Businesses planning an enterprise resource planning (ERP) deployment have an uphill battle on their hands if they do not conduct extensive research before ever launching the software. There are so many complications that can occur during implementation or throughout the product's life cycle that it is nearly impossible for a company to maximize its return on investment in these highly functional tools.

SYS-CON Media's Esmeralda Swartz recently highlighted the issues that can plague an ERP implementation and the list is not a short one. Some of the most common challenges for businesses include inflexible solutions, a lack of quote-to-cash processes, expensive maintenance and upgrade costs, disparate systems, regional restrictions for regulations, taxation and currencies and inaccurate information.

Swartz asserted that life doesn't get any easier for organizations given that they also have to address the "everything-as-a-service" phenomenon, which means that traditional products are not exactly how they used to be defined in the past.

"Customers want the freedom to mix and match pieces of different options and essentially create their own new service. After all, while customizing a mass-produced product is a challenge, surely it's easy to fine-tune a service. With an immense scaling up of service types and complexity, there is a requirement for businesses to negotiate deals with customers and partners that are more granular, not less, to the point where almost every billable event might be a micropayment," Swartz explained.

Avoid these challenges from the start
Organizations looking for ways to avoid these problems with their ERP solutions need to understand that a combination of effective software from a leading vendor can make all of the difference in the long run. Service providers that truly know the ins and outs of the ERP industry and understand the demands of their clients and their respective markets are worth their weight in gold.

Infor solutions, for example, have garnered a reputation as being some of the best ERP tools available. The vendor has earned the trust of its clients, gaining more than 70,000 worldwide. These customers are also not operating in just one or two fields, but a vast variety of industries, proving Infor has been up to the challenge of supporting a broad audience effectively.

ERP solutions are critical to many everyday operations. However, it is clear that too many businesses are rushing or not researching their deployments as they should. Either approach can lead to heavy customization of the software, which requires additional time, money and resources to accomplish. Businesses that tweak their systems too much will likely experience performance bottlenecks because they lack a streamlined approach. Firms can get it right the first time and avoid the inevitability of replacing the entire platform a few years after launch. Infor solutions can help clients steer clear of these damaging shortcomings and maximize their ERP investments.