ERP Strategy

It's All about the Cash in ERP!

Multinational or SME, the cash flow problems are essentially the same. Typically, for example, the salaries are due to be paid on the 27th of the month—and debtors only pay on the last day of the month or later. Direct debits and standing orders are coming up at intervals through any trading month: will we have money in the bank to pay them? More difficult questions arise about longer term cash forecasting, factors like seasonal patterns—severely reduced cash flow in July/August or Christmas surges but January blues. Some firms in non-consumer retail have cash-barren Decembers, yet with all of their employees due bonuses of various kinds. 

Compliance Needs ERP

The regulatory landscape is getting more complex for corporate entities all the time, both nationally and internationally. In the EU, the GDPR regime is looming in May 2018. The slightly less well known 2014 Directive 95 is already in force, mandating non-financial and diversity information from over 6,000 large organisations across the EU. These are general corporate obligations, in financial markets, MiFID II also comes into force this year.

Different ERP Services, Different ERP Challenges

The services sector ranges from office and yacht cleaners to City or Wall Street financial brokers and advisers, from IT systems maintenance and consultancy to tourist guides to logistics to pest control. Services and retail employees far outnumber manufacturing, partly because of the rise of automation and robotics. The future of developed economies is clearly based on services, which in turn involve human skills increasingly supported and supplemented by ever more intelligent systems.

Make to Order Is Big Challenge to ERP

In the early days of ERP [Enterprise Resource Planning], the major part of the functional requirements from the system was to look after the administration of orders for raw materials, components, parts and so on and link them to the manufacturing or operations systems and the central financial management systems. Clearly, the on-site stock position for those elements was an essential requirement to avoid expensive downtime or delays and so MRP [Materials Requirements Planning] was in many ways the precursor of ERP as we know it.

ERP in the Professional Services Sector

Many professional services companies may not have even heard of ERP or may assume that ERP systems are only suitable for manufacturing companies. Though it is true that most ERP vendors initially developed their products for the manufacturing sector, these systems actually offer an excellent range of functionality that can be deployed into professional services companies at a very affordable cost. These services companies may be dismissing systems that could be perfect for them and allow greater integration of their company’s functions.

ERP and CRM—Tech First Cousins

Enterprise Resource Planning and CRM are technology first cousins—and partners. They are usually separate but so intertwined that CRM cannot function effectively without constant communications with ERP, from orders and sales to logistics and deliveries—and customer credit status. ERP aims to be an integrated set of business management and administration applications that covers all normal activities.

ERP and GDPR

We are now within a year of the General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR] coming into legal effect—25 May 2018. It has been expected and prepared for by those enterprises and state organisations that are directly affected and conscious of it, those as it were specialising in personal data. Financial services, online retailers and service providers, government agencies, health services and even recruitment agencies are professionally aware of the new levels of compliance required. Most are still working on GDPR compliance requirements and finding hidden complications and complexity. But their compliance projects are largely well under way.

The ERP Failure Factors

Gartner research has found out that globally from 55% up to 75% of all ERP projects fail. The definition of ‘failure’ is a bit fluid but certainly means the projects did not reach their objectives. At the extreme end, the new systems did not work in any meaningful way or the cost overruns were 100% or more. This level of failure must be daunting to any organisation planning to renew or replace its ERP systems. So what are the key causes or influencing factors in ERP implementation failure?

Managing ERP Implementations in International Environments

Anyone involved in any significant ERP implementation projects recently will have noticed that there are increasingly international aspects to these – more than may have been the case not that many years ago.

System Change V's Customisation V's Configuration V's Standard

One of the top costs of implementing a new ERP system can be the level of changes to base code required to implement the system according to requirements. Are these business processes necessary? Can better processes be deployed?

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