Tips for a Successful ERP Implementation
Key to a successful ERP implementation: Choose an expert Solution Provider, choose a strong internal project team, and manage the project closely from start to finish. You do these things and your ERP project will be successful. Now, if only it was as simple as typing that was. What actually constitutes a failed project? Failure is a perception, but we know perceptions shape our reality. Most ERP experts agree that ERP implementation failures are not systemic. So what is the issue then? There are many common mistakes organizations make that cause an ERP implementation to seem like a failure. But, if you can try to focus on these tips, it can help ensure your organization has a successful ERP implementation.
- Define your project scope. Set your end goal. Outline your business processes and system requirements and include specifics. Do not compromise these. Make a clear and extensive list of requirements and do not let yourselves get talked out of any of them.
- Choose a strong internal project team. This is usually a step that most organizations don’t take seriously and this could be the most detrimental. You need C-level employees as they are the decision makers, but you also need to choose employees that can help build the buy-in from the different departments and can help represent the needs of that department. You also need to ensure the members of your project team have the necessary time available to be able to commit to seeing the project through from beginning to end.
- Choose the right solution. You need to get an ERP solution that fits your vertical market. If your ERP solution already contains functionality to address industry-specific processes, you can save your organization a lot of time and money. You also need to ensure the ERP system is flexible enough to adapt with future and changing business needs. Customizations are expensive and make upgrading your system difficult.
- Be efficient. Your organization can maximize the efficiency by adopting the ERP’s integral strategy for operational flow. If you refuse to move away from your old business processes and try to mold your new ERP system around those instead of the other way around, you lose out on the efficiencies the new system offers you. You have to give your new solution the chance to work.
- Training. Training. Training. Do not make your users self-teach. Do not give them the option to embrace the system on their own terms. You need to make sure your users are taught not only the functionality, but also the benefits of the system. The more knowledge you can bring to them, the more they will embrace the system and fully engage the transition. Learning a new way of operating will take a significant time commitment. Also keep in mind that if you can find some tech savvy members of your staff to help with the training of others, it usually is more effective than a third party on their own can be.
- Choose the right IT partner. Make sure the ERP Consultant you choose has experience in your industry. If they are familiar with your industry, they will be able to help guide you through processes and reports and how others clients with a similiar make-up have been able to use the system. Also make sure you ask for references. Talking to past clients can give you a realistic picture of how that Solution Provider lived up to their word.
Deploying an ERP system is an expensive undertaking, not just in licensing fees and maintenance costs, but also with the time and resources a company dedicates to it. You need to make sure your organization makes a plan and sticks with it. It’s all too easy to get blind sided by the hype and overinflated promises the wrong solution provider can push on you. Make sure you choose an ERP Consultant that has your best interests in mind and can prove to you that they can help you accomplish all the goals you set out to accomplish with your project. 2W Tech is happy to be an Epicor Certified partner with extensive experience in the manufacturing space. Please give us a call if we can help with your ERP project.