Once a company has purchased an ERP solution, the next step is to follow through with the ERP implementation within your system. This can be a somewhat daunting prospect because there are so many different things to do and a multitude of problems that can occur.
You need to first prepare your company’s system and environment for the ERP implementation and the changes the ERP solution will cause. The same also applies if you are integrating an ERP with your existing business software systems.
Following are seven steps that can ensure a successful ERP implementation in your organization:
- Identification of the issues, and problems.
- Define the objectives of your ERP solution, as well as the scope and major goal.
- Designate teams and team managers to ensure proper ERP implementation.
- Ensure that change management strategies are in place before the ERP implementation within your system.
- Critical consideration of the end-user training and documentation.
- Work with your ERP vendor for fine-tuning your ERP implementation.
- Have a structured post-ERP implementation plan ready.
1) Write up a detailed schedule regarding the ERP implementation
You should always write up a detailed schedule that describes the many things that need to be done for the ERP implementation to take place. This will help keep your project from going over budget and give a much better picture of how long it’s going to take – a step that seems like it should just take a few days may require far longer to set up.
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2) Don’t implement the whole system at once
You should consider taking a phased approach to ERP implementation instead of having the entire system go live at the same time. Your employees will have access to the old system during this period, providing a higher level of security if something should go wrong. You will also have more time to discover hidden glitches in the system before the ERP solution goes live.
Using project management and collaboration tools can immensely assist your IT team at this stage so no task is missed, and accountability is maintained among relevant team members, during the ERP implementation.
3) Work closely with the IT department
Everyone in the business is going to be affected by the ERP implementation and solution, but the majority of the changes will be performed by the IT department. You should thus let them deal with the technical side of the situation and trust them if they say a particular approach is unlikely to work. This way you can capture the most value from your ERP implementation process.
4) Use different training methods
Training sessions can get extremely monotonous if you don’t vary the methods. In addition to normal classes, consider using online tutorials, hands-on simulations, periods of self-study, and virtual classrooms for interactive learning. Your employees will be more likely to pay attention and grasp the important concepts that they need to know for successful ERP implementation, as well as understand the true goals of an ERP solution.
5) Compare business processes
The implementation of an ERP for a small business needs to be complimented with training that is contextual and relatable. This way, you can highlight the benefits of the new ERP system to employees, and discuss problems with the prior solution. If they’re excited about the coming changes, they’ll probably be more eager to learn the ins and outs of the new solution, resulting in a progressive ERP implementation for your system.
6) Take advantage of ERP implementation experts
There’s a fair chance you’ve got a few people at your company who are technology experts. You should take the time to train them extensively before moving on to the rest of the company. This is an investment you must make for successful ERP implementation. This way, they can address and resolve ERP implementation issues should they occur – along with assisting others during the training process.
7) Have a suitable budget for your ERP implementation training necessities
You can ask your ERP vendor to include the organization’s employees’ training as part of the entire ERP implementation process. This way you can easily include the cost of the training in the ERP implementation project cost. You should also budget for post-ERP implementation plans and ERP maintenance plans. This budget may cover a variety of training schedules including live training sessions or online training sessions, especially by your ERP vendor.
8) Understand your users, their needs, and wants
Before you start the training sessions for your end-users, you need to research the exact needs and wants of your targeted sector, since these tie in with the reasons for undertaking ERP in the first place. You can make a comprehensive training plan for your ERP implementation involving end-users, using a range of specific questions. Five important questions you can ask are as follows:
- What roles do the end-user employees have in the ERP system?
- How will they need to use the system, respective to their specific roles?
- What KPIs need to be met?
- What degree of information and training is required?
- What degree of tech-savvy is your end-user?
9) The significance of role-based training for ERP implementation
We have already discussed the various effective training methods for your ERP implementation, but to make your training highly practical and relevant for your end-users and employees, role-based training is the best option. This also raises the significance of prioritizing your training by processes. You can enhance your role-based training when you tailor the training and functions according to the user roles in the organization. This makes the training more effective and builds toward a more practical approach for successful ERP implementation. This may cause a bit more strain on your trainer’s mind, rejecting the one-fits-all strategy, but it is an investment your trainers will agree with to achieve a working ERP implementation.
10) Consistent training
The best way to ensure that your employees are retaining the training material and information regarding your ERP implementation is by providing them repeated relevant exposure and hands-on practice. Invest in reinforcement training to achieve better results after your successful ERP implementation.