How to successfully implement e-business solutions

Bringing your business processes online is not a simple undertaking! According to the prestigious research firm Gartner Group, 75 percent of all e-business projects fail due to inadequate planning and unrealistic expectations of new technology. The productivity gains and cost savings promised by e-business solutions are frequently lost due to improper management of their implementation, not the technology itself. When a large-scale installation of an e-business solution fails, business management is typically to blame. Failure to comprehend the scope of the project, oversimplification of the project, inappropriate expectations, and a lack of resource commitment are a few of the management errors that impede the implementation and utilization of the systems.

Installation pitfalls associated with E-business solutions

A major distributor has chosen to implement a new online supply chain management system. The people – those who were supposed to use the system – were quite skeptical of the system’s effectiveness, as they lacked sufficient knowledge and/or training in using a similar system. As a result, it took over a year for the company to fully implement the solution. The loss of productivity was severe. The final implementation expenses were multiple times the initial budget. The implementation of e-business solutions is reportedly problematic for a significant number of companies.

Most likely, the following issues arise when a company attempts to implement e-business solutions:

Senior executives do not devote sufficient time and effort to learning and comprehending the solutions. As a result, they have no idea how their employees will adapt to this new solution and fail to establish measurable efficiency and productivity goals for them. The end users are not trained as required. Therefore, view the new solution as a burden rather than a means of enhancing efficiency and productivity. In many instances, the IT infrastructure is outdated and lacks the capacity to support the new solution. Due to management’s insufficient understanding of the e-business solutions they intend to implement, the time and budget allocated to the project are frequently significantly less than necessary. Frequently, advanced Internet-based e-business solutions must be integrated with a portion of the company’s existing legacy systems, which can result in software and system incompatibility.

How to circumvent pitfalls

E-business solutions are sophisticated systems that encompass vital company functions and customer relationships. Therefore, the implementation of these projects should adhere to detailed plans.

Preparation

Develop a comprehensive scope. Involve all solution end-users in the creation of the scope, not just technical and business model experts. Obtain answers to the following questions:

– What is the most important objective that the company hopes to accomplish with this solution? – What critical issues does the proposed solution intend to address? – Does the amount of time and money invested justify its implementation? – What are the milestones for implementation? – How will you know when you’ve attained these milestones? – After involving all relevant company members in the process, select an implementation taskforce comprised of experts from all required departments. This group should be in charge of creating the implementation plan. Using this plan, allocate resources and deadlines. Upon completion of each implementation phase, involve senior management in a review of progress.

Education and Instruction

Education should address the “why” of the solution, while training should address the “how.”

– Determine the individuals who required training and education. – Define objectives – Define training and education standards and choose a curriculum – Determine the method of evaluation – Conduct the actual learning process – Evaluate their progress

Implementation

The solution should be implemented in accordance with the strict predefined stages.

Upon completion of each implementation phase, involve senior management in a review of progress. Perform a reality check!

– How has the solution thus far met your expectations? – Is it performing its intended function? – Is it necessary to adjust any of your priorities?

Schedule a comprehensive post-implementation meeting with the taskforce and relevant end-users once the implementation is complete. It is essential to determine whether or not everyone involved in the project is pleased with the outcome.

To successfully implement e-business solutions, you must have a thorough understanding of the underlying technologies. If necessary, hire a consultant and closely collaborate with her. This may save you substantial time and money in the long run.

Here are additional points to remember:

1. E-business solutions are merely instruments. Do not anticipate that they will radically alter everything you have learned about business processes.

2. Implementations of e-business solutions, like any other project, require strict step-by-step project management.

3.Before considering an e-business solution, ensure there is a legitimate business need for it. E-marketplace, Private exchange, and Business portal are a few e-business solutions that can assist you in attracting new customers and markets. These solutions also permit the simplification of numerous essential business processes. In your e-business strategy, you should prioritize these solutions.

4. Stay abreast of new technologies and observe the e-business strategies of your competitors. E-business is an extremely dynamic industry; you should be prepared for and open to change whenever necessary.

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