A company’s decision to use an ERP Software might feel like the culmination of a long journey. It’s like the conclusion of a trip for many firms who have spent weeks or months comparing and selecting ERP systems. After all, picking an ERP system is just the beginning of developing a strategy to implement an ERP strategy.
Collect Data From Stakeholders
Even more crucial than the selection procedure is the implementation of ERP software. Implementing ERP software smoothly and effectively is essential to reap maximum benefits. Installing an ERP software consists of five main steps. To begin with you should first assemble the stakeholders and gather the requirements of different departments.
A project team will be necessary for most ERP implementations. The group of stakeholders would mainly comprise personnel involved in the ERP selection process, executive sponsors, department leadership and consultants, and staff with deep institutional knowledge. The preparation phase focuses on identifying the ERP implementation requirements of various departments.
The ERP decision process should include data about the performance and queries of your departments. First, you should expand this data using the input from your stakeholders across all departments and levels. This will help you ensure that everyone’s demands are met.
The project team should gather and analyze data, and prepare a requirements document. This document should outline the operational needs of the company. The project’s leadership will use this information as a guide as they go forward with the project.
Lay out an Implementation Plan To ERP Software
In this phase, the ERP system implementation team will establish a plan for implementing the ERP system across various departments of the company. Feedback from all business levels is vital. Especially from those who will be using the software on a regular basis in their jobs. ERP implementation frameworks must take into account some of the most important procedures, such as:
- Payables and receivables accounts
- Relationship management with clients
- Keeping track of inventory
- The acquisition of raw materials and their subsequent tracking
- Receiving and shipping
- ensuring and monitoring the level of quality
- Payroll and HR
The deployment of an ERP solution may differ greatly from department to department. It is quite important to know exactly what each division’s requirements are. This approach can help communicate that information to the programmers at the following level.
Coordinate With The ERP Software Vendor
Coordinate the implementation with the software provider to ensure that it meets the actual requirements. Software engineering and Customization support are standard features in almost all ERP platforms. Many departments of the company collaborate with the vendor at this stage. Doing so is necessary to custom-tailor the software according to the requirements fo each department.
Compared to highly customized software, ERP systems such as SAP ERP or NetSuite ERP tend to provide fewer possibilities but are easier to deploy. This is especially true when it comes to adding large and/or industry-specific ERP capabilities, such as manufacturing ERP capabilities, to an ERP system. Some of the most important questions a company’s ERP deployment plan will need to answer are as follows:
- Should You Implement All At Once Or Do It Gradually
- With regard to phased rollouts, how will the new system be integrated into existing processes and departments, and which will remain in place?
- How much data should be migrated first, and is there anything that may be left out?
- How much additional IT gear will have to be purchased and installed in order for the deployment to be successful?
- Are there any department-specific problems that may arise during the changeover period?
Testing The ERP Software
To ensure a smooth launch, make sure all systems are up to date and ready for use. Testing can begin as soon as the vendor or your IT staff has completed the system installation. The plan for a company’s testing procedure is determined by its rollout strategy. You need to include any or all of the following in the actual process:
- Introducing the ERP system to a restricted number of accounts and/or departments at a time.
- Ensuring other software items a company uses are compatible with the new system.
- Organizing groups to implement user acceptance testing (UAT) throughout the enterprise to ensure that the deployment satisfies operational needs
- Security testing, potentially with the help of security consultants
- To guarantee that the system is able to handle surges in traffic.
Employees should be trained to use the new system as early as possible, even before it is predicted that they would be anticipated to work on it every day. Some employees may be better served by tutorial films, while others may require one-on-one instruction from an expert. Employers should make use of ERP training options to work proficiently with the new system.
Create and Monitor Support Mechanisms On ERP Software
To ensure a successful system deployment across the company, put in place and monitor support mechanisms (such as staff training). When the system becomes online, the work doesn’t stop. An organization’s priority should turn to help its employees as they adapt to a new way of working. If an ERP rollout is properly planned, there will be obstacles and interruptions, thus the best strategy for a business is to prepare for the unexpected. Companies should focus on the following to help their staff adjust to the new ERP system:
- Reduce the burden on in-house IT workers by using the vendor’s support and training services.
- Use KPIs to measure implementation status (such as the number of support requests from every department) and identify areas in which the rollout is faltering.
- Seeing potential snags and offering advice on how to get around them
- Employees should be made aware of the implementation’s obstacles and possibilities in an open and honest manner.
- Keep track of how things are doing by holding frequent cross-department meetings. Adopting a new system can be made easier with regular chances for input and a common strategy.
- You should ensure that you have at least two persons taught on the system in case one of your employees takes time off.
Every company is unique, and every ERP system is unique as well. The goal of every ERP deployment is to design a plan that addresses the specific characteristics of both the system and the company while adhering to industry best practices. Be patient, proactive, and flexible enough to deal with any obstacles that may occur.