If your business has grown so complex that it involves juggling financial, manufacturing, inventory, quality, and project management data all at once, you must be doing something (likely many things) right! But how will you get to the next level of growth in 2022? You’ll get there by using an enterprise resource planning solution such as Sap ByDesign.
Cloud-based ERP systems such as SAP ByDesign can eliminate many headaches associated with maintaining operational infrastructure and information networks while driving process efficiencies and data transparency. But if you’re new to this space, you may understandably be wondering about the infrastructure required for ERP implementation, and have questions such as “how long does ERP implementation take?”
Companies that are small or mid-sized typically have limited resources. That’s okay, though. Cloud-based ERP systems come with a subscription-based fee model, so you don’t have to budget for a major capital investment; instead, you can add the cost to your ongoing operational expenses.
Your ultimate goal will be to find a solution that can cover most, if not all, of your business processes and scale to meet your company’s needs over time. A comprehensive but off-the-shelf system that comes preloaded with desired features is likely to satisfy these goals.
The success of your implementation will hinge on whether your users find it simple to use and functional for automating routine, repetitive tasks so they can focus on more strategic initiatives.
Advantages and Disadvantages of ERP
Executives at companies without ERP experience often feel daunted by the prospect of adding what seems like a very complicated system to their operations. These execs may be put off by horror stories they've heard about the most common disadvantages associated with ERP implementations, including the need for high up-front investment, slow implementation time and data migration, and poor user experiences.
When talking about the advantages and disadvantages of ERP, however, it’s critical to keep in mind that these disadvantages typically relate to on-premise systems and tend not to apply to a modern, cloud-based solution.
Potential disadvantages are most often outweighed by the powerful advantages of cloud-based ERP platforms:
- Automated processes: Automating repetitive tasks and reducing the manual entry of data can save significant time, money, and energy.
- Full visibility: A 360-degree view of all areas of the business puts information in one central place so you can derive more insights from the interplay of accounting, manufacturing, inventory, sales, IT, and more. Every user can access the information on the cloud without needing to track down bits and pieces from disparate platforms and applications.
- Greater cost transparency: Integrated applications help you identify all the underlying costs that influence the price of doing business and sales. Cloud-based ERP systems are designed to integrate with suppliers’ systems, which provides the ability to monitor costs for materials in real-time for more efficient planning.
- Powerful analytics: Forget needing to refer to different applications to find data and then combine all of it manually to create one report. Cloud-based ERP uses artificial intelligence and big data tools to provide access to stronger business intelligence, more complete analytics, and better forecasting.
- Streamlined communications: Cloud-based ERP puts the same information at everyone’s fingertips in a central repository that can promote stronger collaboration to spot trends, pain points, and any areas needing improvement.
How Long Does ERP Implementation Take?
If you’re ready to dive into the world of ERP and have started looking into your options, you may be daunted by the prospect of a complex rollout. After all, the entire implementation project could take years if you select the most complicated system on the market.
But if you’re like most small to midsized companies and are looking to expand your business quickly without a huge capital outlay, the answer to how long does ERP implementation take is not daunting at all. Many cloud-based ERP solutions can be integrated easily with your current information systems and be set up and running within as little as three months.
To see a difference in your company’s performance in a shorter value window, just make sure you’re selecting the right solutions partner and system for a smooth implementation and user experience. Here are some top tips for optimizing the implementation process:
- Make sure you review your contract to understand what’s involved so you can avoid scope creep.
- Assign a project team, which should include at least one subject matter expert and at least one key user of the intended system, to work with the solutions provider from the outset.
- Gather the proper requirements for any integration or customization that may be implemented in the new system.
- Prepare the organization for this change management initiative from the start of the project to gain buy-in and enthusiasm for using the system.
- Plan to work in phases, rather than going live all at once, if you will be doing rollouts in multiple locations.
- Prepare for data migration from day one by performing any data cleansing and validation necessary.
- Allot a minimum of one to two weeks to complete key user testing before formally launching the system.
- Train end-users before you go live with the system so they can use it properly and maximize its capabilities from the outset.
SAP ByDesign: Empower Your Business To Keep Growing
Cloud-based ERP can help you grow and scale your business while simplifying the delegation of responsibilities—all without a complicated infrastructure or unnecessary costs.
SAP ByDesign, currently used by thousands of companies, is a trusted solution that is scalable and customizable for small to midsize businesses like yours. You get a turnkey system that is preconfigured right out of the box with business processes and best practices to empower your business to drive growth and profitability. Our solution offers the perfect ERP infrastructure for your business needs.