I often think businesses dread implementing a fresh ERP system in the same way that you might dread a major new building project at your home.
On paper, everything looks neat and tidy. The costs are affordable. The timescales are off-putting, but you’ve resigned yourself to the upheaval. You’ve chosen a firm you like, with people who impressed you.
Then work starts and the story quickly changes.
You liked the firm’s salespeople, but you soon become convinced their builders are amateurs. Then they tell you the earth in your back garden isn’t suitable for building normal foundations, so they’ll have to drive in piles. Next you learn that the firm can’t source the materials you chose, and you’ll have to opt for more expensive replacements instead.
Soon you begin to dread going home because your family are giving you so much grief, you hate the way your house has become a building site, and you feel powerless to stop the whole sorry affair going weeks over time and thousands over budget.
Why ERP installations often drag on
The example might seem extreme, but if TV shows like Cowboy Builders are to be believed, it’s not exactly an uncommon one. And after decades of putting right other firms’ failed ERP installations, we know the comparison is more than fair.
Why? Like that nightmarish building project above, Epicor ERP implementations can drag on for similar reasons:
- The project hasn’t been properly defined at the outset.
- There is no understanding of the context in which the project has to be delivered.
- You’re using people who don’t fully understand how to achieve what you need.
- You’re using the wrong methodology to deliver the project.
Even more than with building projects, it’s essential to get these things right when implementing ERP software. Research shows that major firms typically spend between 14 to 18 months introducing a new ERP system. Our work has shown that mid-sized companies spend in the region of 9 months and year. That’s not just time-consuming, it’s needlessly expensive – and holds back your business’s growth.
A quicker way of implementing Epicor
Yet, when we implement Epicor within a business, the whole process from start to going live takes only 4 to 5 months – as it did with our client, cosmetics manufacturer Combe International.
There are good reasons why we can achieve this. Firstly, our Epicor experts have many years’ experience of working in the manufacturing sector. This gives them insight into the way your business is likely to work, meaning they can cut to the chase and configure your software to match your critical business processes. Other companies without this background are forced to teach you every possible configuration of software and business process, leaving you with the lengthy task of working out which one is best for you.
But more than anything else, it’s our proven implementation methodology that cuts down the time it takes to get Epicor up and running – as well as ensuring that the software properly meets the needs of your manufacturing business.
ERP that’s tailored to your processes
It works fast because we take the time to analyse your business processes, using our expertise in the manufacturing sector to amend those processes to become efficient and agile – and then we design a lean implementation that only gives you the optimised processes you need.
So instead of getting the ‘builders’ in for a hellish 9 or 12 months, you can instead choose a methodology and people that get the job done quickly and competently in about 4 to 5 months. That’s good for you, good for your business, and means you won’t get endless grief from employees whose work is most affected by the switchover.