Frank Crewe's blog

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.

Computer Systems Validation – Key Questions Answered

When working with ERP systems in the life sciences sector there are two key questions in relation to computer systems validation (CSV) which clients always ask. Which parts of the pharmaceutical value chain are subject to CSV? Which modules of an ERP system need to be validated?

Should you Customise your ERP System?

Most ERP practitioners strongly advise against customising your ERP system. “It is better to change the way you work rather than change the system,” we are told. Customisations add cost, complexity and risk to your ERP project, but are there situations where this is actually the best course of action?

ERP in Process Industries

Specialised and diverse functional requirements place significant demands on the ERP systems which support process industries and in many cases act as a barrier, preventing ERP vendors entering the process industry market for ERP systems. This barrier to entry is compounded by the fact that the process manufacturing sector is a relatively small market compared to markets such as discrete manufacturing, retail and professional services.

Improve the Bottom Line with ERP and Good Website Design

Imagine an easy-to-use website, backed by efficient fulfilment processes, comprehensive commercial functionality and a lean business model that is integrated with back office processes. The result is a seamless customer experience from ordering through to receipt of goods – one that encourages repeat business.

ERP in Service Industries - What are the available options?

In recent years we have seen much of the traditional manufacturing industries in Europe relocate to the lower cost economies such as those in Asia. Governments across Europe are looking to the Services sector to replace the jobs which are being lost. Leaders speak of the “Knowledge Economy” or the “Smart Economy” as the way forward. This Opinion considers how service companies can have sophisticated and effective IT systems with affordable total cost of ownership.

ERP Package Versus Bespoke

Some organisations, when faced with the need to implement new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, have to decide between a packaged system and a bespoke development approach. What are the factors in making this decision? 

Cloud Based ERP Has Come of Age

The ERP marketplace has continued to evolve in recent years with particular emphasis on cloud based ERP solutions. The ERP vendors continue to consolidate with significant merger activity at the top end of the market, such as Infor’s acquisition of Lawson in 2011. We have also seen smaller Software as a Service (SaaS) providers continue to take market share from larger ERP vendors. SaaS providers such as Salesforce, NetSuite and Plex Online are growing exponentially, offering cloud based solutions for specific areas like CRM, Finance and Supply Chain.

Computer Systems Validation in an ERP Implementation Project

For regulated industries such as those in the life sciences sector, computer systems need to be validated to prove regulatory compliance. When implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, companies must make sure that their validation plans form an integral part of the overall implementation project plan.

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