ERP System Implementation: On Time and On Budget

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Posted on:

June 17th, 2022

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Insights & Thought Leadership

New ERP system implementation is notoriously challenging and provokes much debate over the best approach.  

A study by Brightpearl covered by Retail Technology Innovation Hub showed extensive delays and much higher than expected costs across a considerable proportion of ERP system implementations. Difficulties with accessing good quality data and integrating a new ERP to existing systems are often the root cause of delayed projects and rapidly spiralling costs. 

Our approach to de-risking major back-office software implementations, is to put a flexible integration and data services layer between the ERP and other operational systems. This we refer to as our Enterprise Data Hub.  

What is difficult about ERP Implementation?

An ERP system implementation is arguably the largest scale digital transformation initiative a retail business can undertake and is generally considered one of the most challenging technical projects a retail business can embark on.  

Because the ERP system is the master record for product & stock and the financial reconciliation of said product & stock for the entire business, any hiccups in day-to-day functioning can snowball into problems which are exceptionally large and very painful for all areas of the business. The horror stories are well publicised. 

The new ERPs integration with and connection to existing legacy systems, and the managing and organising of data involved, can be an incredibly complex task. And particularly when retailers are buying into best of breed systems, rather than traditional “all in one” ERP’s, good integration between systems is imperative. 

Due to the scale of impact the ERP implementation has on business operations, we at Clekt believe it is of the highest importance to de-risk this undertaking by use of best practice in all cases.  

Our method of doing that is to put a flexible integration layer (the Enterprise Data Hub) between the ERP and other operational systems. 

The Outcomes of Good ERP Integration

In planning a new ERP implementation, integration can be seen as a necessary evil and a technical problem which can be solved by “prebuilt” connectors, or simple integration platforms.  

Whilst there are merits to both of these approaches, almost every retail business has slightly different operating models or have customised their platforms to a point that integration is never quite as simple as advertised. We believe strongly that Integration is not just a technical task. It is important to have trusted partners who understand how your business processes work and have a working knowledge of the capabilities of your respective operational systems. Advising on the most efficient way to  connect your new ERP to the pre-existing data architecture to maximise the value potential of the data flows. 

Given the cost and time implications of an overrunning ERP implementation, it’s important to plan the integration framework well ahead of time to ensure the budget and timescales are properly accounted for. 

This collaboration between business and chosen partner should result in a new data architecture designed for and capable of future scaling, growth and success. This does not come from simply buying an out of the box integration platform. 

Another reason for this approach is the flow of data coming in and out of an ERP are powering all business processes. It is imperative that there is good BAU support to resolve any issues that may emerge, to capitalise on investment and see the true benefits of this major back-office software implementation. 

A new ERP system integration presents a massive opportunity for brands to lay the foundations to be data driven by design. This we passionately believe is imperative to powering future digital transformation and positioning your business for future growth.

Using the Enterprise Data Hub, we supported one brand in implementing a new ERP system, a new wholesale ordering platform, a new eCommerce website and a new intelligent reporting tool, on budget and all inside 12 months. 

If you’d like to understand how Clekt and the Enterprise Data Hub could support your ERP upgrade, or any other major systems transformation, please leave your details here or call for a chat on +44(0)117 251 0064