We recently published a video highlighting results from over 600 manufacturing and distribution software implementations across the globe.  As we found in our study of manufacturers and distributors, enterprise software can deliver great business benefits, but it’s not an easy road.

For example, below is a summary of some of the findings outlined in the study and corresponding presentation:

  • The average manufacturing and distribution software is implemented in 19 months, compared to nearly 20 months for other industry verticals.  This includes 4 months for the software evaluation and selection process.
  • Only 3% of manufacturing and distribution companies implement their software on or under budget.  Companies in all other industries are three times more likely to finish under budget.
  • 82% of manufacturers and distributors require a moderate to high level of customization for their enterprise software, compared to 77% for other industry verticals.

This data suggests that while there are a large number of enterprise software solutions with robust manufacturing and distribution functionality, companies tend to have difficulty finding and implementing the right package effectively.

Ways to Avoid the Pitfalls of Manufacturing and Distribution Software to Optimize Your Business Results

  1. Find the right manufacturing and distribution software. Thoroughly define your requirements, consider all your options, and focus on the things that are unique to your company.
  2. Set realistic expectations. Software sales reps love to tell prospective customers that their enterprise solutions can be implemented in no time.  While you want to be as aggressive as possible in managing implementation time and budget, it is also important to plan for what it’s really going to take to get the job done right.
  3. Effectively manage the software implementation. Find the right resources, hire expertise where appropriate, and leverage proven tools and methodologies.  Leverage standard software functionality and avoid customization where possible.
  4. Don’t forget that it’s all about the non-technical stuff. An effective manufacturing and distribution software implementation has very little to do with the technical installation and configuration.  The rest has to do with clearly defining your business processes and workflows, organizational change management, end-user training, executive alignment and decision-making, and a host of other critical success factors that is not going to be provided by your selected software vendor.

Learn more by viewing our distribution and manufacturing software presentation or downloading the white paper, which both summarize results from our three-year study of manufacturing and distribution companies across the globe.


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