Researching the Cost of Dynamics NAV?

Woman contemplating price of NAV

Dynamics NAV does not come in a box with a bar code, so it’s difficult to get a true definitive price before an actual quote or implementation.  Reason being, no two businesses are the same, the standard factors affecting ERP implementations are usually coupled with many different elements that drive different levels of customization and affect ERP implementation costs. However, there are several buying options that can help any CEO or CFO know NAV’s ballpark price before entering negotiations with any partner.  Even though the research can seem daunting, 110,000 businesses have already implemented this powerful business software.

In the “What’s my price?” e-book, Microsoft presents the factors a business person should take into account to determine the total cost of implementing Dynamics NAV.  Below find many of the factors that affect ERP implementation costs, including a few of those often overlooked: Read more

MROs Fuel Serviceable Materials Strategy with Dynamics AX and ProMRO

With air travel industry developing at a faster pace than ever before, the aircraft aftermarket has attracted the attention of original equipment manufacturers or OEMs, which found new ways to meet growing demand for aircraft spare parts and components. As leading providers of aftermarket services in the aviation industry, OEMs have generated billions of dollars in revenue per year, over the past several years. To remain competitive maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) providers cultivate new ways to generate more profit.  Read more

3D Printing

3D Printing and The Future of The MRO Industry

Manufacturing products without a factory would have seemed impossible a few years ago. However, the “impossible” is slowly taking shape thanks to additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. This relatively new technology is ready to deliver a small, “mobile” factory to every OEM, MRO, and repair shop. In fact, a number of businesses are embracing additive manufacturing as a temporary or permanent manufacturing solution, as you read these lines.

3D Printing: The Future Is Just Around the Corner  

Although 3D printing technology can be used by anyone, from regular people to industry giants, sustainable growth is expected to come from industrial applications, especially in the OEM and MRO sectors. That’s simply because only a large company has the financial power to design, craft, and test multiple prototypes to finally develop a product that customers will want to buy. But this is only half of the OEM-MRO equation. The other half relates to the impact additive manufacturing will have on the MRO industry.

Additive manufacturing technologies deliver incredible flexibility. To begin with, a MRO company will be able to develop “instant” spare parts and complete maintenance and repair tasks within hours. Imagine an airline looking for a MRO able to repair an airplane that has broken down unexpectedly. Instead of waiting days or even weeks for parts to arrive, the MRO can manufacture the parts needed outright and fix the airplane within several hours.

3D Printing

Manufacturing parts for scheduled maintenance and repairs or, more importantly, for unplanned events, with virtually no wasted materials, will help MROs reduce downtime and operating costs. Another major motivator for additive manufacturing technology adoption is the ability to produce hard-to-find spare parts or components that aren’t manufactured anymore.

The International Space Station’s 3D Print project is one edifying example of spare parts production using additive manufacturing. The first 3D printer was launched to the space station in September 2014. On November 24, 2014, the first “space” object was successfully manufactured using 3D printing technology. According to NASA officials, additive manufacturing is useful especially when spare parts aren’t available or when inventory is extremely expensive to ship. This technology brings several performance and efficiency advantages, regardless of whether a maintenance company or department is located on Mars or on Earth.

Additive manufacturing may seem too futuristic to become standard. However, the acceptance of this technology as a source of spare parts will change the course of MRO history. A maintenance company will be able not only to manufacture simple or complex parts and difficult-to-achieve geometries, as required; it can also develop prototypes to modify equipment and achieve quicker repair times.

Undoubtedly, the ability to manufacture parts on demand will affect inventory and logistics. MROs will no longer have to order spare parts from manufacturers and keep dozens of “just-in-case” replacement components on hand until the right clients come along. Whenever they need a product, they can just make it. This will probably cause a collapse of the entire supply chain, making part suppliers and even manufacturers vulnerable to extinction.

By eliminating the need for high-volume production, 3D printing shows its worth in terms of reducing production costs. Additionally, it increases part availability at the point of use and decreases shipping-, inventory-, and labor-related expenses. Although this brings bad news for a number of businesses, additive manufacturing will add new efficiencies to the operations of MROs and their clients. In conclusion, what additive manufacturing does is to dissolve the global supply chain, which costs MROs billions of dollars every year, re-assembling it as a local system, at a much lower cost.

