We regret to inform you that we will be unable to go ahead in implementing this.”
So When is a Company Ready for an ERP?
If we further dig into Bob's feedback, we understand that he dropped ERP implementation because of lack of standard procedures in his operations. Like Bob, most of the companies abandon ERP implementation because ERP product is not perfectly mapped
with their not-so-generic workflow. In my home country, companies shelve ERP implementation because their employees are just so comfortable with the widely used standard accounting application.
Do You Need Discipline?
For lack of discipline, I believe bringing standardization in business processes is the primary goal any ERP solution would achieve for a company. For example, if a company wishes to bring in discipline that invoices should not be made till its delivery note is punched
in, putting restriction in software would be simpler than controlling human behaviour of employees.
Employees will initially believe that using software is taking longer time in feeding data into system. But they mostly fail to envision benefits of investing that extra effort. ERP application should not be looked
as a tool which puts business on auto-pilot mode. Using an ERP application is like running on a tread-mill. The extra pain you put helps in bringing discipline in your operations and ensure that your processes leads to healthy and consistence growth of organization.
Walk Before You Run
Another breed of entrepreneurs are the ones who have their business running on spreadsheets and they want to jump to an application which will bring complete automation. But sir, journey of thousand miles starts with first step. Start with that single step.
If you go about searching for an application which manages your accounting, and at the same time should address to problem of pilferage in your warehouse by having surveillance system in place, you can search across the world to get solution for everything
in one system available off-the-shelf for the price of a soda. There is very little chance that your search will meet a successful end!
A very smart saying I heard in the promos of quiz contest said, if you stop learning, you stop winning. If vehicle stops mid way while climbing bridge, it is automatically dragged down and stops much before the start point.
Also, there are many other reasons due to which small businesses restrain from implementing ERP solution. To list a few more:
- Print formats are my religion. Get me exactly same output from your system.
- I won’t migrate from existing application. Can you merge your application with mine?
- Guys, you don’t have jazzy graphs.
- Come over to my place and implement solution. I want ERP but not ready to take implementation pain.
- I need customization.
So, if I start searching for silver bullets answer to these questions, I am so sure I will keep searching.
If you think customization would be solution to get required solution, it is correct, with few limitations. One of our customer who had customized application found that over a period of time, that technology was out dated. When using product, it allows
you to avail upgrades of software and ensure you are up to date on technology front as well.
After two years experience of implementing ERPs for SME, I believe that ERP should be seen more than just an integrated software to digitize your information. It should be seen as tool to grow your business.