5 Unexpected Things To Expect Before ERP Implementation: Can Selecting Right Vendor Help?

Remember, a good ERP system ‘ideally’ should have an impact on every part of your business. Here we are talking about an ‘ideal’ condition. Reality can be far from ‘ideal’. With countless ERP softwares available in the market, it becomes almost impossible to select the right ERP solution which fits your organization. When you are a first time buyer, the choice becomes more difficult as you can face a number of challenges. Identifying these challenges in the planning stage can solve a lot of problems; the primary being selecting the right vendor.

Do not be confused with too many options

As a business owner, it is crucial to establish, define and understand the unique business processes of the company. If required, prepare a list of questions for the ERP vendor. You not only need the right software, but also the right vendor. Remember, when it comes to ERP solution, it’s not a one-size fits all situation. For example, if you are in the manufacturing or export industry, you will need a reliable ERP software like Expand ERP. With an expert ERP solution like ExpandERP, you will be promised end-to-end solutions which will fulfill the specific requirements of your business

Enquire about the technology specifications of the ERP solution

While selecting the right ERP, think of the technology that the ERP solution is using. Ask whether the ERP solution is turnkey or will be customized as per the organization’s business processes. If the ERP solution is scalable, will it be able to adapt to the growing users or increases in data? Ask about the speed of the product and how it will impact the end user. Another major concern of the organization is whether there will be possible support for multi-company or multi-site environments if the company wants to work on multiple operations. Now, this is where ExpandERP is different from other ERP solutions; as it is hosted on cloud it helps to quickly migrate legacy systems and implement most advanced technology features across different processes and departments effortlessly.

Think about data quality control

Two of the most common data challenges that a company faces while implementing a new ERP system is replacing legacy data and think about a process to consolidate separate solutions. A business should decide on the kind of data which needs to be collected for business processes and operations. This will be closely followed by the clearance of any duplicate or inaccurate data which was part of the previous system.
An expert vendor like eDominar will help you to guide you through the entire process and map the migration of the newly refined data to the new file format. It is absolutely crucial that all data is balanced prior to going live. Remember that the data integrity of the new system can either make or break the implementation of ERP. With ExpandERP, there is absolutely no requirement for in-house IT infrastructure or upgrades. You need not worry about data backup of security.

Talk about the true expenses of the ERP solution

Before you select the vendor or sign a contract, you need to determine the rough estimate of ROI. As a business owner you are likely to evaluate the cost of the ERP platform and whether it is okay to pay that amount, considering the functionalities it will offer. Also, many organizations have the concern whether the charges will be one-time or if they will be recurring. In case, it is the latter, you need to figure out whether or not the organization can afford that amount. You also need to find out about the annual maintenance charges.

Once you evaluate all these expenses, do a quick review about the ROI; your investment should not be more than the projected returns. The Expand team takes care of any user query over remote desktop and phone support at zero expense. As it is a cloud ERP, there will be automatic statutory updates. New reporting changes and new features will get rolled out instantaneously at zero cost.

Will the ERP solution adapt to the business?

A successful ERP implementation depends on the users and their willingness to adapt to new processes and systems. The best way to manage ERP is from top down. It is essential that managers and executives are integrated to the system, so that employees can follow them.

Check out edominer and Cloud ERP Software for one of the effective ERP solutions for your business.

How Top Erp Software Companies In India Can Help Fill The Information Gap

Business firms are under consistent pressure from clients, shareholders, and suppliers to constantly enhance, to improve items speedier – and all the more effectively. Some major top ERP software companies in India have executed ERP applications; either created in-house or off the rack items, to end up more receptive to the client needs and improve their organizations. They, as a result, need to change over their industrial facilities into responsive, request driven, benefit making undertakings by advancing assembling operations. Their upper hand and extreme survival relies on upon the utilization of data frameworks and innovation.

