Business owners, executives, and other decision-makers in every industry understand that adopting newer technologies like enterprise resource planning (ERP) is inherently beneficial, but such adoption will also require substantial investment. It is critical for businesses to clearly determine whether the benefits of ERP implementation outweigh the associated costs. Generally speaking, the larger and busier an organization is, the more worthwhile ERP adoption will be. But that just begs the question: how do you know your company is large and busy enough?
The question posed in the title of this article can be taken in two different ways. First, would the net benefit of implementing ERP now be sufficiently desirable? And second (if the answer to the first question is yes), at what specific time should ERP be implemented? Let’s take a closer look at both questions.
To determine whether your business need is great enough, quickly evaluate your operations by asking yourself these questions:
Do you encounter order processing backlogs?
Have operational delays impacted customer satisfaction or resulted in lost opportunities?
Does it take too long to perform accounting tasks?
Are your sales forecasts based on weeks-old data or guesswork?
Do routine tasks require employees to work overtime?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, there you are almost certainly losing revenue to inefficiencies that an ERP system can prevent. If that doesn’t convince you, here are a couple more questions:
How quickly can you check stock levels or lookup business information?
How many separate software systems do you use for business processes?
If it takes more than two minutes to find the information you need, or if you use (and maintain) two or more information systems to perform business tasks, a well-integrated ERP platform is a worthy investment.
Now let’s move on to the second question: when is the right time to implement an ERP platform? While some experts suggest that organizations should wait for a period of stability (not during a hiring campaign, not while starting a new line of business, not during the busy season, etc.), I don’t think that’s the right approach. If you decide to wait for ideal conditions, you’ll just keep on waiting forever.
Here’s a better idea. Contact ERP implementation partners and find out how long it would take them to complete implementation for you, along with how much it would cost. Then, compare this investment to the amount you are losing each year to inefficiency, late fees, lost opportunities, and so on. You will get a clear picture of how urgent your need is, how large a return on investment to expect from the ERP platform over the years, and how long it will take to recoup the cost of implementation.
While some well-known ERP solutions take years to implement and cost millions or tens of millions of dollars, Microsoft Dynamics AX and the cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Operations deploy more quickly for a fraction of the cost. In a recent study on ERP implementations in Saudi Arabia (Parveen & Maimani, 2014), Microsoft ERP solutions required the lowest levels of investment and resulted in the least operational disruption time during implementation. The authors also observed that Microsoft Dynamics was highly customizable, flexible, user-friendly, and open to integration. These characteristics make Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions highly attractive for companies that want to improve efficiency without spending millions of dollars.
Arguably the most important factors in reducing implementation time and remaining within budget are the industry-specific experience and technical competence of your ERP implementation partner. As a Microsoft Dynamics partner in Dubai, Techvista possesses experience in implementing Microsoft Dynamics technologies on a large scale in many industries in the Middle East. Our client base includes major businesses in the public sector, banking, oil and gas, telecom, education, consumer goods, and other industries in the UAE and beyond. Please contact Techvista to schedule a complimentary consultation and learn more about how we can help you improve efficiency and gain a competitive advantage with Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions.
Parveen, M., & Maimani, K. (2014). A Comparative Study between the Different Sectors Using the ERP Software in Jeddah Region-KSA. Life Sci. J, 11, 40-45.