In the following years, additive manufacturing will radically change the OEM and MRO environment. Analysts predict that the additive manufacturing market will grow to $16 billion by 2018. More and more companies, especially MROs, are expected to invest in 3D printers to produce parts as needed. But to achieve the forecasted outcomes, digital design software must evolve and more advanced and affordable scanners must be developed. On the other side, manufacturers must find a way to protect themselves against the negative consequences of this technology. For sure, 3D printing will tip the scales in someone’s favor. Who will be the winner? Only time will tell.

Applications for Profitable Projects

Warehouse Management ERP

The Benefits of Warehouse Management ERP

Early inventory management systems were designed to provide basic stored item and storage location functionality. Today, modern warehouse management ERP systems can do much more, allowing companies to continuously improve their operational efficiency.

Some of the best solutions to manage warehouse operations are the warehouse management modules included in advanced ERP systems, such as Microsoft Dynamics AX. Unlike separate software applications, ERP systems employ innovative technologies that enable organizations to connect all sorts of areas to each other for better business management. Large organizations, in particular, could hardly function without this type of functionality.

Warehouse Management Goes Beyond Day-to-Day Warehouse Operations

With solutions like Dynamics AX, companies can easily centralize a series of tasks, such as tracking stock locations, checking inventory levels, and monitoring picking and packing activities. Here is what complex warehouse management modules, such as the one included in Dynamics AX, can do for your company:

Warehouse Management ERP

  • Efficient storage administration – New warehouse management functionality permits important indicators to be monitored within the ERP framework. As a result, complex warehouse operations can be easily managed and optimized. The latest modules include radio frequency technology, integrated shipping, work-in-progress tracking, batch and serial number management, returns management, and many other features, indicating a new standard for warehouse operational transparency and accuracy within a facility. Focusing on real-time stock control, special functionality has been added to allow manufacturers to identify exactly what is in a warehouse and balance the inventories of multiple storage facilities at any given time.
  • Increased productivity – A complex warehouse management ERP system with advanced warehouse management functionality can help you get more out of your activities. Operatives will complete more tasks during the same time frame, which means better availability, quicker turnarounds, and higher return on investment.
  • Lower costs – An ERP system not only simplifies warehouse operations (e.g. your workers will be able to verify inventory levels without doing any physical checks, managers can coordinate activities with just a few clicks, etc.); it also ensures greater accuracy. There is always a risk of data redundancy when multiple separate systems are used. This can lead to errors that will cost you money. With Dynamics AX, on the other side, information is updated in real time across the entire company, so there are no discrepancies that may cause errors. Eliminating errors and rework will lower your operational costs.
  • Customization – Another important strong point of Dynamics AX is the possibility to choose modules and customize them to better fit your operations. For instance, you can choose to integrate the warehouse management module with the quality control module to prevent storing the items that have not passed the quality test in the warehouse. Specific features can be enabled to use cross-docking functionality, set up company policies for sales and transfer orders to and from warehouses, allocate batch/lot numbers for better warehouse management, etc. More modules and features can be added later on, as needed.
  • Better customer service – Having a sophisticated warehouse management ERP solution in place can help ensure that you always have sufficient quantities of products in stock. As shown above, it can also help reduce redundancies, errors, and rework, which will result in better customer service.

One of the most important things for a manufacturer is customer satisfaction. One way to make your customers happy is to embark on process-improvement initiatives. In many cases, this means the implementation of a cutting-edge ERP solution that includes innovative technologies to help companies improve customer service without increasing operating costs.

Despite what many manufacturers think, using two or more systems cannot help a company streamline its processes and achieve better outcomes. Instead, a fully integrated, end-to-end ERP solution including warehouse management functionality can provide companies with tangible, repeatable results quickly, results that will translate into significant cost savings and more business over the long run.


Process Manufacturing ERP

Points To Consider When Looking For A Process Manufacturing ERP

The Internet abounds with hundreds of blog posts trying to persuade manufacturers to invest in a process manufacturing ERP solution. Regardless of how hard ERP developers and vendors try to convince manufacturing companies that an ERP system could be the best investment for them, a manufacturer should never make a final decision before asking the right questions. What questions are we talking about?

