7 Unique Considerations for a Global ERP Implementation

January 29, 2019 Greg Williams

If you’re a global company planning an ERP implementation, you may be wondering if there are unique considerations you need to plan for. You bet there are. With 30 years of experience in multi-country ERP implementations, our experts are sharing valuable advice to help you lay the foundation for a successful project and avoid costly mistakes.

Here are 7 key considerations you need to know before attempting a global ERP implementation.

1.Create a Communications Plan

You will need a strong communications plan and strategy right from the beginning to ensure all stakeholders are informed. This is important for any implementation, but problems can easily get magnified when users are geographically dispersed. Add differences in time zones, languages, cultures, and business processes and you can see how this can quickly get out of hand if not managed well.

2.Take a Hard Look at Business Processes

Accounting may be similar across your organization; however, supply chain processes can differ by country or even region. Often products are made in one country and distributed in another, requiring you to consider manufacturing business processes tied to a different set of distribution processes.

3.Save Time with Templates

Create a global ERP template with configurations, fields, and data you can use across all your regions. While it is important to have a base template, it is equally important to allow for flexibility knowing that business processes and requirements can differ by entity.

4.Carefully Plan for Data Migration and Management

Chances are your company has different legacy systems across the globe. A good migration plan will assist with the conversion from all different data structures and sources into the new system. Another data consideration is whether you want to normalize data around the world or not. Do you want one global list of customers and vendors? Are you planning to implement a global chart of accounts and share it across entities?

5.Choose the Right Partner Mix

While it is advisable to have one master partner for overall program management, this partner should also work with local partners who can add much value with knowledge of local requirements (such as tax regulations) and who can train and support users in the local language and time zone. Beware of partners who claim they can just send their team across the globe. This approach rarely works.

6.Avoid a “Big Bang” Disaster

An “all at once” or “big bang” implementation plan can be good for one region or country. However, it is not usually a best practice for global deployments. Western Computer recommends a phased approach and implementing countries or regions on a schedule.

7.Decide on Your Cloud Strategy

Most organizations are at least evaluating the cloud because it allows them to focus on their business rather than information technology support. Most companies cannot justify an investment in infrastructure that matches what Microsoft has built, so the cloud offers many advantages that would otherwise not be attainable. A single instance of ERP in the cloud is ideal for many global employments. If there are concerns about global response times, then an Azure ExpressRoute can be used to mitigate this issue. Finally, there still are some countries that don’t allow business data to be hosted outside of that country, so verifying the local requirements where you operate is important.

How to Get More Information

Want to learn more? Western Computer has a wealth of resources surrounding global implementations and international entities for you including:

We are here to help you with your global implementation. Take advantage of our expertise by contacting us today for an initial consultation. 

About the Author

Greg Williams

As Western Computer's VP of Strategy, Greg Williams is responsible for aligning the company's product and service offerings with customers.

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