According to a reports released by a leading ERP consulting group it has been found that the implementation of ERPs takes longer than expected and the average time is about 18.4 months. Software as a solution takes less time but its features are not satisfactory for most of the buyers. In the last few years a number of organizations complained of long implementation time of ERP and it have been found that although the cost of systems reduced in the last few years - the implementation times has not reduced much.
Now a number of new vendors are offering packages and they claim that it can be implemented at a low cost and in less time period but the new solution provided by the companies generally comes with other form of drawbacks. A company reported that the timeframe was reduced when a stage of integration testing was skipped and similar short cut methodologies are used by the companies to reduce the time of implementation.
The on demand software solution Software as a Solution reduces time period and also the expense on hardware but the buyer does not get anything to own when it buys it. Buyers take the solution on subscription basis and when a monthly subscription is not paid - the service will be discontinued. Other drawbacks of Software as a Solution Saas are that the database of the buyer stays with the vendors - which raise the risk of security and privacy of data.
The typical timeframe for ERP implementation is from 18 to 12 months but the timeframe depends on a number of factors such as
Number of users: If the number of users is more the implementation time increases because the system has to be tested for scalability and accuracy as the load increases. If the number of business units, operating branches, departments, business partners, clients or manufacturing units is more, the implementation will be done in many stages and this will increase the overall timeframe.
Geographical location of the branches or retail units: If the retail units or the manufacturing units are located at distant places - a lot of time may be spent on transportation from one place to other.
Unrealistic expectation: If the company expects to get a solution to every problem of the organization through automation and it is not ready to prepare the business conditions to suit automation processes - then the time for implementation may increase.
If the business procedures are complex, the technical team and the functional consultants may have to spend a lot of time on understanding the need of the client. Customization at each phase may need extra time and it will increase the total time for the process.
Efficiency of the implementing team members: If the technical or functional member of the team are not very experienced or devoted to the project - the problems arising everyday may not be solved on time and it will cause delays.
Participation of employees at client's location: If the client is aware of the requirements of automation and assists at each stage - it will reduce the total time.