To begin with, do you, as a process manufacturer, really need an ERP system? Can it help you improve productivity and quality, meet regulatory standards, and serve customers better? Are there any factors you should consider when choosing ERP software? By examining these questions, with a focus on the elements any process manufacturer should take into account when selecting an ERP solution, you’ll be able to develop a really shortlist of ERP alternatives.

Process Manufacturing ERP: Points to Consider

Since process manufacturing is very different from discrete manufacturing, opting for an ERP solution especially developed for process manufacturing environments, including engineer-to-order, make-to-order, make-to-stock, configure-to-order, and assemble-to-order, can help better control the areas that matter most for your company, such as recipes and formulas, bills of materials, production flow rates, product and process design, testing, traceability, scheduling, and cost allocation along with seamless integration, real-time visibility, and instant user access.

Process Manufacturing Worker

The comprehensiveness and configurability of the solution are two essential aspects for any process manufacturer. Though most process manufacturing ERP systems are developed to meet a wide range of business requirements, writing down what is absolutely necessary and what is optional for your company will help you choose an ERP solution that provides exactly the features you need to optimize and streamline your operations. Additionally, a highly configurable ERP system will allow you to efficiently manage unique practices, processes, and requirements, while tracking profits and losses.

To achieve the best outcomes, it’s imperative that the system meets the requirements of your industry vertical. Not only such a system will allow you to eliminate costly customizations later on; it will also reduce the likelihood of errors and unanticipated consequences.

The deployment model is another critical point for a process manufacturer. Most ERP vendors offer customers the flexibility to choose between two delivery options: on-premise and cloud-based ERP software. An on-premise ERP solution is perfect for companies that already have an in-house hosting environment and the technical capacity to support, control, and maintain a complex system. Cloud ERP solutions, on the other side, are ideal for organizations that lack the necessary IT infrastructure and staff to manage such systems. In this case, the software, updates, and applications are managed entirely by the vendor in exchange for a monthly fee. The choice between these two deployment models isn’t that difficult if specific factors, including workforce mobility, system scalability and integration, and pricing model, are taken into account.

When you’re choosing an ERP solution, it’s also important to consider the vendor. By working closely with an experienced ERP vendor, you’ll have all the support you need during and after system implementation. When unexpected errors occur or misunderstandings arise, having an expert by your side is critical. Stability, market presence in region, past successes, expertise, adaptability, and innovation are important considerations to ponder when selecting your vendor.

After a careful planning, prioritization, and in-depth analysis of process manufacturing ERP options, it’s time to select the right system for your company. Dynamics AX is one of the best ERP solutions you can find. For years, AX has been seen as one of most flexible systems that can be easily optimized for any process manufacturing company, regardless of whether it operates on a local or global scale. And that’s because the inner workings of Dynamics AX have been especially developed to match recipe- and formula-based manufacturing environments.

Whether manufacturing to order or to stock, Dynamics AX provides all the features you may need to plan, execute, control, and track the output, while maximizing resource utilization, streamlining business processes, and driving superior performance. Furthermore, as a complete process manufacturing ERP solution, AX focuses on operational efficiency and ensures visibility throughout the entire supply chain along with seamless integration in any process manufacturing environment, enabling process manufacturers to respond quickly to shifting market conditions.

Food and Beverage Distribution software

ETO Software

5 Points To Consider When Searching For ETO Software

In an earlier post, we discussed six points ETO manufacturers should consider when searching for ETO software. Although it may seem easy, finding the right software solution for an ETO environment is actually a time-consuming, difficult process.

Unlike traditional manufacturers, who are usually preoccupied with producing better products by fine tuning certain repetitive processes, ETO manufacturers face a variety of unique challenges, which put a lot of responsibility on operations managers. To manage ETO environments efficiently and reduce cost overruns, which are significantly higher in the ETO sector than in traditional manufacturing, manufacturers need native ETO software solutions, which can be integrated seamlessly into organizations. In continuation to our previous blog post, here are five more points to consider when choosing an ERP solution for ETO manufacturing.

