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Enterprise Software: Integrated Project Management Brings Both Better Coordination and Control

By Dick Weisinger

In a pair of new studies on the most effective use of ERP systems, ERP vendor IFS examined the complexity of Enterprise software and also looked at the relationship of ERP to Project Management software.

The first IFS study looked at industrial manufacturing companies and found that the majority of those businesses constantly deal with great complexity.   To deal with that complexity, the average number of types of enterprise software applications used is 3.24, and for each type, like ERP, there is often more than one software product in use.

Steve Andrew, IFS North America Vice President of Marketing, said that “The management of these businesses is suffering because they are paying to license and maintain not one, not two, but as many as seven different types of enterprise software applications.”

The second IFS report examined the importance of better integrating project management with enterprise software.  The report found that:

  • Integration of ERP with Project Management results in better real-time coordination and control of projects
  • ERP systems tend to be weak in handling risk management
  • 85 percent of companies say that they don’t have an integration now between their ERP and project management systems

Andrew explained the importance of project management integrated with ERP by saying that “Many of these executives involved with engineering, fabricating or managing highly engineered products or assets believe that running traditional ERP will suffice. But traditional ERP focuses only on products, not the types of projects associated with something like engineering or constructing a processing plant, or asset lifecycle management processes like maintenance, plant shutdowns and lifecycle extensions. Companies that are in complex industries where the business value comes from managing complex projects need software designed for their type of business.”

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