Various IT software solutions are expanding at an impressive rate, including enterprise resource planning tools. Although not the most accessible options on the market in previous years, more businesses are embracing these systems to support a variety of mission-critical functions for their unique customer demands and industry needs.
A TechNavio report from late May indicated that the global ERP software industry will expand at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 6.3 percent between 2013 and 2018.
"ERP software is a business management solution that enables organizations to integrate all business operations, including product planning, product development, manufacturing processes, inventory control, and distribution for optimal management. Various modules of ERP software can be purchased as a stand-alone offering or as an embedded offering," TechNavio explained.
A successful ERP implementation yields immense benefits to the companies relying on these tools.TechNavio indicated that an effective deployment improves both internal and external collaboration, automated sales, streamlined work processes, increased employee productivity, and reduced business process cycles. The software is important for various corporate departments, including human resources, customer service, operations, manufacturing, sales, and finance.
Achieving a successful ERP launch, however, is immensely challenging. Industry research has highlighted the hardships of effective implementations, emphasizing the fact that businesses have to do better in choosing available vendors and software to avoid future complications. Organizations that make a wrong decision will likely need to heavily customize their systems to gain critical functionality, making these suites even more challenging to manage. It is worth the added effort to plan ahead if it means keeping a product in place for years to come, instead of replacing it soon after launch.
A Panorama Consulting survey contains a perfect example of how difficult ERP implementations can be for companies. Of the organizations polled, only 35 percent launched ERP solutions within budget, compared to more than a third of respondents that experienced deployments that exceeded monetary forecasts by at least 26 percent, according to a CFO report.
There are a variety of issues that are plaguing firms' ERP systems. Panorama found that 25 percent of organizations cited implementations that were too large in scope. Another 17 percent experienced unexpected challenges that impeded their progress.
A successful ERP implementation is often based on the functionality delivered by the software itself. The survey found, however, that nearly 50 percent of companies' systems delivered less than half of their projected workloads, CFO reported.
"Organizations looking to shave costs and time typically (and regrettably) nix the business case and other key measurement activities in an effort to get the system installed quickly and cheaply," Panorama Consulting said, CFO reported.
Businesses, regardless of their respective industries, should not jump at the first ERP tool they come across. The most cost-effective suite is often not the most functional and suitable for particular markets, which is why consulting with a professional before making any decision proves its worth over the long run.
Infor solutions, for example, are ideal for all types of industries - evidenced by the fact that the service provider has achieved a customer base of more than 70,000 clients from various fields. The vendor is a good source of knowledge when it comes to ERP implementations, so first-time adopters that want to get it right from the start should contact the company today.
Firms that have experienced inadequate ERP deployments in the past should also consult with a leading ERP vendor such as Infor if they want their next product launch to be their last for a while.