Ultra teams with numerous companies in a given year. Whether complex manufacturers, food processors, automotive, heavy duty, consumer products, or manufacturers from other sectors, these companies were faced with a decision to move away from legacy ERP. They looked to streamline manual processes and reduce the number of stand-alone silos of information that limit their ability to effectively perform.
ERP Education is Key
In each case, Ultra suggests that the key to meet these challenges is education and staying current with the ERP environment.
Management needs to keep abreast of the benefits of a new ERP system and how systems can help with business process improvements. The organization needs to fully understand the risks of an ERP project, their options, and the true direct and in-direct costs of an ERP project.
But that education process can be difficult in a changing ERP landscape, especially as a new year is set to begin.
What’s Ahead in 2013?
Offered as a way to keep current with the changing ERP environment, a previous Ultra post speculated that 2013 will be the year ERP systems evolve to a mobile platform.
Here, we take a further look into what’s on the horizon in 2013.
SAP and Oracle
SAP and Oracle will continue to dominate over the large tier one global enterprise, even as both vendors offer simplified versions of their larger products and versions for narrow market niches. While ERP tiers are getting fuzzy, both SAP and Oracle will battle for the lead at the top of the tier one space in 2013.
Infor and Microsoft
Infor and Microsoft ERP solutions will continue to “attack their flanks” by targeting specific vertical markets. Infor will emphasize major verticals including the fashion industry – now served by Lawson; as well as target ERP system offerings to the food and beverage vertical. 2013 will also be the year of complex manufacturing via the Infor LN ERP solution.
After an extremely active launch year, Microsoft will offer additional enhancements to their technology stack and continue to align its Microsoft Consulting Services to expand the Microsoft Dynamics offering.
With Cloud or SaaS ERP solutions available from major players like Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and others, there will be no slowdown in the enthusiasm and acceptance of the Cloud ERP platform. The Cloud is well past the point of market acceptance. Manufacturing CEOs recognize the viability and benefits of Cloud ERP as a way to keep their focus on their core manufacturing competencies and not the IT function. The C-suite will continue to drive their IT departments, production, Supply Chain and other areas of the enterprise to pursue and analyze the Cloud.
2013 will see the continuation of ERP systems tailored to industry-specific needs. Manufacturers want to reduce their risk by implementing an ERP solution that is proven to work with industry specific feature-sets that that address unique production processes. Medical device manufacturers face a totally different regulatory enjoinment, customer requirements and process than manufacturers in automotive, for instance. Going forward, we see manufacturers continuing to seek out industry-specific ERP solutions that offer true functional differences driven by their customers and vertical expertise.
ERP and Change Management
In 2013, ERP selection will continue as a “business transformation” process more than a technology project. Manufacturing leaders will focus on how the ERP system can help the organization manage changing business requirements throughout the enterprise. To that end, we see 2013 as a year of increased interest in:
- ERP readiness assessment
- ERP risk assessment
- ERP organizational impact
- ERP ROI and performance measurements
In all, we see 2013 as an active year on the vendor side of the equation.
We also see time and again that it is the buyer driving the ERP selection process.
We look forward to being part of the journey.