrated system architecture making them available across a geographically dispersed company.  A single data source removes the need to store data in multiple locations and upload and download data between remote sites and their centralised reporting entity.

Disparate Unintegrated legacies from the past

It is all too frequent that organisations end up running many systems from basic accounting to Human Resources; from Customer Relationship Management to Asset Maintenance; from Point of Sale to Vendor Management and, and, and.  In larger corporations this usually stems from previous acquisitions or from a policy of self determination for each company or division in the corporate whole.  This lack of system conformism has a damaging effect on process and data flows across the organisation.  This is compounded when systems are mismatched, have high costs of ownership and are expensive to upgrade.  It is generally then that an organisation will review its IT structure in line with its business strategies and when a new ERP becomes an option.

From Integrated to Bot enabled data entry

A modern ERP must be able to do more than integrate all areas of a company’s operations.  We all know that if ERP can receive sales enquiries, process them to order, to fulfilment, to cash in an integrated and speedy fashion across multiple business processes, cash flow is improved.   What we expect now is Bot enabled, integrated ERP where data entry from inquiries to order placement are done via a Bot interface – no human intervention required.

No more board packs with 45 day old information, the new digital employee/manager/owner demands information pushed to mobile and wearable devices.

The question is no longer “is the information ready and available for our board meeting next week”, but rather “when is the new data mart available so I can change my real-time dashboard to include the information for my 10 o’clock stand up?”.

There is a new generation of modern ERPs (and cloud services like AI, IoT and Bots) out there, don’t let your business be caught off guard by the competition adopting new tech faster and with agility.