6 Best Practices for Implementing Your ERP System
Last week we discussed the 10 best ways to improve your ERP strategy. Now, we’re going to discuss the 6 best practices when implementing them. When choosing to implement a new ERP system it is extremely important to consider all the inherent risks that will arise throughout the process. Implementing an ERP system will affect multiple people, groups, stakeholders, and business processes in your organization. Any project, software-related or not, that deliberately crosses organizational boundaries is ripe for potential complexity and risk.
1. Define clear goals and objectives
Make sure you clearly define what your organization is looking to achieve with implementing a new ERP system. An ERP system will affect many departments and business processes throughout your group. Making sure you clearly define what objectives, needs and deliverables each group within your organization is looking to achieve will help better ensure the system you choose is capable of effectively achieving the overall goals.
2. Choosing the right software
To gain full value from an ERP system, you must match the software to your organization’s information needs, processes, functional requirements, and workflows. Consult various vendors and ensure that the ERP system you are sold can truly fulfill your needs. Here are just some of the few ERP systems out there.
3. Prepare for business transformation
ERP is fundamentally about changing, or transforming, information flows through an organization. By definition, therefore, both roles and processes are likely to change during the ERP implementation. Many projects neglect the need to devote time and resources to change management. Ensuring that a clear process is defined and implemented to help workers through process of change from the old system to the new.
4. Training and Support Resources
A new ERP system will need highly qualified consultants experienced at implementation and training. Make sure the vendor you choose has consultants readily available to train and support your staff on the daily use of the system and any problems and questions that could arise. Also make sure that there is a clear training program defined for new hires and is supported by the ERP software company.
5. Clear Implementation plan and timeline
A crucial part of implementing an ERP system is deciding the exact steps of how it will be done and when. Make sure all affected departments in your organization are consulted as to when the best time it is to implement the new system. For example, choosing to implement an accounting ERP system at year-end accounting closing would be a bad decision. Making the cut over to a new system in the most crucial periods of business is not a good decision.
6. Allocate the necessary resources
Ensure that you allocate the necessary resources, both financially, managerially and end to end support for training and change management. Allocating not enough resources to the overall definition of your organizational needs, choosing of the right software and preparing for the overall change, can break your business.