ERP Integration Hurdles

In today’s economy, more manufacturers are moving toward automating their procure-to-pay (P2P) processes with paperless, electronic invoicing (or e-invoicing) for their suppliers. However, analysts are saying that the process of integrating Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) along with e-invoicing for most businesses has many challenges ahead.

According to Duncan Jones, principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc., the progress of integrating e-invoicing with back-end ERP is “very slow.” Jones also said that companies like SAP and Oracle haven’t done a very good job of promoting the right answer.

Today, ERP software systems incorporate all areas of business, including planning, manufacturing, sales, and marketing. As more business software applications become available, ERP has become more popular, and business managers have the desire to implement ERP into more business areas, such as inventory control, accounts payable, accounts receivable, order tracking, finance, and more.

As ERP continues to grow in the future, the process of incorporating the P2P process (including paperless e-invoicing) will become easier by eliminating wasteful steps between buyers and suppliers.

Mickey North Rizza, research directory for Gartner Inc. said, “The issue is how to ensure that your suppliers can see what you’re doing.”

North Rizza also advised manufacturers to have a clear supply chain strategy (or process of moving goods from the customer’s order to product delivery). Before choosing an e-invoicing tool, manufacturers should understand their relationships with suppliers, added North Rizza.