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ERP Challenges
ERP systems are systems designed to improve any organization's business capability needed to deliver value to its customers. By implementing ERP systems, any organization can handle the clients' problems as well as demands in a very efficient and effective way. In spite of it's efficiency, ERP implementers-organizations' CIOs-have three major challenges to face; understanding how ERP can well serve the organization, recognizing how much ERP is required and successfully creating an implementation program. The better these challenges are faced, the better results are met.

For understanding how ERP can well serve the organization, One should be aware of the fact that ERP covers different functions. Starting from order management which includes customer relationship management, to engineering that includes product design as well as bill of materials, then moving to manufacturing that includes scheduling of production, to distribution that includes transportation management and fleet maintenance, to material management that includes inventory management in addition to purchasing and receiving activities, moving to financial management that is responsible for the organization's budget and financial resources and also covering the field of human resource management that has to do with anything related to employees.

To overcome this challenge, CIOs should be fully aware of the business; understanding the business' strategy of each of the above stated functions. They should interrogate whether customers' expectations are met or not? Will the current functions of the organization serve the organization on the long run? Moreover, CIOs should examine whether the currently implemented automated solutions effectively meet the organization's current as well as future needs.

The second challenge that is about CIOs recognizing how much ERP is required can be achieved through assessing the business value, examining business priorities; which business requirements have high priority than others, determining alternatives and examining which alternatives are effective on the long run and finally taking a close look on how ERP will be implemented in a way so as to provide the utmost effective results.

The third challenge includes various points. A successful CIO should create a steering group led by an active leader who's always willing to participate and make effective changes in the methods of serving customers. Never feel embarrassed to get the help of an expert incase he needs it. Besides, a CIO should set a future plan regarding the implementation of ERP which typically takes about 18 months, during this period, the whole business process should be redesigned and the employees as well as the IT staff should get well training so as to be able to cope with the new system.

Moreover, a change in the infrastructure of the company might be needed in order for the whole system to be in harmony with the selected ERP package. Such change can include redesigning the organization as well as changing the financial plan. Above all, communicating with the different people who are directly affected by the organization's activity is very important so as to keep them always informed of the changes. However, over communication can never be achieved with a new ERP user.

The successful implementation or ERP is crucial to the achievement of the desired targets. IT is a critical support but cannot lead the charge. Implementing an ERP system provides the enterprise with the opportunity to fundamentally re-think how it does business and serves its customers. Installing the software is the easy part - transforming the business is the real challenge.



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Posted by ROOT Technologies


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