DIY Your ERP: An innovative and effective ERP implementation approach

The first impression to the top management when somebody raises the company needs an ERP is the huge amount of investment. In fact, what is more confusing and frustrating for the decision makers is how to implement the project in a right direction. Some of them even don’t know how to kick it off.

In a traditional ERP, expensive license fee, thousands of combinations of functions, unverified service provider and lack of internal experts are the major roadblocks for a successful implementation. Many companies feel helpless when facing the expensive license fee even before starting the project. We have more than a dozen customers (transit to Odoo (Formerly OpenERP) later) who discover the expectation gap before and after committing a huge investment and stop the previous ERP projects in the middle way. The complexity of an ERP system causes a extremely long learning curve to master it. In many conventional ERP projects, the clients found out many useful modules/features were not included in the original contract and they had to pay extra (over budget). And this situation is frequently recurred, which causes many arguments and disputes to lead a potential dead end of the project. We can see the importance of a good service provider from this problem. However, before starting the cooperation, nobody can guarantee a “right” consultants for the company. We intentionally emphasizes the word “right” to indicate that each consulting company has its own specialist and style. It has to be very careful to study and analyze a consulting company. A wrong decision can easily lead to a “kidnap” from the vendor. It seems to us that a qualified internal expert/team with strong ERP background could be a good solution to all the above problems. They can conduct the requirement analysis, software assessment and evaluation of the service provider in a professional manner. However, the cost (including initial training) and the future career development are the major barriers for the company, especially the small and medium size enterprises.

Based on the above analysis, an ERP project seems to be very complex, problematic and risky. In fact, all the above are the inevitable problems that an ERP implementation must face and solve. In order to minimize these barriers and bring a revolutionary change (at least a very good alternative) to the traditional ERP implementation approach, OSCG raises the concept of ‘DIY Your ERP’. We bring some of the key elements to largely overcome the above barriers in this concept. It is perfectly designed for those companies that would like to understand the requirement, conduct the self-implementation and seek for long-term support and maintenance.

Choose a good open source ERP system

Many years ago, Open Source ERP started getting popular. Systems like Compiere, OpenBravo and Odoo (Formerly OpenERP) caught the eyes from this industry. In recent years, some of the pioneers were acquired while some of them went Close Source. Without a mature and profitable business model, most of the Open Source ERP projects seized or changed the core values. Nowadays, OpenERP is almost the only one that still keeps completely Open Source and keeps innovating and optimizing the products. This Belgium Original company becomes one of the most popular ERP system in the world. It has created substantial threads to the traditional ERP giants such as SAP and Oracle. Thanks to the free license and open source, a company has abundant time to run the trial, do the evaluation and potentially conduct self-implementation.

Adopt a Pilot Phase

Traditional ERP project usually requires a big one-off commitment from both the implementation team and the client. The clients commit a huge amount of project amount as well as internal resources without knowing deep enough of the ERP system that they are going to launch. The implementation team commits a huge amount of resources without knowing enough about the operation of the client. Both parties have their own understandings on the specifications and requirements, which ultimately lead to confusion and argument. These traditional ERP implementations are very risky and costly to both the service provider and the client. In order to significantly lower the risk and cost, OSCG always recommends the clients to use our Pilot Phase Service before we come to a more comprehensive but precise implementation contract. In the Pilot Phase, OSCG is able to know in-depth of the client’s company. The client also has the opportunity to know more about Odoo (Formerly OpenERP) and its out-of-box capabilities. The client will also have hands-on experience on the system that OSCG sets up according to client’s company operation and sample data. After the pilot phase, the client could then decide which features to be implemented, which implementation methodology to be used, make a detailed the project schedule with priorities. No matter the choices are, Pilot Phase brings the company a solid foundation and a minimized risk.

Seek for Expert Technical Support

Based on the outcome from the Pilot Phase, the company might choose to implement the ERP by its internal team. However, due to lack of the experience and newbie to the system, various glitches might still happen. In order to have a smoother DIY progress, the client could choose some dedicated third party technical support service or many Odoo (Formerly OpenERP) forums out there could be an unofficial channel of problem solving. The advantage of choose this kind of on demand technical support is to control the budget and not easily kidnapped by the consulting company. OSCG Odoo Support and Maintenance Package is your best choice for after project support and DIY project. It covers all the problems that you may encounter when you are using or implementing Odoo (Formerly OpenERP) project. It saves you enormous time in solving Odoo (Formerly OpenERP) related problems and accelerate your progress of a self-implemented project. It provides an extra shield of support to your team and they won’t be frustrated when a human error is conducted.

Attend some ‘Selected’ Trainings

Traditional generic ERP trainings provide a very high level common sense and some theories related to the system. It is not very practical as each company has its own background and situation. Based on the ‘DIY your ERP’ concept, we recommend the customers to choose some tailor made training sessions (even pay a higher rate) based on their requirement in different stages (early, middle and late). For example, in the early stage of implementation, the customer could choose some trainings specifically for the data import and core parameter configuration. The company shall already realize the focus of its ERP project and the scope of knowledge that its team is lack of after the Pilot Phase. We recommend the customer to raise and propose the agenda for the trainings to the consulting company. These training sessions provide a more appropriate and effective result.

Consider the Cloud Solution

The well developed Cloud Technology provides the best platform for ‘DIY your ERP’. Based on our analysis, a properly selected Cloud Service could save up to 50% of the total cost of ownership of a server. We all know the server maintenance is a long term expense. Therefore, the 50% saving will be a significant economic benefit. Typical Cloud Platform provides a better data security and service availability, especially for SMEs.

‘DIY your ERP’ offers a more flexible and lower risk ERP implementation approach. We believe that ERP shall not be a luxury project for the BIG company. After decades of the traditional ERP marketing, ‘DIY your ERP’ provides a brand new trend, a more reasonable service concept.