Hiring, implementing, and deploying an ERP system is daunting for many businesses. For example, questions like how to select the right ERP partner, is our team qualified, do we have the proper infrastructure and selection criteria and is our organization committed to the project?
Most businesses underestimate the effort needed to implement an ERP system successfully. However, an ERP implementation is not just to advance technology or switch to a new trending system. It is also an opportunity to transform your business’s processes, procedures, and controls.
It is essential to remain focused on your business objectives while keeping a few principles in mind when starting the implementation process.
We have put together ten tips to ensure that your organization has a successful ERP selection and implementation:
1. Hire a Professional, Experienced Consultant
Choose an experienced professional with deep expertise and a proven record of successful project management of sophisticated ERP implementations. Hire this resource as early as possible to lead the search and selection of your new ERP system and represent your company during the contract negotiation with the solution provider or reseller.
Using a third-party ERP system implementation project management partner to handle the process from the beginning will leave your staff to focus on their actual roles and responsibilities in your business. It also increases the chances of a successful implementation.
2. Scope is Everything
The first step is to define the scope of your project carefully by focusing on your specific business processes and system requirements. The more specific and detailed your scope of work is, the more thorough your vendors can be when putting their proposals together.
3. Align Your Teams at the Start
Your entire internal team includes C-level officers, corporate decision-makers, and a cross-section of employees from all departments in the company that will be impacted by the change, including departments that manage data sources. A clear and concise charter should be documented and presented to an evaluation committee made up of your internal team. Aligning everyone who will be involved in the ERP project during this stage is essential.
4. Set Expectations Early
It is recommended that you set the expectations regarding time commitments, deadlines and deliverables early in the process. Good communication is critical, and it will enhance the ability to get buy-in and support from all teams for the project. It is also advisable to have routine meetings to provide progress updates and changes.
5. Think Long-Term
When selecting a new ERP system, make sure that it fits the specific needs of your industry and is scalable to accommodate your future and changing business requirements.
Choosing a solution that contains the functionality for industry-specific processes will diminish the need for customization, which can be costly.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Remember, you can always “phase-in” a project. Start with the basics and achieve success early, which helps with buy-in from naysayers and then move to the next phase. The implementation can be phased in vs “big-bang” (all modules at once). Each situation and game-plan can be different, and your ERP consultant(s) can give direction based on their experience given your organization’s circumstances.
6. Be Efficient
By adopting the chosen ERP system’s best practices and its integral strategy for operational workflows, your organization will gain the maximum efficiencies built into the solution rather than changing it to accommodate your current workflows.
7. User Experience First
Ease of use is tantamount to your employees successfully adopting a new ERP system. So, when choosing your new ERP, you should carefully consider the overall user experience. A highly intuitive system will speed up the implementation process and reduce stress and the amount of training needed to onboard your employees.
8. Training is Essential
When making your ERP selection and planning the implementation phase of the project, be sure to allow enough time for adequate staff training. In addition, ensure that all users are well informed on the new functionality of the system and how it benefits them. Doing this will inspire them to be fully engaged in the transition process and embrace it rather than resist the change.
9. Set Realistic Expectations
Remember that faster does not necessarily mean better. So don’t try to rush the process by skipping steps that are critical in a phased ERP implementation.
10. Communicate, Collaborate and Document
Make sure that you keep track of all decisions about your project’s scope, the expectations of your stakeholders and teams, and the concrete deliverables. Your ERP consultant will guide you to successfully implement your new system from the experience and lessons learned from previous successful implementations. No two ERP projects are the same; however, leveraging tactics that have been proven to work on other projects will be a massive benefit to your organization.
BHC can guide you through the process and add exceptional value to your experience. So give us a call to chat about how we can support your ERP project.