Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SAP ERP Implementations Go Bad without Effective EDI and B2B Planning and Strategies

Poor planning around EDI and B2B implementations can cause major delays and unanticipated costs for ERP implementations.  A large percentage of the data that is used by ERP's like SAP come into the system from their trading partners.  If this data, via EDI or other B2B messages, is not moving then the system does not work.  This can mean a multi-million dollar implemenation can ground to a halt if the EDI implementations were not aligned with the ERP project.

Most SAP or other ERP upgrades, consolidations, customizations or the adoption of new business processes will break or change the existing EDI and B2B integration scripts.  Often the IT and Business Managers do not understand how significant these changes, and how wide spread the impact of these changes will be for the B2B processes.  The time and resources needed for this effort are often over looked and unplanned.  Once the impact is realized, it translates into delayed implementations and higher project costs.  For more information on these implementation costs and risks read here.

As companies increasingly become integrated into business networks (communities of customers, suppliers, logistics partners,etc) not unlike people and social networks, the dependency on modern, efficient EDI and B2B communications also increases.  Without the data, the business process stops.

Effective planning as to the impact of ERP upgrades on the EDI and B2B processes is needed in advance.  The purpose of many ERP upgrades and implementation projects is to reduce costs and simplify IT environments as described here, but costs savings and ROIs can disappear quick if the project scope is unknown, the effort unplanned and the costs not covered in the budget.

If you would like to discuss this subject in more detail please contact me, or attend the upcoming webinar called Top 3 Reasons to Outsource EDI with SAP.

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Author Kevin Benedict

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