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ERP market has evolved recently in Pakistan. Going for any ERP (especially off the shelf) is no more considered an out of the box decision. However there is still long way to go before the objections of being Risky, Too Big and Not for us get sorted out industry wide. Asia and Middle East are markets with huge potential and lucrative opportunities for all ERP vendors. Although the disruption caused by current economic meltdown has been painful on one level but therapeutic on another level, because it has made people rethink the things. It has made companies of every size, in every industry and in every country to do a thorough re-examination or their ERP investments and strategies. Recession has altered the future of business software and we can observe ripple effects having strong impact on Pakistani market as well. Outdated pricing models (such as ERP maintenance agreements) are being revamped, innovations are no more turtle paced and companies (even implementation partners) are re-inventing themselves with more flexibility around service offering. Following are some imperative factors outlining strategic sketch of Pakistan s ERP market in coming years 1. Globalization Large global manufacturers that have established their facilities in Pakistan are investing and will continue to invest in ERP solutions to streamline their back-office processes and also integrate these processes with their Head office. Local suppliers/manufacturers will adopt IT automation such as ERP as part of the conformity to global manufacturers requirements when trading with them. 2. Competition Competition not only within local market but also from neighboring industrial giants will force manufacturers to invest in technology such as ERP solution to streamline their back-end processing such as accounting, procurement, and order management. Besides workflow efficiency, the investment will lower the cost of producing the goods. 3. Compliance Risk Pakistani manufacturers are required to comply with international standards and regulations when exporting to Europe and US etc. Thus companies are in need to change some of their business processes to comply with international requirements. In addition to compliance, association with a proven ERP solution increases client s confidence in internal processes of the supplier. 4. Resource management Scarcity of raw material and resources, such as fuel, will demand manufacturers to improve their efficiency in consuming these components. Manufacturers will need to invest in solutions that will assist them in better planning and execution in producing the end product.
5. Public Sector Reforms The current wave of reforms in Pakistani public sector under international guidance and collaboration has opened avenues for ERP solutions. Some of the critical projects have been successfully completed paving the way for major strategically important ERP adoptions in public sector. This has improved the confidence level of industry in ERP solutions. SME sector also realizes the importance of IT automation and process streamlining under the umbrella of some proven solutions. One ERP system or single global instance of business software application has been the driving force behind large organization s decisions to go for ERP systems globally. It is too early to have a decisive inference about response of Pakistani market to this concept especially with strong likeness towards open source systems and other relatively smaller ERP solutions making inroads in local market. Despite the industry wide laidback approach towards technology adaption, Pakistani industry has great potential and strong need for standardization and process streamlining benchmarked against relevant global best practices.
SALMAN JAVAID BUTT LAHORE, PAKISTAN