Ogranisations will, undoubtedly, benefit from having an up-to-date enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution in place; and it is just as important for organisations to measure its current effectiveness on their business systems and processes.
Therefore, New Era Solutions, in partnership with ITWeb, is conducting an online ERP Survey this month to gain insight into the ERP strategies within South African organisations.
"The main objective of the survey is to establish the maturity of ERP within the South African environment and to look at how that aligns with global trends. Organisations invest vast sums of money and time into implementing ERP systems, often with questionable results as to whether the initial objectives actually ever being met," says Stuart Scanlon, sales and marketing director at New Era Solutions.
Scanlon believes that given the current economic pressures facing SA, manufacturers, distributors and service-based organisations cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to implementing lean principles and managing operational costs.
"It will be interesting to discover the extent to which companies leverage off their systems in achieving this, also taking into account other factors such as customer service and what other technologies are on their radar in the next few years."
According to Scanlon, the days of being able to react to market changes a few months after the fact are a thing of the past.
"One of the benefits of an ERP system is most certainly real-time access to meaningful data and being able to use that data to benefit the business. Todays' businesses have become concerned with managing their own complexities and the only factor that can't be managed is managing market complexity, so without the correct systems in place, they will not be able to achieve this," he adds.
Scanlon believes that this can be seen specifically within organisations that have adopted and embraced technology, as they are able to react and adapt to the market influences.
"One of the most significant changes taking place is the usability and how users interact with their systems. People are looking for the 'iPhone approach', the view of when I buy it, I must intuitively know how to use it, and if I don't know, there must be easy mechanisms to help me figure it out," says Scanlon.
Customer service is also playing a huge role in the ERP sphere, Scanlon points out, adding that organisations need a multi-channel strategy to allow customers to interact with them as they wish, whether that be online, calling a help line or interacting face-to-face.
Scanlon also points out that SA is fairly mature when it comes to ERP systems and there are also many choices when it comes to ERP solutions. However, he warns that the difficulty comes in finding qualified and capable resources to implement such ERP systems and solutions.
"IT trends do drive investment in ERP, and this is evident in mobile and ecommerce. Organisations that have not yet started to consider either of these two technologies are quickly finding themselves behind the late adopters and will need to play catch up as their competitors move forward," Scanlon advises.
He believes that the collection of useful and reliable data is also another trend taking place.
"We come across this phenomenon all the time. When companies have grown and kept on adding systems. They then struggle to aggregate this data into a meaningful dataset from which decisions can be made."
Click here to complete the survey and you can win a HP ProBook 4540s.