Welcome to our new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Area.
ERP systems integrate management information across an entire organisation and includes data from finance/accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, and customer relationship management. The purpose of ERP is to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organisation and manage the connections to outside stakeholders.
Before the advent of Systems Integration, different departments in an organisation used own computer systems, each one working separately using its own applications and data.
ERP combines data used by different applications and eliminates the need for interfaces between software applications. It resolves the issue of synchronising key information. But perhaps because of its complexity, the incidence of failure are high. ERP projects typically exceed both their delivery and budget estimates. Problems occur for a number of reasons, but the common denominator is that ERP projects try to do too much in a single application.
To help you avoid failure and achieve the most from your ERP system we have created the ERP Resource page. We hope you will find the articles and case studies here useful.
Use the WhichERP? diagnostic tool to help choose the right system for you.
The WhichERP? Diagnostic Tool is easy to use and will match the requirements of your business with the most suitable ERP solutions available. Complete the ERP selection process in under a minute and receive your results instantly via email!
Selecting the wrong ERP system can be a very expensive mistake – not to mention a career-limiting one. Yet it doesn’t have to be that way. Talk to manufacturers, consultants and ERP experts, and several common threads underpin the successful selection of a system that will deliver value.
Ask any ERP veteran, and you’ll get pretty much the same answer. There are, in short, two critical phases with a new ERP system: making the right final selection, and going about the implementation in the right way.
Cut to size – ERP for SMEs
Prior to a management buyout in 2009, Poole-based electronics manufacturer Hansatech had invested heavily in a large ERP system from a well-known ERP vendor. But it was a system with which the business felt increasingly uncomfortable, explains Hansatech’s IT manager Steve Ching.
It’s a common complaint. Scratch a typical small-to-medium-sized manufacturing company, and you’ll often find dissatisfaction with the ERP system that the business is running.
Unilever has extended an SAP enterprise resource planning rollout to North America, including integration with its supply chain management system.
The consumer goods company, which makes brands including PG Tips tea, Persil washing powder and Bertolli olive oil, recently told investors it had “successfully completed” the rollout in the run up to Christmas. The US represents a third of its €11 billion (£9.6 billion) global revenues.
In any manufacturing business, bill of material maintenance is a chore. But in a project-centric, engineered-to-order manufacturing business, it’s a downright dangerous chore.
Make a mistake, in short, and the consequences can be painful. For if the ‘as built’ or ‘as manufactured’ bill of material doesn’t match the ‘as designed’ bill of material, then product failure or expensive remediation are the all too probable outcomes.
In early 2007, Chesterfield-based Stainless Steel Fasteners Ltd — a subsidiary of engineering conglomerate IMI, and a world leader in the manufacture of high integrity special fastener products — recognised it had to replace its ageing ERP system. Lacking a Customer Relationship Management capability, and relying on spreadsheets for master scheduling, it was clear that the system was no longer fit for purpose.
Thanks to close collaboration with a British process manufacturer, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is better than ever, finds Malcolm Wheatley. For one manufacturer, the latest version of Microsoft’s flagship ERP system — Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, which was launched this summer — will hold few surprises.
Spread across 1600 different product lines, and with pack sizes, styles and label variants all subject to customers’ individual requirements, demand planning is necessarily complex — a complexity further exacerbated by Evans Vanodine’s ‘customer first’ ethos.
ERP – better, faster, cheaper
Undeniably, implementing an ERP system is a simpler affair than it used to be. A decade back, for instance, analyst firm Meta Group calculated that the average ERP implementation took 23 months, cost $15 million, and had a negative ROI. Those days, thankfully, are gone.
But even so, implementing ERP is no sinecure. Done properly, it takes time and effort, requires careful preparation, and isn’t cheap. That said, the risks of failure have never been lower, and today’s modern systems are infinitely more configurable than their predecessors.