Should you Hire Experts for
Your ERP Implementation?

As margins get tighter, and business gets tougher, it can be irresistible to cut corners where possible. No one is suggesting that quality should ever be lowered but cutting overheads where possible is sometimes necessary.

Some regard consultants and industry experts as an unnecessary expense in times like that. However, if you are making a large investment, such as by installing and implementing an ERP platform, shouldn’t you have some expert advice too?

Or could you just purchase ERP software and have your own IT team carry out the necessary work? You may understand how an ERP system will help your business grow, but do you understand how to implement it?

Why Do You Need a Consultant For ERP Implementation?

ERP implementation can be expensive, depending on the size of the business involved and the platform used. Global brands obviously require systems far bigger and more complex than a small retailer.

Because of this, it is necessary to bring in expert guidance from the initial stages through to after-implementation support.

Hiring ERP implementation experts means that you will gain independent advice on the best platform for your business needs. They will help to implement the system, install it, train the users, and then offer invaluable ongoing support.

What Can Go Wrong with ERP Implementation?

It can be hard to understand just how wrong ERP implementation can go until you look at some historical examples.

The technology magazine CIO lists some of the most incredible disasters associated with ERP. One, in particular, stands out, as to how not to use ERP.

Woolworths of Australia may have not had the most disastrous ERP rollout, but they are a good example of what-not-to-do. Their ERP left management with no profit and loss reports for nearly a year and a half. Considering part of ERPs power is producing real-time reports, this was disastrous.

Why did this happen? Because they didn’t use the people who understood ERP correctly.

What Can an ERP Expert Do?

An ERP expert will cover many areas from start to finish, and beyond. They can help eliminate the inefficiencies with your ERP system, and advise on improvements.

When you start to discuss implementing a new system. They will take you through the following phases of the project. This will involve the following.

  • Discuss business needs
  • Assess your current software
  • Work to your budget
  • Plan implementation
  • Installation
  • Training
  • Support after and during implementation

An ERP expert knows the whole marketplace, so therefore can make recommendations your IT team most likely cannot. They can make recommendations that fit your needs after they assess your business and existing systems.

They will also make sure that any ERP that gets installed is going to be able to grow with your future requirements. Once you make your ERP selection, there needs to be testing and installation.

After Implementation, The ERP Consultant Is Still Important

Choosing, testing, and installing an ERP is all well and good, but your workforce needs to understand the new platform.

An ERP consultant will arrange training for your employees. This training can be tailored for different users depending on requirements.

Support will also be given. This is invaluable when introducing a new system. There will always be some employees who do not take kindly to change, and this added support will help them adapt to the new processes.

Smooth transitions will lead to employees feeling empowered with the new ERP, and lead to better productivity in the long run.

An ERP Expert Will Save You Time, And Possibly Money

ERP implementation can take years when it is as large as the National Grid’s project, or the US Navy. However, even one for a small to medium-sized business can take months.

Why discuss ERP options internally with individuals who have little knowledge in this field? ERP consultants have a far wider vision of what can work for your business, and what is realistically possible.

Their knowledge of the market should lead to decisions being made far quicker than if left to a workgroup setup internally that meets a couple of hours a week. Choosing the wrong ERP could end with the whole process needing to be done again.

Summary

ERP platforms are of great benefit to businesses, in many industries. They can streamline, improve profits, add transparency to processes, and highlight issues.

There are even benefits to integrating an ERP system with social media, but if not done properly then it could all be a waste of money.

Statista forecasts the global ERP market to be as big as $97 billion by 2024. This means that not only are there big players but there are many products on the market. Without knowledgeable support and advice, how do you know you are selecting the correct ERP?

Installing the wrong ERP could have disastrous repercussions. It could be financially damaging, and it could even harm your reputation with suppliers, and customers.