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) frameworks have gotten to be synonymous with upper hand, particularly all through the 1990s. ERP frameworks supplant disconnected data with a solitary, bundled programming arrangement that coordinates all customary undertaking administration capacities like financials, HR, and assembling and logistics. 
Begun with an IT application to handle the stock issues of big business in the 1960s, the ERP frameworks brought a typical data database which helped business elements of the association to move their reasoning to a venture level from a departmental level.
Programming sellers need to investigate answers for grasp the idea of interest driven supply system (DDSN) and empower the undertakings to end up more request driven. Experts demonstrate that half of the considerable number of organizations doesn’t have an unmistakable perceivability over their supply system, in spite of having IT frameworks, as these frameworks are not legitimately coordinated.
The significant test to the ERP sellers is henceforth to give consistent mixes between all their amplified ERP applications, which can help ventures, turn into an interest driven association. The up and coming era of big business applications should grasp better building capacities to make the incorporations more fitting and play, as opposed to being tight indicate point combinations.
Administration Oriented Architecture: One of the key business sector patterns is the innovation change to an administration-arranged engineering (SOA), which will have the biggest impact on rethinking the ERP market.
As showed by examiners, administration arranged engineering would change programming from being an inhibitor to an empowering influence of business change, by 2015.
SOA will move income from bundled programming to membership administrations and from solid suites to composite applications.
SOA is a way to deal with planning, actualizing, and sending data frameworks such that the framework is made from segments executing discrete business capacities. These parts called “administrations” can be appropriated crosswise over geology, crosswise over big business, and can be reconfigured into new business process as required.
The administrations are “approximately coupled” taking into consideration a great deal more adaptability than more seasoned advances as for re-utilizing and re-consolidating the administrations to make new business capacities both inside and crosswise over association.
The future objective of a large portion of the ERP merchants is to give an upgraded estimation of the introduced frameworks, by acquiring the services of top ERP software companies in India and by improving the item with extra components, both utilitarian, specialized and ones that are usable.

FERRARIS, FIATS AND FORTUNE 500S

Why we don’t buy Ferraris when all we need (and can afford) are Fiats ?

It makes little sense to buy a Ferrari when you need to trudge daily along bumpy, pothole-ridden roads. The average person does not need a Ferrari. The average person cannot afford a Ferrari. If by chance he does get a Ferrari, in all likelihood he will not be able to maintain the Ferrari.

Alas the average man and the Ferrari are not meant to be.

In the context of enterprise resource planning systems, big firms like SAP offer Ferraris expensive, fancy and completely unsuitable for the average SME. Oracle and SAP have single handedly caused catastrophes of biblical proportions for their clients. Nike and Hershey’s may have been able to survive apocalyptical losses of $100 million but an SME most certainly cannot.

A Fiat is more affordable. A Fiat is more suitable. Most importantly, the average man can maintain a Fiat in the long run. Once an ERP system is fully deployed, it stays in place for 10 to 12 years on average.

In India many firms use outdated IT systems in their offices to coordinate their business functions and resources. India is the hub for small and medium businesses and a cradle for start-ups. The majority of the country’s workforce is employed by small and medium enterprises – not the Fortune 500s. Business is set to boom and overtake China by the end of 2030. Despite the dynamic development, firms have failed to adopt more efficient and standard practices that results in them continue to lag behind.

The ERP solutions by the big firms in the ERP are too extensive, too complex and too confusing for SMEs. The processes, modules and programs designed are geared towards the requirements of large conglomerates and Fortune companies. For the system to be suitable for the average firm, considerable changes and customizations are required – which further drives up the cost of the ERP. It is akin to buying a Ferrari only to replace all its parts one by one and its engine with that of a Fiat’s. By all means, it is a poor decision at best and the catalyst for an absolute catastrophe at worst.

Many local IT and ERP providers are gaining ground as a results, because they build their solution specifically for small and medium enterprises at a fraction of the cost and with a much faster implementation cycle. Once you order for a luxury sports car and then proceed with the desired customizations it is already months past.

If you buy a Ferrari you can expect to wait a long time for it to finally be in your garage – with the necessary paperwork, regulatory compliances, formalities and customizations. If you buy a car from your local dealer, you can expect it in your garage within a week or two at most. Small and medium enterprises need a provider with local knowledge who can give adapted solutions. SMEs as a results are better off hiring Tier II and Tier III vendors who are based locally as they possess in-depth understanding about the relevant industry and business environment. The ERP systems that are provided by major IT firms are too extensive, and complex and do not have the flexibility to adapt their services to local conditions. Given that the large IT firms give standardized solutions throughout the country with their centralized support system, they lack the ability to adapt their service to very specific local needs of the SMEs. Partnering with Tier II firms who give local support service tends to be the wiser, better choice for SMEs.

It is essential that the modules in the ERP system are designed with the day to day processes and relevant industry specifics in mind. Vendors like ExpandERP provide business solutions specifically for SMEs and are specialized in export and manufacturing solutions. An SME thus has a solution that perfectly addresses their business needs with greater support at a fraction of the usual cost.

