The Record Issue 10: Autumn 2018

102 www. t e c h n o l o g y r e c o r d . c om E nterprise resource planning (ERP) plat- forms can help companies to cut costs and significantly improve their operational effi- ciency, but only if they implement the right sys- tem with the support of the right partner. A company’s ERP platform is like its central nervous system. If it is healthy, the ERP system provides insights to the management team so senior executives can understand what is hap- pening with customers, suppliers and employees. By doing this, it helps the management team to coordinate the company’s resources to capitalise on new business opportunities, battle competi- tors, and reduce costs. Despite recognising the critical role ERP sys- tems play, some companies fail when it comes to implementing or upgrading their software. In fact, research from analyst firm Gartner suggests that as many as 75% of all ERP implementations are unsuccessful. To ensure they don’t become one of these statistics, pharmaceutical companies must look at what caused other businesses to fail and take the lessons they have learned to find greater success with their own ERP implementations. Just as important as selecting the right software is choosing the right implementation partner. This is the company you are relying on for their expertise and experience in implementing and getting the best out of the software you have invested in. Who can afford to employ a team of consultants who don’t know how to implement software for a pharmaceutical company, or who are only learning about the requirements of the pharmaceutical industry during your implemen- tation? Choosing the right consultants and using their skills and knowledge appropriately, as well as transferring and retaining essential knowl- edge within the organisation, is crucial. But what should you look for in a partner? Your implementation partner should have a strong track record within your industry. Different industries have different require- ments, and the more your partner knows about your business, the more they will be able to configure the software to cover your particular needs. Plus, software that is configured to cover typical industry processes is less expensive and time-consuming to implement. In addition, your implementation consultant should be familiar with how your business oper- ates and fully understand your pain points. A Choosing the right partner Pharmaceutical companies should recruit partners expertise and knowledge of their industry to minimise the risks of implementing a new enterprise resource planning system MA S S I MO C RUDE L I : AX FOR PHARMA V I EWPO I NT