ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software can either catapult your organization to greater success or it can hinder, or even entirely erode, the progress you’ve already made. Choosing the right ERP software is important, and keeping your ERP software up to date is also vital for your company if it intends to maintain a competitive edge.
Because your company’s ERP software is so integral to its success, you’ll want your new ERP implementation to go off without a hitch. But of course, being integral to your company’s success means that a new deployment consists of many different moving parts. Finding the right ERP software and going live with it can sometimes feel like a three ring circus—these tips can help you turn potential chaos into an orderly implementation.
Every decision your organization faces is there so that you can accomplish your desired result, and a new ERP implementation is no different. If you’re transitioning from an older system, consider what you want changed. If you’re implementing ERP for the first time, consider what you want to accomplish in doing so. Make specific lists of these goals, and start doing some preliminary research on unbiased sites to see what options are available. Our overview of current ERP software and our guide to choosing the right ERP solution are assets for proper ERP research.
One piece of information that can help you get started off on the right foot is understanding that there are a number of different hosting options. Are you going to be hosting your software on-site? This has been the norm in the past, but ERP cloud hosting and SaaS (Software as a Service) have broadened your options considerably.
ERP software can be used to manage a vast array of different enterprise functions, and many people simply don’t know just what cutting edge ERP software is (and isn’t) capable of. Why miss out on streamlining your organization, being more efficient, or avoiding a potential roadblock because you don’t know what’s out there, or how to use it effectively? A new ERP implementation is precisely what consultation is for.
By its very nature, ERP software is required to integrate with some of your other systems. CRM ERP integration, for example, is of the utmost importance for most companies. Consult with an expert and research on your own to determine which ERP solutions are compatible with your current systems.
This is a good time to revisit your enterprise architecture strategies. Are there systems and processes that need to be changed to meet your goals? Doing so in conjunction with your new ERP roll-out can save you from future headaches.
Your current goals are one thing, but what’s on your (and your various departments’) ERP wish lists? While incorporating absolutely everything you want on the first implementation might not be feasible for a variety of reasons, identify the enhancements you’d like to work toward to ensure that the ERP system you choose and the method of implementation allows for the possibility of adopting them in the future.
IT isn’t the only department that needs to be involved in your ERP choices and implementation. When you’re assembling your team for this critical project, be sure to include representatives from all parts of your organization. That way, you’ll be able to incorporate a variety of different perspectives, and head off department specific challenges.
Another advantage of a multi-departmental team is the ease with which you can compose an effective communication strategy. One of the most important factors influencing an efficient, successful deployment is successfully communicating with the organization at large.
Of course, that communication also needs to translate into something more: training. Once you’ve chosen your ERP software, work with your team (and possibly a consultant) to develop a training plan that sets your users up for success.
Quantifiable goals can help fuel success. Once you launch, choose a predetermined date to address whether or not you’ve been meeting your stated goals. Assemble your team and discuss how to improve.