Implementation of an ERP system is a major investment and commitment for any organizations. The size and complexity of the ERP projects are
the major factors that impact the cost of ERP implementations. Different companies may implement the same ERP software in totally different
approaches and the same company may integrate different ERP software applications by following the same procedures. However, there are factors
common to the success of ERP implementation regardless the ERP systems they implement and the methodologies they use.
ERP implementation starts with project planning - setting project goals, identifying high level business requirements, establishing project teams
and estimating the project costs. The project planning offers the opportunity to re-evaluate the project at great details. If the ERP project is not
justified at the planning phase, organizations shouldn't hesitate to cancel the project. For every successful ERP projects, there're projects that
are canceled before implementation.
While high level architectural decision is made in the process of ERP vendor selection, it remains a critical successful factor in
integrating ERP with other e-business applications, ecommerce applications or legacy systems. Choice of middleware, interface software
or programming languages drastically impact the implementation cost and release date.
Unlike in-house e-business applications, much of the packaged ERP implementation involves the integration of ERP systems with existing e-business
software (CRM, SCM and SFA) and legacy information systems. Appropriate level of data requirements is critical for an ERP to interact with other
applications. Data requirements usually reflect details of business requirements. It costs ten times to correct a mistake at later phase of ERP
implementation than the effort to correctly define requirements at analysis and design phase.
It is important to break an ERP project down to manageable pieces by setting up pilot programs and short-term milestones.
Dependent on the IT experience, some organizations choose the easiest piece as the pilot project, while others may implement a mission-critical
application first. The pilot project can both demonstrate the benefits of ERP and help gain hands-on ERP implementation experience.
Second generation ERP systems use relational database management systems (RDBMS) to store enterprise data. If a large amount of data are stored in
other database systems or in different data formats, data conversion is a daunting tasks which is often underestimated in ERP implementations.
A two-hour data conversion task could be turned into to a two-month efforts as the result of DBA group's lack of technical experience and management's
incompetency or ignorance.
The involvement of ERP implementation goes far beyond IT department to many other functional departments. The commitment and smooth coordination from
all parties is the key to the success of ERP project. The commitments come from the understanding of how ERP can benefit each functional department.
For example, if the warehouse staff isn't completely sold on the inventory control module's benefits, they may not input the kind of usage data that
is essential to the project's success.
ERP Modules - Production Planning, Purchaing, Inventory Control, Sales, Marketing and HR
ERP Benefits - Operational Control, Management Control and Strategic Planning
ERP Implementation Methodologies
ERP Integration - The Challenge for ERP Implementation
The Differences between ERP Systems and Ecommerce Applications