ERP Underused and Difficult

European ERP experiences as reported by PMP Research highlight both challenges and opportunities for vendors despite everything, ERP still foundational

In Europe, as in North America, companies have plenty of enterprise resource planning ERP- seats and functionality that they don t use. According to a survey from the U.K. s PMP Research, 32 percent of respondents say that large portions of their ERP products are completely unused, and 41 percent say that a small portion is unused. Remarkably, only 5 percent of companies claim that they are using their incumbent ERP solution to its full extent. That s good news for those companies that have already paid for ERP but aren t using it extensively. There s a lot of dormant functionality that can still be tapped into. The survey went on to find that only 12 percent of companies install ERP out of the box, with 59 percent customizing the software somewhat and the remaining 12 percent customizing a great deal. Once ERP was installed, 49 percent of companies said that it was hard to change it and 4 percent said that it was very hard. A further ERP difficulty has to do with the availability of human talent. Fifty percent of surveyed companies said that the right skills were difficult to acquire, leading PMP to speculate that a skills shortage may be looming. These obstacles didn t prejudice ERP users about the software itself. The survey showed that companies are over three times more likely to further invest in ERP than to buy custom development. The gap is even bigger when it comes to point solutions companies are over nine times more likely to invest in ERP than go the standalone route. That s because companies see ERP as being able to deliver business process improvements cited by 78 percent of responders- and improvements in efficiency and effectiveness 66 percent-. The state of ERP in Europe represents a bigger relative opportunity in that the market is behind the U.S. The numbers show that many PMP survey respondents are still involved with ERP, and the focus of their IT strategy has yet to prioritize business-to-business, or B2B in which 32 percent of respondents are interested- and business-to-consumer, or B2C 10 percent-. ERP needs to be in place for many B2B and B2C initiatives to flower, so vendors should note that there is a looming opportunity in Europe. Source: line56.coma>