Growth in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) spend by manufacturers in the Asia-Pacific is expected to grow from $US4.b last year, to $US8.91b by 2000, and $US14b by 2002.
A recent report on ERP for manufacturers by independent IT and telecommunications analyst, Ovum, and specialist consultancy company in manufacturing technologies/markets, Cambashi, predicts manufacturers worldwide will continue to invest strongly in ERP systems.
The report describes ERP as a system which promises one database, one application and one user interface for the entire enterprise, instead of having disparate systems for manufacturing, distribution, finance and sales. It enhances the ability to accurately schedule production, fully utilise capacity, reduce inventory and meet promised shipping dates.
The report says worldwide end-user expenditure on ERP (software, maintenance and implementation but excluding hardware and network costs), is growing at a rate of 23%.
The report predicts the end user expenditure in Asia/Pacific in 1998 will be $US1.3b, and that by 2002 it will be $US4.56b.
The report says that ERP in Asia will grow at a rate of 42% a year, outstripping Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Americas, where growth is predicted to be around 18% a year.
The report’s message to buyers is that there is no universal best and to not just buy the market leader.
“No vendor produces the perfect systems, a system suitable for every user. If you ask which system is best then you ask the wrong question. Evaluating ERP systems is more a question of finding the least inappropriate system for your company.”
It suggests users find their own reference sites, and talk to users - especially those in the US, who the report says, tend to be more open.
Key questions should be:
• How they customised their system to improve functionality
• The reasons for running their particular version
• The vendor’s approach to implementation and the success
• The vendor’s ability to meet deadlines for software release and implementation
• The vendor’s customer support, although this varies from country to country