7 Key Steps to Simplifying your ERP Implementation
ERP systems are meant to help organizations grow by making processes more efficient and facilitating cost savings. To get the benefits, your ERP systems need to be well-integrated. Start with a plan that implements the changes you need to get to your end goal in a structured manner. ERP integration is an inherently complex task that requires forethought and planning. So, here are a few tips to help you get started on successfully rolling out an ERP system.
- Determine your objectives: Only introduce a new ERP system or shift to a different one if you have clearly articulated requirements and measurable benefits. Determine your business needs and understand what the organization is trying to achieve through ERP implementation.
- Evaluate your ERP options: There’s no single parameter that determines the suitability of an ERP system. Every organization is different, with different workflows and processes. And so are their objectives. There are also budget considerations. An ERP implementation might fail due to a fund crunch during the implementation phase if future expenditures are not evaluated early enough. An organization must make sure the selected product has the capabilities to meet existing requirements as well as future challenges without difficulty. An ERP solution should also be evaluated on its flexibility in customization and configuration. Click here for more about customization and configuration.
- Check your infrastructure: Even the best ERP solution will fail to perform if your organization’s infrastructure cannot handle it. The infrastructure needs to support the initial phase of ERP implementation and be scalable. All necessary infrastructure upgrades should be taken care of before an ERP implementation begins.
- Customization and configuration: (same link) Most ERP software need customization and configuration to meet the specific needs of an organization. Once an ERP solution is finalized, your unique requirements and specifications are best shared with your ERP vendor up front, so it can factor into the suitability of the product for you.
- Testing and evaluation: Post configuration comes the stage where an ERP system is put to the test in a controlled environment. These tests need to be all-encompassing — an ERP system should be tested for usability, functionality, scalability and performance under stress. This is when it’s possible to see the software at work in the business environment, spot the bugs and fix them appropriately.
- Change management: Getting an organization ready for an incoming change is a large part of a successful ERP project. Since it usually involves a significant shift from existing practices, it will affect your entire organization. Everyone needs to be prepared to manage this change. A smooth transition can be achieved by establishing new reporting and communication standards, defining new goals and deliverables, and perhaps most importantly, by establishing clear timelines. A new ERP system is best integrated in a phased manner. Contingency plans should be put in place to help get through any crises. All staff needs the training to ensure the new ERP system is embraced and well utilized.
- Post-live: ERP integration does not end with the new system going live. Problems can come at any time. This makes setting up support staff necessary. Additionally, teams must constantly evaluate areas of improvement, and regularly make enhancements to improve efficiency.
You can make ERP implementation easier on yourself by consulting specialists who can streamline the integration process for you. If you’d like to get in touch with PSI, call 1-866-277-4447 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.