Failure to implement ERP properly still a big danger

27 Aug 2010

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Firms investing in enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology are still in danger of making the classical mistake of treating it like any IT project, failing to involve business managers at all levels of the organisation.

Sean Jackson, managing director of ERP consulting firm BSM told Siliconrepublic that ERP represents a significant opportunity for a business to operate at peak efficiency.

However, it is one area of IT investment where project failures can be disastrous.

“ERP, for a lot of organisations, is one of the biggest projects they’ll ever do internally and if they don’t do it properly it can be expensive.

“The most common reason people fail with these projects is insufficient project management. Businesses treat it like an IT project, which it isn’t.

“If there’s a lack of project management expertise or resource allocation in a business to make it work then it just won’t work.

“The classic mistake time and time again is to hand it over to an IT manager and say ‘implement this.’ But ERP touches every part of the business and project managers need to be involved.”

The benefits of ERP, however, once properly implemented can be enormous. “In terms of profitability reporting, ERP puts all the information of a business into one silo, which means your ability to manage the business is greatly enhanced by the quality of information.”

Jackson said the notion that ERP is only for large Fortune 500 businesses isn’t true. “We have seen companies with as few as 10-15 employees deploying ERP in Ireland. It depends really on what sector you are in and what business processes are involved.”

Jackson’s company BSM will be holding an ERP HEADtoHEAD event in Dublin on the 22 and 23 September next to pit six leading ERP products against each other.

The event is aimed at organisations that are planning to upgrade or replace their ERP systems. This is an ideal opportunity for senior finance or IT executives and members of their ERP selection teams to efficiently review the leading ERP products and to learn how to manage their selection process so that risk is reduced and benefits are maximised.

“If you are in the market for an ERP system this is an event not to be missed. It is a unique opportunity to see and compare the leading ERP systems based on a defined script, not a series of generic sales presentations. The event will also provide opportunities to network and compare experiences with other organisations also planning to implement ERP”, commented Sean Jackson, managing director of BSM, leading ERP consultants. 

Products from SAP, Oracle, Epicor, Microsoft and Lawson will be demonstrated. . Each ERP vendor will also have an individual demonstration stand, where specific project requirements can be discussed in between presentations.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com