Implementing the Right ERP Software for Global Operations

Eric Kimberling

Implementing the right ERP software can be daunting for any organization, but is especially true for organizations with multi-national operations. Most of our clients are global in nature – and many are even based in countries outside the U.S., the home country of most ERP vendors – so we’ve navigated our share of complexities among global ERP software initiatives. Even with the wide variety of ERP vendors in the marketplace, we’ve found that not all ERP software is created equally when it comes to global operations.

Indeed, ERP implementations for single-site, domestic organizations can look very different than those for global, multi-site organizations. These latter types of companies are inherently more complex in that they typically want to standardize business processes across international operations, but also need the flexibility to serve multiple and diverse customers, employees, economies and regulatory bodies. All of these factors should impact how the system is implemented.

When choosing ERP software, take time to consider the following factors to ensure you don’t overlook some of the critical components and differentiators of global organizations:

Conduct business process reengineering from a global perspective. Many of our international clients have experienced aggressive growth through the years, either organically and/or through acquisition. As a result, many struggle with disparate operations, redundant efficiencies and business processes that have been reengineered in silos rather than in a truly global manner. Global ERP implementations, however, require more holistic approaches to facilitating business process reengineering and introducing best practices into those processes. In addition to considering business processes directly related to your organization’s product or service, global initiatives also need to take into account indirect business requirements related to regulatory requirements, financial reporting, currencies, languages and other unique aspects of various parts of the world.

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