Considering Global Implementation of Accounting, ERP, CRM?
Below are five areas to consider when managing a global Accounting System, ERP or CRM implementation:
1. Global vs. Localized Business Processes.
Companies with global offices often have very non-standardized business processes. A global Accounting, ERP, CRM software implementation provides an opportunity to standardize processes across locations, such as in a global Cloud ERP model. A global Accounting, ERP, CRM implementation needs to find the right balance between standardized vs. localized business processes and system. Often, these decisions boil down to identifying processes that are crucial to staying close to the local customer vs. standardizing processes to make it easier for global headquarters to manage the total operation.
2. One Time vs. Phased Implementation.
Once the system and business processes have been defined, it is important to define how to implement globally. For example, do you go-live with all functions and geographies at one time? Do you rollout in multiple phases based on region and/or function? Or is it some combination of both? Most companies take some sort of a hybrid approach, largely based on their tolerance for risk, resource availability, and legacy system constraints.
3. Global vs. Localized Support Structure.
The actual Accounting, ERP, CRM implementation is only one step in a longer-term system process. Before the first go-live is completed, it is important to define how and where your Accounting, ERP, CRM software is going to be managed going forward. Many companies look to centralize help desk support, while others choose to offer local support to cater to a diverse end-user base. The sooner this support structure is defined, the sooner end-users will fully adopt the new business software and start realizing the expected business benefits.
4. Language and Currency.
One of the key business benefits of Accounting, ERP, CRM global implementation is the ability to standardize business processes and provide global visibility into operations. However, local offices often present requirements to manage data and transactions in local languages and currencies. Finding the right balance between standardizing to English and US dollars across the globe vs. allowing multiple languages and currencies is an important decision point.
5. Master Data Management.
Master data is an important but often overlooked aspect of an effective Accounting or ERP global implementation. Master data need to be cleansed and migrated to the new system, but global companies need to define how it will be managed going forward. For example, will local entities have the flexibility to manage their own local chart of accounts, or will changes require a centralized account structure? The same needs to be decided for other types of master data, including customer, supplier, and inventory master records.