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Guest Blog: Taking the danger out of ERP

ERP Implementation MasterclassNeil Ivory is a Principle Consultant at Marlborough Management Group. He has worked on the behalf of clients for more than twenty years by helping SMEs to maximise their investments.

The selection, implementation and use of any business system, whether it’s full ERP, CRM or any specialist solution, is fraught with issues, problems and, yes, danger.  After all, you’re putting the future of your functions, factory, office and your business in these systems. We are told by sales people that these systems can transform the way you do business, the way you interact with your customers and the way your employees will be more efficient. And to a very large extent they are right.

Modern business systems can transform your business and enable you to do things that you could never dream of previously. Your business will be equipped to perform often complex and time consuming tasks that can take you to a new level. However, the issue is that as a client you need to know what these processes, tasks and functions are and how they can work for you.  But you also need to understand that not all of these fabled systems and applications are suitable for your business or should be implemented as a matter of fact.

We have all worked in businesses where the ubiquitous spreadsheet, Access database or card system run very important processes and tasks. Trust me I’ve worked with organisations where a business critical function is run using a whiteboard on the shop-floor and often causes more problems than it solves — especially when a business is growing.

It’s often easy to forget that all departments, functions, processes and tasks are intertwined with each one affected by the input or output of the other. When you talk about ERP the most important part of that acronym is “E” — ENTERPRISE (the whole enterprise).

Later in the year I’m hosting an ERP Implementation Masterclass in conjunction with Milner Browne. During the seminar I would like to give you some food for thought regarding the potential of modern systems; how they can work for you; and, what you should consider when implementing such a system. I would also like to dispel some of the common myths around ERP implementation. Such as  businesses having to follow a very strict structure, or following the guidelines laid down by the solution provider, or that they have to follow a strict project management process. After all, Prince2 is not always the right way. It’d be great if you could join me. You can reserve your seat now.


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