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One of the most difficult things about trying to implement an Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP is simply getting honest, accurate, and insightful information when you are trying to compare various ERP products. The vendors will give you a great sales pitch and treat you to a complimentary demo, but you never truly learn how well an ERP performs in a real-world setting.

By focusing on ERP case studies, companies can get a much deeper understanding of the benefits/hazards that ERP carries, and the potential or lack thereof that any specific product offers. It’s worth doing your own research and coming to your own conclusions, but if you don’t have the time, these are the kinds of obstacles and opportunities that come up consistently in ERP case studies.

Obstacles

  • Buy-In – ERP is an enterprise-wide piece of IT that can deeply affect every single department. Unfortunately, many upper-level managers sign off on ERP but never commit to or invest in the new technology. As a result, it delivers just a fraction of what it could.
  • Implementation – The implementation process can make or break an ERP. If a company does not have the right resources and is unrealistic in its expectations, it is possible for an ERP to take tons of time and money while delivering a broken product in the end.
  • Training – The goal is for a team to embrace ERP starting on day one and make it a fundamental part of workflows. That requires training and education, no matter how easy or intuitive an ERP claims to be. Empowering a team to make the most of ERP is never a waste of money.
  • Selection – The simple fact is that some ERP products and some ERP vendors are a lot better than others. Mishandling the selection process can leave a company with an ERP that is distinctly incompatible with its needs and wants. This creates endless, unexpected, and costly problems.

Opportunities

  • Strategy – Every effort made in the service of developing strategy becomes easier and more effective when it is driven by data. Since an ERP offers a shared platform that integrates more data in a more direct way, it is possible for decision makers to rely on metrics and analytics rather than assumptions and intimations.
  • Cost – The full-cost of ERP is often offset by a reduction in costs elsewhere. For example, ERP for distribution companies automates many time and labor-intensive tasks while reducing the risk of error. Companies can maximize the value of their resources while reducing unnecessary setbacks.
  • Collaboration – The shared platform of ERP is the ideal environment for your team to share information, ideas, and efforts. By facilitating collaboration, you empower your team to become a sum that is greater than its individual parts. Many ERP case studies directly link the introduction of ERP to an uptick in innovation.
  • Cloud – If you have not already embraced the cloud, ERP is a great place to start. Since ERP is such a foundational piece of IT, and since it is naturally suited to a cloud orientation, many businesses rely on it for their first major foray into the could. It proves to be an effective introduction while enhancing the value of the ERP as well.

A survey of ERP case studies reveals that implementing an ERP is never an easy process or a decision that should be made lightly. But when a company is willing to invest the time, money, and energy to make ERP a success, it tends to pay dividends greater than anyone anticipated.

 

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