A single enterprise resource planning solution is what enterprises are looking for to support and expand their global operations. However, global implementation of ERP systems involves a series of repetitive project operations, containing harmonization of processes, data functionalities, and managing diversified business activities across countries. Known as a multi-country rollout, this approach helps in bringing more visibility to business operations.
The multi-country rollout begins with having first defined the project assumptions followed by developing a global template that may be applied as is or customized according to the specific needs of subsidiaries and business units. There are many ways of implementing this template, but the process has many challenges such as – Legal compliance & local statutory requirements, local complexity, cultural differences and language, IT infrastructural issues, and adoption of existing legacy system (if any) in different countries, and so on.
Some of the approaches include:
1. The Big Bang (All at once)– In this process, implementation happens in a single instance, as all the subsidiaries move into the new implementation all at once. This approach is suitable for small projects with implementation at a few sites.
2. The Phased Roll-Out– This is a staged implementation that happens over an extended period. Preferred by global ERP consultants, this approach is best suited for a multi-country rollout, which further unfolds two more options: Local Team approach and Central Team Approach.
3. Parallel Adoption– In this approach, the new system is not brought in all at once. The legacy system is used parallelly as the new system is brought in, making it easier for the users to learn the new system, while still using the old.
The road ahead
With the aim of consolidating financial reporting and streamlining business processes, companies are increasing resorting to rolling out a single ERP solution across subsidiaries. A single ERP system can give a more consistent and accurate understanding of the business at any given time, anywhere in the world. It is also less costly to support and maintain and can help managers identify specific actions that can improve operational performance across the enterprise.
Multi-country rollout can help enterprises achieve economies of scale, benefits of a standardized process and cost benefits of a centralized application maintenance and common language leading to better understanding of the business. For instance, when an enterprise has multiple subsidiaries, each following its own system, adapting those local systems to meet global standards and compliance gets difficult. However, with the help of multi country rollout of an ERP, a solution can be made available that will consolidate multiple subsidiaries into global company, which can achieve global financial compliance like GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) with ease. It can also help standardize the reporting procedure at both global and local levels, thereby streamlining the compliance requirements and business processes.
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