Planning for an ERP implantation in near future? Worried about rising costs? Not sure about what is right for you? ERP implementation surely comes with a lot of challenges, even though its benefits are manifold. In the next few years, your business value will reach new heights and touch new shores of expansion, with successful ERP integration. With a prior knowledge of the challenges and bottlenecks, you may be better prepared. Here, we discuss some of the common challenges of ERP implementation.
ERP implementations in most cases fail because of incorrect requirement analysis. One needs to know the difference when an ERP application is integrated with an e-commerce site and a POS software.
You need to know whether the ERP app needs to be integrated with CRM as well. However, in most companies requirement analysis is done by people with limited knowledge of ERP. Primary emphasis is laid upon the cost and faster execution. But unfortunately, the project fails in most cases as the requirement is not fully understood in the hurry of haggling about the payments. To have more clarity on ERP implementation, case to case differences, actual time and money to be invested, involve people with good knowledge on ERP. They would advise you, guide you in better decision making, and thereby drive better results. Make sure the requirement analysis checklist is reviewed by a techie team, before signing on the dotted lines.
Following closely on the lines of the previous challenge discussed, lack of knowledge continues to rock the boat of ERP implementation. When your company is preparing for a major data transfer from the legacy system to a new ERP reality, it is necessary to have a basic understanding of the changes that are taking place, the new interface, and risks or losses involved in the process. You may arrange for a brief knowledge transfer session for all employees or anybody who would be part of the new system, before the actual change takes place. Not an elaborate training program followed by a test, but a simple 45-minute session by the knowledgeable resources, for all to attend. Training videos of the same may also be circulated.
Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle Corporation once said that taking care of one’s customers is important, but taking care of one’s employees is more important. This implies that you should have the right resources in your team for customer success. You need to understand their worth and utilize their full knowledge and potential for an efficient project management. Trust them, mentor them, train them and let them come up with a killer project management plan that will not only ensure a successful ERP implementation but a better future for your business. Only with a meticulous project management, you can achieve that, no amount of cost-cutting or package deals help.
ERP is often misunderstood as a wholesale package solution for a company. But unfortunately, it is not. ERP applications are actually a framework with which a customized solution is built. This means, your requirements have to be defined well in advance and accordingly a customized ERP solution will be created. For that, you need to define the workflows and do a capability analysis, beforehand. You might have to make a few minor adjustments in the application solution to meet all your enterprise needs. These adjustments or modifications differ from suite to suite and might be required at the beginning or sometime in the middle of implementation. If you are prepared for a capacity planning, delays in implementation and time loss because of system outage may be kept at bay.
Rising Operational Expenses
Overhead cost is one of the biggest challenges of ERP implementation. The initial cost of implementation is high, but the customization and maintenance costs are even higher. The more customization needs are, the higher are operation costs. Maintenance costs are of course, a necessary evil, which cannot be brushed aside. However, with an efficient requirement analysis and resource planning, much of this cost may be brought under control. Sit with the best brains in the organization to find out what you really for enhancing business value. Ask for only what you actually need. Do not go by the attractive fringe benefits or “added features” which the application promises. You might not need them at all. Ask for features that will add value to your product or service, attract more business, and position you better as an entrepreneur. That way, you will get the true value for your made-to-order features, without costing a bomb.
Now that you are aware of the technological challenges, your organization is well-equipped for integration. With a smart planning, you can get your best consultants onboard to address the potential issues, discuss organization-specific needs, and perform a due diligence for a hassle-free ERP implantation. With their business insight, you can plan for implementation monitoring and low-maintenance solution. Embrace ERP implementation with an open mind and ready infrastructure.
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The technology landscape today is fast changing and the pace is faster than you think. Changes occur before you can apprehend, your needs are answered before you realize the potential solutions, and all our manual chores are completed in much smarter way. Yes, we are talking about Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, IoT, automation, and machine learning, which will continue to rock the world in 2018. Here, we discuss some of the hot trends that inspire us for a better life with lesser manual operations.
Artificial intelligence or AI, as it is commonly known as is the latest technology trend. It encompasses a whole lot of things (like writing Google algorithm or driving a car). Driven by automated robots with human-like characteristics, AI aims at performing regular manual tasks as well as coming up with suggestive instructions for a specific problem. While the first one is an example of narrow AI, the latter is an example of general AI or strong AI. IBM Watson which comes up with ready legal advice or solutions on entering an issue or problem is another example of strong AI. In the coming days, AI will become more refined in robot integration to perform more complicated tasks such as welding, automated transportation or climate change.
IoT or Internet of Things is another hot technology trend. Operating everything by Internet or wireless technology to reduce human efforts and make our lives easier, is the need of the day. Smart Homes or Smart Cars, the most common example of IoT, makes use of Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Smart Homes, readily make use of Canary or Piper, as home security solution. Canary is a remarkable combination of video, audio, motion detection, night vision, a siren, and air quality, temperature, and humidity sensors put into a single device. It can be operated from mobile and runs on Internet. Piper, a similar device, has all of these features, plus, a home monitoring system and a speaker that lets you keep a watch on home when you are away or speak to someone staying at home, over wireless. Future applications of IoT include Smart Cities and Connected Cars.
Automation, an older player in the technology sphere, operates by chatbots to perform human-exclusive tasks. The primary purpose of automation was to simplify everyday tasks without human intervention. Everyday tasks like coffee maker, air conditioner, ice makers or Amazon Alexa. Automated air conditioners sense room temperature and make adjustments accordingly. Amazon Alexa allows to save a pre-defined grocery list and make minor adjustments to it, every time, you need to add or remove a few items from the list and order online. You do not need to remember the list of necessary items. You can simply place your order and chill.
High end applications of automation include automated journalism or editing. You get systematic reporting of events like football tournaments or quarterly earnings results.
Machine Learning, also known as ML, is populating suggestions for performing an activity or predict a situation, based on previous observations. Some of the most common applications of ML traffic predictions, ridesharing, school and office applications. How nice would it be to get an accurate prediction of the traffic status, using your mobile location info, before you are stepping out for work? Share rides like Uber have pop-up suggestions when you are booking a cab. You are asked if you want to book a sedan if a micro or mini cab is not available. Your location may also be saved as favorite, based on your nubile phone location, which means you do not have to choose a location, every time, you are booking a cab.
The term “Virtual Reality” implies viewing the virtual space as augmented reality. Technology makes use of computer-generated sensors to interact with another computer. The biggest advantage of virtual reality is ensuring near-life experiences and reduced computer expenses. What started as an alternative to 3D vision and working with a virtual computer for better storage and efficiency, has come a long way and ensures such things as 3D scene reconstruction, 3D mapping, accurate gesture tracking, and advanced telepresence.
Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, Samsung GearVR and Epson Movario are some of the major players in the Virtual Reality space. Among the new entrants, Meta, Avegant Glyph, Daqri and Magic Leap are fast gaining popularity with new levels of usability.
As we get ready for another change, let us make use of what is already available. This also means that the services that we require will be available on an on-demand basis. This will not redefine our quality of living, but also help us re-think our needs. We will concern ourselves with more critical needs, relating to innovative thinking in medical research, mass welfare, education, and international security.