Introduced and implemented right, a resource planning system can transform your business into the quintessential enterprise cut out for success in today’s digital economy. To ably tie together all your business processes and have transactional data flow seamlessly between them is really every executive’s waking dream.
The net result will be a structure whereby the same centralised data will be available to all users. Henceforth there won’t be need to worry about data integrity; data duplication will be a thing of the past.
That being said, the harsh reality of it all is that successfully implementing such software to your operations won’t be a walk in the park. Individual departments systems, say, finance, warehouse management, procurement, manufacturing, human resources, and project management, can be complex in their own right. Combining each of these departments systems into a single program and database is understandably rigorous.
It’s also doable; many organisations have been positively transformed as a result.
Can yours be?
These are three considerations you must weigh:
1. Will the software be a fit for your operations?
Before settling for any standard resource planning tool, it is prudent to ascertain that it will support the vital operations of your business. Discovering that this isn’t the case later on will present you with two consequential and undesirable options. You’ll either be required to modify and adapt your operations to the software or have the software configured to suit your operations. The first option will require significant changes to your long-established business practices; the second may compromise the software and complicate its upgrading when your vendor launches the next version.
2. How long will implementation require?
The benefits of resource planning software implementation are realised in the long-term; at least one year is a realistic ballpark. Your decision to introduce this solution is also the decision to alter and improve the way you do business and have your staff learn how to do their jobs anew. Seen this way, your focus shouldn’t be on the length of time but rather the transformation of your business.
Nevertheless, to drastically cut down implementation time, say to a few weeks, you may want to consider SaaS and on-demand applications. These won’t be installed on your premises but rather hosted by a third-party and delivered to you via a web connection.
3. What will it cost your company?
While the cost of implementing resource planner software is a key factor during your decision-making process, it shouldn’t be the driving factor behind your reason to opt for one package and not the other. The features and usability of each package are what you ought to consider first and then see how these fit within your budget.
That being said, there is certainly something for every size of business.
With your budget in mind therefore, make a decision that takes into account the following:
- The software’s cost
- Deployment costs e.g. new hardware you need to purchase
- Manufacturer’s ongoing fees
- Costs for resource allocation such as training expenses and maintenance (e.g. software upgrades and additional man hours)