ETO Software

  1. Flexibility: ETO companies are no longer required to implement massive, complex, and costly one-size-fits-all software solutions. Today, they can find dedicated, fully integrated yet flexible ERP systems, which provide all the tools an ETO manufacturer may need to meet industry-specific requirements for project visibility and control. As ETO manufacturers must synchronize a variety of processes, from the acquisition phase to production scheduling and shipping, in order to ensure compliance with customer specifications, work more efficiently, and reducing waste, a series of agile ETO software solutions have been developed to allow manufacturers add more functions and applications as new requirements arise.
  2. Visibility: An effective ETO system should provide real-time visibility into all operations to facilitate engineering and production tracking along with the pro-active management of various areas, including product and process design, scheduling, quality, etc. Since full process traceability is critical for competitive planning in high-precision manufacturing environments like ETO, you should look for an ETO solution with advanced tracking features, which can trace flow paths upstream and downstream from any point. These features can help minimize and even eliminate many issues, including inefficient order flows, missing inventory, late and inaccurate deliveries, and even non-recoverable expenses, which often translate into profit margin disappointments.
  3. Planning: ETO operations are inherently complex processes. This means that they cannot be managed with traditional production planning and scheduling systems. Since ETO processes require time-efficient planning and monitoring along with exception-handling tools, specialized software solutions focus especially on the pain points that most ETO manufacturers complain about, making available advanced alerts for execution deviations, planning alternatives, capacity or duration requirements, etc.
  4. Deployment model: Not only ETO software implementation and maintenance can be a nightmare for in-house IT teams; costs will also be higher for organizations. Therefore, anticipating and understanding the effects a specific deployment model can have on your entire business is critical to prevent various issues that may lead to costly disruptions. As you may already know, a cloud deployment model provides one of the best software alternatives for ETO manufacturers not only because it delivers a cost-effective, comprehensive suite of business applications, but also because it supports continuous adjustment and improvement. Additionally, cloud-based solutions can be customized and configured for each manufacturer.
  5. Performance: A very important aspect for an ETO manufacturer is that cloud-based solutions make integration with other applications faster and easier. With a cloud system, any engineer can accomplish more in less time, regardless of whether he’s closer to engineering design or to manufacturing processes. Thanks to the advanced features and interfaces included in the latest ETO software products, engineers can now steer projects across different departments, create custom designs without using complicated codes – now, this can be done by simply selecting, dragging, and dropping certain elements – and then adapt designs almost instantly to changing customer needs.

Any ETO manufacturer whose top priority is a high return on investment already knows that profit is partially realized from process enhancements resulting from effective ETO software. But choosing the right ETO solution for your organization can be a daunting task, even if you’ve learnt the aforementioned points by heart. If the wrong system is chosen, costly workarounds that need to be instituted to correct deficiencies may bury your business; conversely, if the right system is selected, chances are that you’ll be able to exceed expectations. This will help you conquer new markets and expand your business beyond geographic borders.

Food Processing ERP

Food Processing ERP: Formulas and Recipes

To remain competitive in the coming decades, food processing manufacturers must find new, more efficient ways to transform raw materials into sellable products, while meeting a wide range of requirements. For this, they need complex food processing ERP solutions, which combine planning and reporting capabilities with industry-specific formula, recipe, tracking, and control functionality. By using advanced capabilities, process manufacturers can easily and effectively manage all the variables required to control manufacturing life cycles, gain visibility into business activities, drive continuous improvements, optimize production, manufacture high-quality products, and comply with the latest regulations and standards.

Food Processing ERP

Formula and Recipe Functionality: Is It Important?    

The unique characteristics of the food processing industry have determined developers to create software products that can manage niche-specific requirements. Single software solutions, such as Microsoft Dynamics AX, can help process manufacturers handle a series of operations, formulas, recipes, extractions, chemical reactions, and many other factors necessary to successfully convert raw materials into final products. Since recipes and formulas include more variations than regular bills of materials, Dynamics AX has become an indispensable tool for food processing manufacturers. As a food processing ERP solution, AX can help you with:

