How an ERP Implementation Can Get You Fired (And What You Can Do  About it!)

May 17, 2017 Peter Edlund

In today's increasingly digital world, organizations are looking for ways to make the best use of data to stay competitive.

Increasing competition and shrinking margins across most major industries have paved the way for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions to  streamline business and supply chain processes.

But the price tag is steep. And so are the risks. 

The planning, selection and implementation of an ERP is a major undertaking, carrying a hefty price tag and significant risks. Failure to deliver the project on time or show a significant return on investment can cost you thousands in lost productivity, labor costs, and revenue. 

And may very well cost you your job.

Research Suggests ERP Systems Only Part of the Equation

To understand these opportunities and risks, we partnered on a study in collaboration with SAP and the Global Supply Chain Institute of the University of Tennessee. The study, titled, Proactive Partnerships: Creating Supply Chain Value in the Digital Era, has just been released , and can provide valuable insights for anyone working within a supply chain - from project managers to the CIO - looking to validate or reconsider their approaches to enterprise software and business-to-business integration. 

Increased Services Levels Despite Year Over Year Growth

The study reveals that the benefits of ERP integration with a fully automated supply chain are many, including: improved business processes; better reporting capabilities; enhanced data accuracy and consistency; and greater integration with other business applications. But perhaps most importantly, study participants reported increases in customer service levels even while managing year over year business growth of 10 percent.

In nearly all instances, enterprise software, when combined with automated collaboration with trading partner data, creates better opportunities for accelerating return on investment, better data and analysis, and, ultimately, better customer service.

The Consequences of Non-Integrated Supply Chains 

The research tells a different story with regard to supply chains that are not fully integrated with their ERP systems and those organizations that rely on various manual processes and workarounds.

Supply chains with manual processes  report added labor costs, as manual data entry and error correction require significant staff time. But there can also be direct costs. Bad data can cause orders to go through with the wrong price points, incorrect fulfillment dates, causing stock-outs and back orders. And these can cause chargebacks. In fact study many participants report the constant threat of chargebacks, and the vulnerability to them due to manual processes.

But perhaps one of the biggest risks related to manual processes involves the hit to the company’s competitiveness. In this hyper-competitive market, companies must be constantly moving forward. It’s a market where there’s no time for missteps and slow processes.

Organizations with manual processes miss opportunities to grow and risk getting disruption by other players.

Individuals who do so typically don't last longer than 20 months. 

Get the Free Study On Creating Value in the Digital Era

Whether you're a CIO or an EDI manager, this study can help inform, enhance your supply chain, scale your business - and ultimately, grow your career. 

Get a copy of Proactive Partnerships: Creating Supply Chain Value in the Digital Era 

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About the Author

Peter Edlund

Founding member and executive at Dicentral, a global B2B integration company with over 20 years of solving complex supply chain integration problems. I am passionate about helping people in the retail, automotive and healthcare industries achieve revenue growth through a better understanding of the world of connected commerce. Frequently published, sought after speaker and host of “The Connected Show”, a video blog that connects our viewers to the people and news that influence today’s integrated supply chains.

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