Tier II firms design sturdy affordable cars and have an extensive service support. Tier I firms prove state-of-the-art, customized luxury cars but at exorbitant rates and with limited support system. SMEs require a relatively sturdy, standard system that can handle the firm’s daily challenges and go over the bumps without breaking down. The tier II solution or the Fiat gives a smooth ride, good mileage without breaking the bank of the buyer. It is advisable to leave the Ferraris to the Fortune 500s and ride away in the Fiat and save the tears and headaches.

References:
https://www.cio.com/article/2429865/enterprise-resource-planning/10-famous-erp-disasters–dustups-and-disappointments.html

Contributor: Vidushi 

Is ERP Worth It?

Implementing an ERP system tends to be a complex and costly process which leads many to wonder – is ERP worth it and will it really help?

Enterprise Resource Planning, commonly abbreviated as ERP, refers to a business management system that is comprised of various integrated software modules that help to manage and integrate the business functions in an organisation.

Since the late 1980s large companies such as IBM and Microsoft recognised the need of implementing an ERP system to ensure the smooth flow of data and information in face of the ever growing and complex business and technological environment. In order to make the best decision in a timely manner, businesses require efficient inter-organisational data flow.

Take for example Nestle USA. In 1997, the company decided to roll out an ERP system to integrate its various business operations in the country. The implementation would take 6 years, with a budget of approximately $ 200 million. While this may seem like an exorbitant amount, by 2002 the company reported savings of $ 325 million, increased integration within different regions, reduced training costs for employees, and more accurate demand forecasting among various other benefits. In terms of monetary investment alone, the move certainly panned out well. These benefits combined led to greater efficiency, competitiveness and an overall organisational ‘culture of continuous improvement’. Several other companies also share similar stories.

Greater integration and transparency within a company lead to increased productivity, better decision making, reduced operating costs and improved internal communication. Even the customers reap the benefits of successful enterprise integration – increased customer service, satisfaction and order fulfilment are one of the many benefits reported.

Not all businesses are capable, or even suitable for implementing a complex and costly ERP system; however, with the introduction of many out-of-the-box ERP soft wares that are very reasonably priced even small enterprises can reap the benefits of this system. It is apparent that in order to stay competitive in the market, greater efficiency provided by ERP systems and soft wares is necessary.

To be competitive, to be relevant, to be efficient – ERP is essential.

Contributor : Vidushi

Custom Road to Failure

How heavy customization doom projects

Big firms such as Nike planned to go the whole nine yards ensuring that their ERP system would be absolutely custom fitted to their needs and desires. Sure, the additional modifications and

customisations would indeed add a few more thousands to their ever growing expenses, and the project may get delayed by a month or two, but in the end it would work out perfectly right? Wrong. The $400 million upgrade to the supply chain and ERP system resulted in the company losing $100 million in sales and their stocks crashed by 20% as a result of this fiasco.

The failure of the ERP system can wreak havoc for any company. Excessive ERP customization is often blamed for these disasters. ERP customization refers to the process of modifying the existing software and programs as per the requirements of the firm. Customizing the ERP program takes a lot of additional resources, time and financial investment –and it almost inevitably results in the project going way over budget and gives a system where the company has to rely on non-tested functionalities. A case in point would be the United States Navy who sunk over $ 1 billion in four different ERP projects that all resulted in failures.

The following are three main reasons why custom-made solutions end up causing more problems than ever before:

Increased Complexity and long term costs:

A company that demands heavy modifications to the system has to invest large upfront capital before they can reap the benefits of the ERP. Often time the changes are very narrowly focused and even minor deviations in business practices or related legal regulations render the entire system outdated. Once the firm has invested large capital in an on premise system, they are financially bound to a certain degree to continue using the system and upgrade the same solution for years to come. The ERP programs have to be individually customized each time the ERP system has to be updated to support the evolving industrial environment.

Upgrades to the system are continually delayed

ERP vendors periodically release new versions of their software and add new features and services. A customized ERP system is not able to mesh fully with the new version and data is often lost in the process. The firm is dependent on customization consultants to alter the customized codes each time that the system has to be updated – which adds a significant amount to the ongoing operational expenses. These additional expenses and problems are a hindrance when the firm decides to update heavily customized system. Companies tend to delay the upgrades to their system – sometimes indefinitely. This makes the company vulnerable as it is not able to adapt to the rapidly changing business environment and requirements.

Best practices are compromised

ERP vendors expend a significant amount on R&D to develop the best, standardized system that incorporate the industrial and legal requirements. Customisations to the system may result in the company failing to adhere to the industrial best practices and cause a lot of financial and legal woes.

If a company finds that it needs to customize the entire ERP system, it would generally indicate that the chosen solution is not the ideal one for them. Looking for an industry-specific ERP solution would help the firm in minimizing the amount of customisations required to make the system compatible with the business needs.

