What are the Steps of ERP Implementation?

What are the Steps of ERP Implementation?

The best ERP software enables organizations to manage and control their critical business processes and operations. ERP implementation empowers organizations, ranging from ERP in manufacturing to non-profit ventures, to prevent significant business aspects from a single centralized space.

While most companies possess a finance and operational system, siloed systems canโ€™t do much beyond everyday business processes nor facilitate future business growth. Growing companies require systems to keep up with their expansion needs, highlighting the importance all the phases of ERP implementation. In this article, we will discuss what Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is, the significant steps of ERP implementation, and share tips and best practices for successful ERP implementation.

What is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a software system that automates and manages the core processes for organizations to optimize their business performance. ERP works to improve processes and automation, and ERP implementation systemizes data flow between the various business processes, streamlines enterprise-wide operations, and provides a single source of truth. Via ERP implementation, multiple functions and domains of the said organization, such as manufacturing, supply chain, human resource activities, financials, etc., can be linked on a single platform. 

Through ERP implementation, organizations benefit from data centralization and the removal of task redundancies by gaining improved operational visibility and enhanced profitability. Typically, ERP systems feature capabilities of Automation, Integration, Accounting, Data Analysis, Tracking and Visibility, Supply Chain Management, Human Resource Management, Financial Management, Customer Relationship Management, and Sales and Marketing.

However, depending on the flexibility of your chosen software, you can select the features you need to prioritize for your business requirements ahead of ERP implementation. ERP has benefits and limitations to consider and ERP systems support industry-specific requirements that require review too. They do this either through application extensions that integrate with the suit or as a component of their core functionality. ERP software can be purchased via a licensing model for on-premise ERP or a ERP cloud subscription. 

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What is the ERP Process?

The ERP implementation process is complex and may take months since it constitutes planning, curating, and deploying an ERP. However, after ERP implementation, several business functions are supported and automated. This process can be a considerable investment of time, money, and other resources.

The process, complexity, and timeline of an ERP implementation project are primarily based on specific variables such as the requirement for customizations, data conversion, availability of project management resources, etc. The success of this process requires a careful definition of its requirements and a structured ERP implementation approach.

What are the 5 Major Steps in ERP Implementation?

Small business ERP implementation can be just less challenging than established businesses due to the difficulty of consolidating contrasting systems. Unless all stakeholders fully cooperate, the success of ERP implementation for a based organization is improbable. Furthermore, it requires careful project planning, considerable time, and effort. Starting with ERP implementation as a centralized data management system for critical operations is more convenient and straightforward than combining diverse information systems later.

To ensure the success of ERP implementation, it is important to have well-defined requirements and identify the modules needed to meet them. Besides this, it is essential to obtain the support of every function in your organization. Since each business has a specific set of business challenges, it must find the right ERP solution and a vendor with expertise to understand the industry requirements and ensure a successful ERP implementation. That said, the five significant steps of ERP implementation are:

Planning the Scope of ERP Implementation

Conduct an in-depth analysis of your current business practices and areas requiring improvement to state objectives clearly defining the scope of ERP implementation. Define timelines, identify necessary training processes, and assign responsibilities to each project team member, 

Evaluating the Capabilities of the ERP Software

Analyze the software for the project team thoroughly, and determine where modifications are needed. Customize the requirements before you begin training your employees for ERP implementation. Ensure to include every aspect of the ERP software in training to educate the team regarding software capabilities fully.

Analyzing the Current Data

Through a thorough analysis of current data, determine what needs to be converted to information. Conversion of the entire data can result in outdated information in the system. A carefully conducted analysis improves data accuracy and completeness. Understand the difference between ERP and CRM to ensure you choose the best tools and properly plan to integrate data.

Final Testing and Team Training

Conduct practices for the project team in a test database to ensure information accuracy and software functionality. This way, any issues identified with integration or the interface design can be fixed before launch. After the final testing, curate a detailed team training plan.

Going Live with ERP

Before going live, make a checklist and compare everything against it to ensure the completion of the entire work. Ensure that team members and department heads are fully trained to cater to users' queries post-ERP implementation.

ERP Implementation Tips and Best Practices

Approaching a realistic and well-designed ERP implementation strategy and incorporating best practices in your action plan allows you to run a smooth deployment, as there are ERP integration benefits and challenges to consider before you begin. Here are some proven tips for a seamless ERP implementation experience: 


Adopt a methodology to have the essential framework to help you shape the ERP implementation process. With a solid method to follow, your action plan will have structure, and your team will be able to tackle the project with the same standard protocol.


Conduct frequent testing to ensure the proper functioning of your system. Besides testing conducted by your vendor, make sure to involve the ERP software's technical and functional end users while conducting more tests. 


Do not hesitate to integrate until the end. Collaborations with external parties require persistent efforts and take time. They also need the use of integration tools and applications. It is better to get started the soonest to ensure timely ERP implementation. 


Engage in clear and frequent communication with your team members during the entire ERP implementation process.

Comparing the best ERP software and paying attention to features, pricing, and reviews will help you prepare to successfully move through the steps of ERP implementation.

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