The major driving factor for organizations to move to advanced ERP systems is the Return on Investment (ROI) that has been accrued by enterprises in the past, by replacing conventional legacy systems with an ERP package implementation.
ERP systems ensure a smoother flow of information between business functions in the client organization.
This proves a huge improvement in terms of visibility and accessibility of information, aiding efficient planning of financial and management accounting functionality combined with business analytics and in effect a huge turnover in terms of profitability.
When ERP vendors sales staff sell their software to prospective client, they put the ERP system in the best possible light, promising drastic reductions in lead times, increased inventory turns, improved resource utility and flexibility in business functions, improved customer satisfaction, speedy access to and visibility of the information flows within the system. Enterprise resource planning systems are indeed capable of providing all these advantages, however in order to design an ERP system as efficient as this, the project implementation time lines cannot be shrunken. The sales team at times over commits the implementation time to be very short and here is where the issue lies.
There are various reasons why ERP implementation takes so long time to complete. For a midsized business and ERP systems required to cater to myriad functions in the business, simulate and improvise these functions and make the integration of these functions with other business components seamless. Over and above this, it has to ensure that the various success criteria mentioned above are met as per customer requirements. This involves organizing of humongous amounts of data from various channels and components of the whole business and bring about an improvement in terms of visibility and accessibility of information, aiding the efficient planning of financial and management accounting functionality combined with business analytics and in effect a huge turnover in terms of profitability. Such a critical task indeed requires a sufficiently long time line for implementing, testing and fine tuning.
This is however the best case scenario, and ironically so. If the ERP project team do not set time line goals appropriately, it leads to cramming up of the whole project in the given time line. The time lines for all phases of implementation including coding, unit testing of the components, integration testing, regression testing, UAT, etc get consequently shrunk and the quality of project deliverable takes a hit. This does not really serve the purpose and a lot more time is spent on redesigning the components and rectifying the errors in the system. This reflects badly on the accountability of the ERP implementation team in the eyes of the client. This is one of the reasons why ERP implementation takes so long time to complete.
Thus most ERP implementations are carried out in a phased out manner, accounting for sufficient time for the various implementation tasks for the various components.