  • Recipe and formulation management – Since recipes and formulations are unique to food processing, manufacturing process management used to pose significant challenges for food and beverage companies. But this is no longer the case. Dynamics AX includes features that manufacturers can use to manage standard, adjusted-as-planned, and adjusted-as-produced recipes, substitute ingredients, formulate products to individual specifications, break down recipes into interim production stages, calculate costs based on ingredients and recipes, view formulations as tables, graphics, or charts, track batch execution, verify and validate compliance requirements, and create and filter reports by ingredient, formula, recipe, batch, stock, and production yield.
  • Production control – Formula and recipe functions included in advanced food processing software can help manufacturers control inventory items and handle different units of measure to optimize production. Since raw materials are usually measured by weight or volume, including different ingredients in a recipe can cause variances in production. To eliminate variances, Dynamics AX has been complemented with conversion factors that convert quantities from one unit of measure to another. The system can also be set up to track ingredients and make them available exactly when they’re required. Using ingredients before their expiration dates can help reduce waste.
  • Batch optimization – Dynamics AX is one of the few food processing ERP solutions that allow you to plan and produce goods against preset batch sizes, which will increase manufacturing yields. Additionally, it enables users to reserve raw materials for specific dates and restrict certain processes. For instance, newly received inventory may be available for viewing, planning, and reservations but put on hold from shipping. New features also facilitate automatic quantity adjustments based on the active ingredients used in recipes. This way, manufacturers can ensure that the right concentrations of ingredients are used in all products.
  • Competitive advantage – Unlike other manufacturers, food processing companies gain a competitive advantage especially through their formulas and recipes. Having a reliable food processing ERP system to control production, reduce costs and lead times, minimize risks, increase profitability, bring products to market faster than before, and efficiently deal with economic pressures and their consequences can help you achieve a competitive position in your niche.

Finally, food and beverage companies have a complex ERP system that fits their unique requirements. Designed with industry-specific capabilities, including advanced recipe and formula functions,  Dynamics AX is one of the few food processing ERP solutions ready to help food processing manufacturers handle variability, adjust ingredients, quantities, and production phases according to the specifications of each product, manage inventory items based on expiration dates, speed up production processes, calculate costs and define yields, track batches and lots, and meet government regulations to produce consistently quality goods and remain competitive.

MRO software tech trends

MRO Software: Top MRO Tech Trends in 2015

According to aviation experts, the global Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) market will continue to grow in 2015. New tech advances will replace old technology at a fast pace, with significant implications for MRO companies. Here are the top five predictions expected to impact the MRO sector this year.

MRO software trends 2015

Top Five Predictions:

  1. Maintenance “on-the-go” – Last year, we’ve witnessed business transformation based on new digital models; this year, we’ll see organizations embracing a new technology-driven world, in which mobility will be the norm. Mobile MRO software applications will transform the entire MRO sector into an interactive, immersive environment, with a focus on discovering new ways to woven mobile applications into aircraft maintenance and repair strategies. A few years back, aircrafts used to be serviced in hangars; now, an increasing number of MROs are adopting mobile technologies, which allow them to perform a variety of maintenance and repair tasks at clients’ locations.
  2. Increased mobility – Technicians working around aircrafts are already using wearable applications and devices, such as smart glasses and watches, to obtain detailed information on the spot, perform technical evaluations, complete maintenance and repair tasks promptly, and transmit real-time information to the office. According to Espen Olsen, director for aerospace at Industrial and Financial Systems (IFS), advances in MRO software will create new markets, new products, and new areas of growth in 2015, making the MRO sector more efficient and productive. If a while ago, technicians used basic instructions and schematics to perform their jobs, often going with their intuition, new mobile applications offer them all the information they need to complete difficult installation, maintenance, and repair operations with no risks. If a worker is unsure how to perform a task, he can now connect with other specialists to get advice. Furthermore, the professionals operating in the MRO sector expect user friendly software applications with responsive deign, highly optimized for touch and compatible with multiple device form factors.
  3. 3D Printing – The aerospace industry has become a key market for 3D printing, or additive manufacturing. In this sector, typical applications revolve around elements with complex geometries, such as turbine and engine parts as well as cabin components. Since 3D printing uses materials and energy more efficiently than conventional manufacturing, a wide variety of components can be manufactured cost-effectively, at the point of use, obviating the need for storage. Small production runs along with aerospace-specific adaptations deliver further arguments in favor of 3D printing. As a result, we’ll start to see an increasing number of MRO companies benefiting from a real return on investing in additive manufacturing, which means that this technology will have a dramatic impact on MRO software this year.
  4. Big Data – Another important trend is Big Data technology. The aviation industry already operates on thin profit margins. This indirectly means that aircraft MROs must find new ways to overcome challenges and become more efficient when servicing aircrafts. Partially, their efficiency depends on the Big Data technology they adopt, as this technology gives them the ability to process, centralize, filter, track, and analyze a massive volume of structured and unstructured data relating to equipment, inventory, maintenance, and approved procedural information. Focusing on predictive analysis, Big Data technology also helps technicians streamline maintenance and repair operations by allowing them to access information anywhere, at any time, according to pre-defined user roles.
  5. Innovation – In highly regulated industry sectors, such as MRO, innovation is key. As an increasing number of MROs need more affordable and reliable specialized applications, software developers and vendors are required to come up with new solutions able to optimize “on-the-go” maintenance and repair operations as well as processes in hangars or workshops for lower operating costs. As a result, more MRO solution providers are expected to compete for supremacy this year.

