Two thirds of mid and large Dutch enterprises use ERP solution

24 May 2016

A large number of Dutch businesses are using ERP solutions. Currently, more than two thirds of mid-sized and large Dutch businesses have an ERP system in place, according to a new study among 6,500 respondents. SAP is the market leader in the Netherlands, followed by Microsoft and Exact.

To manage their business, many companies use an ERP software package. This kind of software supports all processes in an organisation – it is a central point where all data including those from customers, products and suppliers come together. Often ERP solutions offer the ability to, within the landscape, build business-critical applications, so that the solution aligns with the organisation’s (data) needs.

New data from Computer Profile, based on interviews conducted with 6,500 managers and IT professionals active in the Dutch industry (only companies with> 50 employees) shows that in the Netherlands more than two thirds of mid- and large sized companies (67.5%) were using an ERP solution in 2015. The percentage is up 1.6% on 2012, but down 1.4% on 2014.

ERP Penetration per industry

A comparison by industry reveals that the differences across sectors are considerable. ERP solutions have most deeply penetrated the Dutch manufacturing industry, where more than 90% of companies have an ERP package in use. In the wholesale and retail world and the construction industry, many companies are convinced of the added value of ERP software, with respectively 88.3% and 85.0% using the software solutions.

Some sectors make considerably less use of ERP, including education (35.4%), health care (41.6%) and the public sector (48.3%). The professional services sector scored below average with 66.9% of companies using an ERP package. However, the business advisory services sector is the fastest climber in the list – the sector has increased its ERP usage by as much as 9.2% since 2012.

The ERP landscape in the Netherlands has, in recent years, seen a significant shift. External data centres are clearly winning over local and remote locations in the choice of location where ERP software is housed. Increasingly, the ERP system is outsourced to an external application manager, so the proportion of organisations with a local ERP solution has decreased from 44% to 32% since 2013. Also remote hosting – a situation when the ERP solution is hosted from the head office or a sister establishment of the organisation – is receding, with a decline of almost 5% noted over the past four years.

Interestingly, the role of cloud computing seems to be very limited in the ERP landscape. Only 2.8% of ERP solutions are routed through the public cloud, and although this is 0.8% higher than in 2015, the percentage has hardly changed over the last four years. The analysts, however, point out that under the category of 'Hosted' – besides the data-centres of external service providers – a number of private cloud solutions are also included. Hosted ERP solutions have doubled their market share since 2013, from 15% to 31% in 2016.

According to the analysis, ERP location is predominantly related to firm size. For medium-sized companies (50 to 250 employees), approximately 66% still work with a locally installed ERP package. Multinational companies prefer to use a consolidated internal or external environment as a platform to run their ERP application, with 45% opting for 'Remote' and 44% for 'Hosted'.

Most used ERP solutions
Of the various ERP software vendors in the market, SAP is by far the largest provider. With a market share of 20.4%, SAP can, as in previous years, call itself the absolute market leader. More than half of the Dutch multinationals (53%) uses ERP solutions from SAP, while also in the government and public sector SAP is the most widely used ERP brand, at 11.6%. The second place goes to Microsoft’s ERP software (11.8%), the market leader when it comes to national enterprises (250-2500 employees) and medium sized businesses – in these segments Microsoft has a market share of 18.4% and 14.4% respectively.

The third place goes to Exact, a Dutch based ERP solutions company with more than 1,550 employees globally, with an overall market share of 8.6%. In all four segments – the public sector, multinationals, national enterprises and medium sized businesses – the company holds a top 5 spot in the list of top ERP providers. However, as it stands, “only” a small 3.8% of multinationals companies in the Netherlands are using ERP software from the Delft-based IT firm.

After Oracle (5.3%), which is used mainly by large multinational corporations and public institutions, it is particularly customised solutions which claim a large market share (4.8%). The rest of the market is fragmented, with more than twenty software vendors distributing the remainder of the pie, each focussing on certain segments of sectors and/or functionality.

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First Consulting helps BDO to build new RPA capability with UiPath

22 March 2019

Global accounting and consulting firm BDO is working on its own digital transformation, as it looks to pioneer the use of Robotic Process Automation in its work. Business consultancy First Consulting is helping BDO with designing the RPA journey and building its internal RPA capability.

Robotic Process Automation describes a process that utilises software programmed to autonomously carry out basic tasks across applications, reducing the burden of repetitive, simple tasks on employees.  Able to be developed and deployed in a matter of weeks, RPA is highly cost-effective and can typically demonstrate returns on investment within a few months. It has been known to dramatically improve the speed and accuracy of processing, resulting in a quicker and higher quality of service to customers.

Last year, BDO explored the value of Robotic Process Automation, concluding the technology has the capacity to bolster the firm’s service offerings as well as internal operations. On the back of this analysis, the professional services firm incorporated RPA into its ICT strategy for the coming years. This has already seen the first robot delivered at BDO, which has since been taken into use by the business.

First Consulting helps BDO to build new RPA capability with UiPath

First Consulting is advising BDO on all aspects of deploying and scaling up the technology across the organisation – from capability building, governance structure and processes to architecture and IT infrastructure. The joint team of BDO and First Consulting have, meanwhile, also taken the first steps to set up an internal RPA capability.

BDO faces a key year for its operations, particularly in the UK where it has recently become the fifth largest provider of audit and advisory services in the country. As the firm looks to further grow its junior auditing market lead over the Big Four, the effective deployment of innovations such as RPA could prove key in the coming period.

With RPA on board, BDO’s ICT department aims at increasing the satisfaction of employees by removing a range of often boring (repetitive, administrative) tasks. By automating such tasks, productivity can also be increased at the professional services firm, as its staff will be freed up to spend more time performing value-adding activities. On top of this, RPA can execute tasks and processes with a lower margin of error compared to humans, enhancing BDO’s internal operations.

Working with RPA vendor UiPath, during the project at BDO, First Consulting has sought to apply its best practice RPA growth model methodology. The approach differentiates between three different growth phases, starting with RPA, structuring RPA, and scaling RPA.

Project results are delivered through an agile approach. According to the engagement partners, the following results were achieved in a period of six weeks:

  • Developed a first robot process that directly creates value for the business and contributes to the 360 degree customer view by migrating information from two systems to another system;
  • Advice and implementation plan on the technical design in relation to RPA, ICT guidelines, a security questionnaire and a basic infrastructure;
  • A roadmap for setting up an internal RPA capability, including the following components: processes & governance, change management and capability building & training;
  • Plan for setting up benefits tracking / monitoring as well as reusability of robot process components.

So far, First Consulting and BDO have enjoyed a pleasant and productive cooperation, achieving “tangible results” along the way. According to First Consulting’s team engaged by the project, the close match between the firms’ norms and values proved a key success factor. In the coming period, First Consulting and BDO are investigating opportunities to develop a digital capability in other areas of BDO’s business.

Roel van Overdam, Head of RPA at First Consulting, said of the collaboration, “Our pragmatic, no-nonsense approach has clearly paid off.”

Related: First Consulting: Is RPA implementation going in the right direction?