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Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Challenges to Implementation of Retail ERP Software Solutions

Retail ERP software solutions can drastically enhance the set of business processes an enterprise applies in its day to day activities; although implementation of ERP systems usually force corporations to reassess current business practices and introduce various changes. A reputable ERP software company would always suggest taking into account all challenges to established corporate practices that the deployment of an ERP solution might bring and offering a solution that is either customised or configured to meet the particular needs of an organisation.

ERP software offer unrivalled advantages to businesses, but small and medium enterprises (SME) face certain challenges in deploying software solutions that are extremely complex in nature. Thus, it should be implemented only after proper due diligence and detailed review of all pros and cons enterprise resource planning software would introduce within an organisation.

Retail ERP providers (Indonesia) have proven record of accomplishment in the sphere of implementing ERP systems for regional specifics, forced to be very flexible and well prepared to meet demands and requirements of corporate customers, that would like to take advantage of a fully functional ERP solution while often working within a tight budget.

The main challenge to SMEs that intend to implement ERP solutions lies with changing existing business processes and procedures, although most ERP systems feature built-in best industry practices functionality. A company should be aware that introducing best practices is not always advantageous because it might prove inappropriate in particular scenarios, where a different approach to optimisation of business processes is required. Modernising overall business process is usually beneficial in the long run, but a thorough analysis on current and projected effectiveness of each and every process must be conducted to achieve best results.

Typically, SMBs utilise a kind of automated solution to run their business, therefore benefits of implementing new ERP solutions should be gauged against current software options, taking into account possible non-interoperability between two conflicting software solutions. Implementation of ERP systems should be conducted according to a carefully designed strategy that fits both business and IT needs of an enterprise.

At present, even relatively small companies tend to decentralise their everyday management activities and decision making process due to shifts in overall corporate culture forced by globalisation and growing pressure to introduce more flexible management styles. Thus, data migration within a more decentralised enterprise poses challenges when ERP implementation is on the horizon and may require further customisation of the software. As mentioned beforehand, retail ERP providers (Indonesia) are able to overcome these difficulties by offering both tailored and ready to use solutions that can be configured easily, while not sacrificing functionality of the software.

Properly configuring an ERP solution, which is an essential part of the overall implementation process, is a challenge per se because a vast number of changeable parameters have to be set for the ERP system to work by the book. SMEs can boast simpler organisational structures compared with large multinational corporations, allowing an ERP solution vendor to configure all required options and parameters of the system faster, which greatly reduces time-frame for implementation. Actually, implementation period can take months within an average SME thus flawless transition to ERP systems is crucial and depends to a great extent on proper configuration of the software.

Recently, some ERP software vendors offer considerably shorter implementation time by providing software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions that are web-based systems hosted on third-party servers and accessible via Internet connection. Such retail ERP software solutions can be a safe bet for small businesses for which the main challenge in implementing ERP systems is to secure the funds required to purchase the necessary hardware and software licence.

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