Today, aircraft MROs are subject to significant shortages of skilled workforce. Difficulties in monitoring and managing different processes have already determined many companies to increase the number of contractors in order to keep operations running at optimal performance. Though new technology trends will put additional pressure on MRO providers, many experts are pointing toward exciting opportunities driven by the power of technology, advances in MRO software being expected to yield significant benefits in 2015.


MRO Software

More Airlines Investing in MRO Software

Airlines are taking major steps forward in controlling how maintenance information is provided and tracked. Recent technological advancements in MRO software has led many airlines to invest in implementation.

Airlines are looking for advanced IT solutions for maintenance planning, e-enabled aircraft, e-signatures and document management. As more airlines demand for specialist technology software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) vendors are improving their solutions and making them more industry specific.

MRO Software

New and updated IT solutions are available in the market, each designed to help airlines, MROs and operators use and manage their resources better. The solutions help to lower costs, increase efficiency, ensure regulatory compliance and provide more operations-friendly scheduling of maintenance and repairs. The overall goal is to provide a better user experience and improve revenues.

Airlines usually choose priorities based on their maintenance strategy, operations, fleet and existing IT capability. According to SITA, most airlines investing in business intelligence (BI) place engineering and maintenance as their highest priority. However, BI is just one of the areas where airlines have the potential to cut costs with IT.

Benefits of Aviation ERP and MRO Systems

For most airlines, the main justification for a MRO ERP system is the need for a system with better capabilities. For instance, an airline planning to undertake more heavy maintenance within its own facilities would need a system that goes beyond the capabilities of the existing MRO. The new system should not only be able to forecast in the same way as the existing system, but also work within more constraints and with greater resources.

Some of the benefits of implementing a MRO ERP system include:

  1. Dynamics Aircraft/Component Configuration Management

ERP can facilitate the creation of various configuration structures depending on the customer’s requirements. With a flexible ERP system, the records management team can define variation in customer configuration structures. Some ERPs also facilitate the management of customer specific alternate part lists.

  1. Availability of Solution on Tablets

One of the key success factors to reducing revenue leakage is capturing costs related data during cycle/shop floor. Some MRO ERP systems facilitate time recording and consumption reporting using tablets at the place of execution. This type of data collection simplifies work management and reduces data consumption costs.

  1. Dynamics Task Card Management

MRO systems enable users to maintain operator specific task cards. With this feature, an airline is sure of adhering to maintenance compliance procedures as required on the operator’s procedural manual. Moreover, the systems also facilitate authorizing of generic repair/task procedures by MRO service providers.

  1. TAT Management

For any MRO service provider, penalties due to violation of TAT are a great concern. A good MRO should effectively track all wait times and facilitate service providers to take corrective actions. Through complex algorithms, the system can eliminate all wait times attributed to a customer. Some systems have various alert mechanisms for preempting TAT violations.

  1. Increased Productivity through Smart Cards and Bar Codes

Most operational reports are bar coded, thereby improving an airline’s workflow and reducing the need to type data in the system. This feature makes MROs user friendly. The use of smart cards for some functions also reduces the manual work or need for maintaining paper documents.

