If you’ve worked in IT for any decently-sized organization or attended major IT conferences, then you’ve likely heard of ERP implementation successes, best strategies for ERP project management, or methods to gain additional value from ERP investments. Publicly, however, you won’t hear of implementation failures. You may overhear mention in a conversation or have a fellow conference attendee confidentially acknowledge their implementation was a dud. Those problems are more prevalent than you might imagine.
Every ERP implementation project is a major undertaking, whether it’s a first-time implementation for a company that can no longer run the business on Excel, Access, or other home-grown isolated software applications, or the addition of new functionality such as SAP Global Trade Services (GTS) that builds on the ERP foundation already established.
At the highest level, failures are blamed on the gap between the implementation and the original business case. There’s a lot of misinformation that creates that gap. Unrealistic expectations of software functionality, failure to understand software strengths and weaknesses, or lack of knowledge regarding global trade compliance requirements and their impact on the business.
What Caused Your Company’s SAP GTS Implementation Failure?
Delving a bit more deeply into the overall problem, we’ve identified more specific reasons for ERP implementation failures. To avoid SAP GTS implementation failures, address these pitfalls in the preliminary planning stages:
- Insufficient Due Diligence in Choosing A Well-Qualified Implementation Partner;
- Failure to Identify the Unique Aspects of Your Business;
- Unrealistic Expectations
- Business Requirements are Not Identified
- Known issues are Not Corrected
- Failure to Incorporate Compliance Requirements.
If the SAP GTS implementation you’d hoped would re-energize your enterprise has turned out to be a dud, how do you recover and get back on track?
Work With a Well-Qualified Implementation Partner
When you go to a medical specialist—a cardiologist, for example—it’s not your responsibility to ask the questions that lead to the correct diagnosis and remedy. You depend on the specialist to ask those questions and prescribe the appropriate means to regain good health.
Similarly, a well-qualified SAP GTS implementation partner is a specialist in global trade compliance. With hands-on SAP GTS technical knowledge and experience from successful implementations in multiple industries, partners of this caliber know how to diagnose the mistakes of a less-than-satisfactory GTS implementation.
More importantly, that experienced partner should have or help attain the answers needed. Answers to:
- ‘What do we do next?’
- ‘How do we implement the correction?’
- ‘What are our options?’
- ‘What else are we missing?’
Understand Unique Business Aspects to Get IT Right
The questions an experienced SAP GTS implementation partner asks are part of a proven methodology. They are designed to understand your business needs and original project goals before moving forward. Those questions will help determine the reasons that contributed to implementation failure.
Often the solution involves areas of significantly-improved efficiency that were overlooked in the initial implementation plan. The right partners will develop a solution to satisfy the original requirements, with minimal-to-no impact on your current operations.
Other times, the solution it is basic. The solution may be as simple as configuring the system to satisfy your compliance needs. Or, your business process is so unique that the system needs to be made flexible enough to handle your requirement demands.
Unrealistic Expectations Undermine Success
You may have been overly optimistic about what could be accomplished given the software, time, budget, and skills of the initial implementation team. In the worst case, be prepared to go back to Square One and reconsider the project scope and budget.
Here’s where the experience and project management skills of an SAP GTS implementation specialist can set realistic expectations. What can be achieved using the capabilities of SAP GTS, and where are its limitations? When there are limitations, what workaround options are available? An honest re-evaluation will help prioritize business goals and functional rollout to maximize the value of your SAP GTS investment.
Compliance Requirements Are Critical To Success
Compliance is a key aspect of global trade. It’s woven into nearly every aspect of global trade processes. The overall goals of your SAP GTS implementation are greater overall efficiency of global trade processes and compliance with relevant trade regulations.
An SAP GTS implementation partner understands the complexities of global trade regulations and can help you use these regulations to your advantage. Using GTS functionality like sanction party lists (SPL) and product classifications support compliance requirements and bring greater efficiency and consistency to these processes.
An SAP GTS implementation partner with a global trade compliance consultant (GTCC) on the team will also advise you of preferential treatment programs that save money. With the combination of deep SAP GTS technical knowledge and global trade compliance skills, an experienced partner will look for every opportunity to streamline your trade processes and use regulations to your benefit.
Your Company’s SAP GTS Implementation Can Still Succeed
If your SAP GTS implementation results have been disappointing, don’t abandon hope. A failed project can be transformed into success. The road to recovery varies depending upon the degree of failure. An experienced SAP GTS implementation partner with numerous referenceable clients will help you reset expectations, establish realistic goals, and realign the project—all while minimizing the impact on current operations. An implementation dud doesn’t have to be a disaster. A correction now will deliver substantial long-term savings through streamlined, compliant global trade processes.
Pinary is an experienced SAP GTS implementation partner with an enviable implementation 100% success record. We specialize in the hard-knock cases. We have founded the first SAP-GTS- Emergency program, Project Recovery and Project Realignment programs. Improving and fixing SAP-GTS systems is what we do. Contact Pinary today to get back on the road to recovery.