ERP Success is on the Rise! But Why?
For far too long, ERP implementation success rates were abysmal. Studies often found that only around 50-60% of implementations ended in success, while 10-20% resulted in failure. Understandably, these figures deterred several manufacturers and distributors from investing in ERP software.
Thankfully, ERP horror stories are a thing of the past. Panorama’s 2019 ERP Report found that 88% of organizations successfully implemented ERP, and a recent Mint Jutras study noted that only one business out of a sample of 315 experienced implementation failure. These statistics indicate that ERP projects are becoming more effective and delivering desired business improvements.
But what’s the full story behind these latest numbers? After all, success isn't an objective measurement. We take a look at the reasons for this spike in ERP success.
ERP software has come a long way. The earliest platforms were rigid, complex and expensive. Implementing ERP required all hands on deck, and IT teams were consumed with maintenance and customization. A project of this magnitude could be accomplished by large organizations that followed best practices, but a small to midsize business didn’t have a chance on its own.
In recent years, ERP has undergone a major facelift. Some of the top vendors are gearing their solutions towards smaller businesses, designing their software to be more affordable and user-friendly. Cloud computing, for example, makes ERP easier and more cost-effective by eradicating the need for hardware. Epicor also designed its ERP solutions with the flexibility to support unique business processes. That means businesses can add fields or scale their solution without extensive coding and development. ERP has become more streamlined and accessible to enable companies of all sizes to fully execute implementations and generate ROI.
When is the last time you made a major purchase without conducting online research? The internet has transformed us into smarter consumers, allowing us to investigate products before we take out our wallets. Manufacturers and distributors are no exception. They do their homework before investing in ERP by researching vendors and resellers.
They’re also learning the latest ERP tips and tricks. ERP experts and thought leaders have shared their knowledge through blogs, e-books and video demos. Using these resources, businesses have learned the ERP best practices to incorporate into their implementations.
However, that doesn’t mean there still isn’t room for improvement. Though businesses are getting better at planning, budgeting and scheduling for their ERP projects, they still fall behind in change management. Make sure your implementation treats change management as seriously as other stages of your project. Change management remains one of the leading causes of ERP failure.
Change in Expectations
In their research, ERP customers have found some of the devastating failure rates of years past. This information has contributed to a shift in expectations, which is both good news and bad news. The good news is that organizations are setting more realistic goals. ERP can’t be installed this week and delivering ROI the next week. It takes time and preparation to execute an implementation that drives value and solves your pain points. Organizations that understand this go into their ERP projects more prepared and with reasonable expectations.
Unfortunately, the writers of both the Panorama and Mint Jutras reports worry that some businesses have lowered their expectations too much. In their research, they’ve found that companies are leaving opportunities for ROI on the table and padding their schedules and budgets too much. Successful implementations should fulfill nearly all your project goals and stay close to your budget and timeline.
If at any point your implementation looks like it’s falling short, don’t dismiss the warning signs. Get together with the rest of the project team or contact consultants to figure out a way to get back on track. Just because an implementation isn’t an all-out failure doesn’t mean it’s truly a success. Make sure you’re following best practices and addressing issues to meet your project goals and enjoy the full value of your investment.
There’s no longer any reason to fear ERP. Software advancements and a wealth of resources about ERP have empowered manufacturers and distributors of all sizes to make their implementations a success. But make sure you’re not defining success as “anything short of failure.”
To execute an ERP project that meets your goals, team up with an expert consulting firm. An Epicor Gold Partner, Datix is a leader in providing a wide range of ERP solutions and services. Our certified consultants have a record of implementing ERP within our clients’ budgets and schedules. From start to finish, we do whatever it takes to execute a solution that optimizes your business performance.
Start transforming your business with software. Learn more about Epicor implementation by contacting an ERP expert today!