  1. Support to Pooled Inventory & Part Exchange Concepts

Among the key requirements of MRO ERP operations are part exchanges. An effective part exchange process should enable service providers meet the TAT deadlines they promise customers. A suitable MRO system should track ownership switches in inventory and on shop floor. Moreover, the system should support part exchanges for meeting promised TAT reports.

  1. PMA Parts Management

Most airline operators are opting for PMA parts to cut on costs. However, some airlines still do not accept use of PMA parts on their fleet. MRO providers have to maintain stock of OEM as well as PMA parts. An MRO solution can facilitate management of PMA parts by allowing users to define effective controls. Depending on the contractual terms with the operator, the system will either prevent the use of PMA parts or route the requests for further approval.

Having a good MRO ERP system is essential to ensure the accuracy and quality of financial, accounting, parts and other operational controls.

erp implementation failure

How You Can Avoid A ERP Implementation Failure

Implementing an ERP systems involves a series of processes, including customization, integration, data conversion, testing, training, and maintenance. Since all these cost a lot of money, ERP implementations are considered expensive propositions. Evidently, an organization that spends its resources to choose and implement the right ERP solution will do everything possible to ensure success. However, ERP implementation failure is fairly common these days. Why so many businesses fail to leverage their ERP investments?

erp implementation failure

The Problem

Before looking into the reasons why ERP systems fail to deliver the expected, it’s critical to define what exactly constitutes an ERP implementation failure. Typically, ERP failure relates to overall operational efficiency and business benefits. A few examples include the inability of the new system to meet the expectations estimated, budget overruns, and incorrect working of the system.

ERP implementation failures entail negative consequences for companies. But the good news is that most failures can be prevented. To avoid turning an ERP system, which was developed to help companies perform optimally and grab more market share, into a “parasite” that depletes the resources of your organization, it’s critical to assess the real reasons why ERP implementations fail.

  • Unrealistic expectations: Most companies don’t understand the implications of ERP implementations, so they fail to allocate time, money, and other resources efficiently. In addition, business goals and desired functionalities aren’t communicated clearly, which may cause a great deal of confusion. Sometimes, project initiators are unsure of what they want, repeatedly changing goals and requirements; this may lead to delays, increased costs, and a software solution of inferior quality. Other times, they’re just too enthusiastic about anticipated success, without knowing if the solution they’ve chosen can actually help them achieve their goals.
  • Lack of technical knowledge: Since leadership teams rarely support the idea of unlimited funding for continuous ERP customization and maintenance performed by third-party professionals, there’s an increase demand for complex training programs and appropriate documentation (e.g. e-books, whitepapers, and step-by-step guides on how to configure the system to fit specific business scenarios and meet certain requirements). However, ERP training is usually inadequate and vague regarding  software setup. As you may already know, lack of training can prevent staff from making the most of the ERP solution you’ve implemented. Furthermore, your employees will be unable to fine-tune the system according to future business requirements, which may seriously hinder your company’s progress and increase dependence on third-party ERP services.
  • Failure to manage organizational change: Understanding current business processes and setting short-term objectives are two factors that could help prevent ERP implementation failure. But there’s one more thing you must consider: business requirements change over time. One day, you may want to expand your business and hire 1,000 new employees. Is your ERP system able to support this type of change?

The Solution

Understanding things like ERP implementation costs, resource allocation, change management, and employee training can help ensure ERP implementation success. But how can you avoid ERP implementation failure? Here are a few takeaways to help you out:

  • Define your business operations, goals, and deadlines before selecting an ERP system. Most business owners don’t even know how their business processes work and rarely establish any goals. In their view, the ERP system should be able to do everything once it’s up and running. Now, that’s an excellent recipe for…failure.
  • Don’t rely exclusively on your vendor. Think about what you expect from the ERP system and how you’ll manage change in your organization. Also, delineate what exactly constitutes ERP implementation success and failure according to your own company’s “as-is” and ideal “to-be” states.
  • Require appropriate ERP training, documentation from the developer, and access to vendor’s support website. For example, Microsoft provides extensive technical support, e-books, whitepapers, articles, and online forums to ensure that all of its customers will be successful with Dynamics ERP software solutions, such as Dynamics AX and Dynamics NAV, over the long run.

Doing all these upfront will take a lot of time but will help you avoid ERP implementation failure, which can inflict a great deal of pain on your organization later on.