Companies need to understand beforehand that heavily customizing their ERP system greatly escalates the potential for disaster. The initial upfront investments required are exponentially greater and both the short and long term operational costs are significantly higher. The industrial best practices tend to be compromised in the long run and the consistent delays in updating the system leads to the firm becoming a dinosaur in the dynamic business world.

Contributor : Vidushi

ON PREMISES OR IN THE CLOUDS?

In the clouds or in your office?

On Premises or in the Clouds – the two main choices when it comes to ERP. Yet, what exactly is the difference between cloud based ERP programs and on premises ERP program?The easiest way to explain is that an on premise system has all the programs, software, drivers installed directly in the office, onto each computer or the servers. Cloud ERP is basically a Software as a Service or SaaS system. The ERP vendors host all the necessary drives and hardware and the business need not buy expensive hardware.

On premise systems are self-managed by the business whereas cloud systems are managed by third parties. There are many hybrid options that combine the benefits of both cloud and on premise programs.
Infrastructural or IT requirements are the greatest for on premise systems. The enterprise has to purchase all the necessary hardware servers and IT equipment beforehand for the ER P deployment. Cloud hosted or hybrid systems have a moderate amount of investment required for the ERP system. Completely cloud based programs have little if any additional IT requirements. All the necessary resources and infrastructure are with the ERP provider.
There are concerns about the total costs of ERP ownership. On premise programs are generally not financially feasible for small and medium enterprises as they require a large upfront investments. Cloud program do not entail large up front expenses and generally have monthly or yearly payment models. Over a large period of time, cloud ERP may be the more costly system. A hybrid ERP system requires a moderate investment in total. Businesses would need to decide how long they would use a particular system, their budget and assess their financial capabilities before making a decision.

The software licenses are owned by the enterprise in the case of on premise ERP. For the cloud based system, the software license are rented by the company. Hybrid system also give the business ownership over the licenses. Because on premise and hybrid systems give the entire ownership of the license to the company, the usage license does not expires. In the case of cloud ERP, the license to use the system expires upon non-payment fees or when the company does not renew their contract. As per accounting principles an on premise and hybrid system would be regarded as a capital asset or capital lease while cloud ERP would be regarded as an operating lease or expense.
Cloud systems have a distinct advantage over the other two in terms of updating ERP software. Cloud systems are updated automatically by the vendor and it is ensured that the business is always running on the latest version. For hybrid and on premise ERP, the system is updated very infrequently – generally every 18 to 24 months and business often run on outdated system to avoid the additional expenses and possible data loss that may occur as a result of the updates.
Both on premises and hybrid ERP give the business the ability to completely customize their programs. Generally the greater the customization required, the greater the cost of the ERP. Businesses have to assess their requirements and decide how customized their program needs to be. Cloud ERP may be limited in their scope of customization offered depending on the vendor. Companies should find an EPR vendor that is compatible and one that provides them with the specifications they have in mind. The majority of small and medium enterprises do not require much customizations and the cloud systems would meet their business requirements.
Hybrid and on premise ERP systems have user based security. Access to data is determined by the company and its personnel. Each user or employee will have access to data that is relevant to their department and work. For cloud based systems, data is generally accessible corporate wide, but can be restricted. A function of cloud ERP is the greater accessibility it offers to users compared to strictly on premise programs. Users can access data from any part of the world through the internet (unless the company has restricted it). This allows them to be more efficient. Small and mid-sized companies where decision making is fairly integrated benefit from greater transparency and accessibility provided by cloud systems.

Large companies would typically opt for hybrid ERP and have greater restrictions on data accessibility to prevent unauthorized data manipulation.
Security of the servers is internally managed in the case of onsite ERP. For this the company must have a capable IT department or team to ensure no confidential data is vulnerable to hacks. The security and maintenance of the data is in the domain of the company. The additional expenses in employing capable IT personnel means that typically only larger companies or companies with highly classified or sensitive information would use onsite ERP. For hybrid and cloud ERP the maintenance and security of the servers is externally managed.
Cloud systems are the most logical option for small and mid-sized enterprises while on premise ERP is opted by larger companies. Businesses need to assess their requirements and capabilities to maintain the ERP before deciding which system to opt for.

Contributor : Vidushi

BAD CRM CAN KILL (COMPANIES)

With the advent of the social customer, businesses nowadays have to be far more careful in their interactions with buyers. One miffed customer can spell a PR disaster for companies.When Jeff Jarvis bought a Dell computer which soon malfunctioned, his repeated calls and mails to the customer service were met with either stony silence or unhelpful automated responses. Becoming disgruntled with the service, he wrote a scathing review on his blog, entitled “Dell Hell” that was shared widely across the internet. Around 10,000 people saw the post each day and shared their equally negative experience with the company. The top management only took notice when the story was shared in the mainstream media – almost too late. The company quickly jumped into action to assure Jarvis and the other bloggers that the matter would be fixed as soon as possible; however, the PR damage was done. In 2006 the company announced that it would be spending $100 million and ‘a lot of blood, sweat and tears’ to fix the issue. A costly disaster to say the least.

In today’s world, where each and every disgruntled customer may lead to a public relations disaster for a company, it becomes essential for businesses to deploy a smooth customer relation management program. To survive in this social setting, a solid CRM system is vital.

A good CRM system gives companies the following key advantages:

  • Allows customers to have seamless interactions with relevant persons in the organization to answer their queries and issues
  •  Gives greater automation to routine processes saving valuable time and resources for the company
  • With data analytics, it enables companies to predict their most valuable potential customers – and ensure optimal contact to secure their loyalty
  •  Creates a faster, more efficient customer relationship system
  •  Increases word of mouth publicity and sales

Had Dell employed a more thoughtful approach to their CRM strategy, perhaps it may have been able to save its blood, sweat, tears and money.

Contributor : Vidushi

Importance of ERP Software in any business

Business is dynamic. The complexity of business is increasing manifolds. Aggregators and virtual market place is making business highly competitive. Disruptive technology like smartphones, mobile apps have revolutionised the way people transact.

Businesses with basic and legacy software are finding it extremely difficult to manage business. ERP software is indispensable for any business. Businesses understand the need for integrated software and automation through ERP software for operational efficiency. Generally, the ERP software is comprehensive and hence complex by design. Selecting and comparing ERP software features that are right for the business is the biggest challenge. It is a daunting task for the business owner as it involves time, money and setting the processes is order with buy in from end users.

Today, ERP software has most modules a business would want to integrate with. For e.g. Accounting, Inventory, Order Management, Procurement, and Production, MRP, Payroll and Quality control. EXPAND ERP goes beyond regular ERP software offerings. EXPAND ERP further integrates CRM, asset management, fleet management, POS, eCommerce, Mobile App and connectors for popular accounting packages and with large eCommerce players. With over a decade of experience in diverse verticals, EXPAND ERP has evolved with best practice and customer feedback for best user experience.

EXPAND ERP understands the work environment of developing countries, training and support needs. EXPAND ERP through its ‘Quick Start’ methodology on Cloud makes the ERP implementation journey short and ensures success with quick ROI. Business owners get complete visibility of the business with the help of ERP software. ERP on cloud enables realtime information sharing and analytics capabilities. Business stakeholders can take informed and faster decision. Response time for the business to its customer is timely, consistent and quick. Business never goes silent with customer relations as system reminds for action. Overall customer experience improves and it’s the key to business success.

ERP Implementation = Failure! Not Anymore.

When it comes to deciding for an ERP for the organisation, the monster that comes to everyone’s mind is ERP Implementation. ERP implementation is not just perceived but in reality is a nightmare. We have come across more failure than success when it comes to ERP implementation.

This holds true for all ERP providers and any project size. All ERP vendors have to deal with this negativity that clutches the minds of decision makers.
In an implementation there are two and only two rules both the ERP vendor and Customer need to remember to make it successful!

1. For the ERP vendors: Do not try to push Customer to change everything in his business process to fit the ERP.
2. For the Customer: Do not try to change ERP to make every part work according to the business.

Of course, every Customer see ERP Implementation as an opportunity to adopt best practice and are tempted to do as much customisation possible but this is the number one reason for project failure.

Involvement of top management and important end users into the project planning stage is critical for leading project to success and avoid resistance on rollout. Lastly, training and documentation is taken lightly by end users until it is forced upon.
The above dos and don’ts are totally valid for Vanilla ERP vendors. You can google numerous case studies in reference.
History and experience has taught us and we at EXPAND ERP have steered through this journey to bring industry specific solution to minimise implementation timeline and deliver quick ROI. With ready to go live on cloud from day one and on the go training, our customers have more success to share.

The summary, inspite of all the odds ERP system is something any business cannot do without in this competitive world. We have customers who have learned from failures and made successful rollout across their business expanse and taken business to newer heights with better efficiency and productivity. With Cloud technology and Internet of Things (IoT) taking the lead, it is high time that we make our business secure and easier to manage.

Contributor – Vineet