An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is a major proposition for any organization. In addition to the monetary investment and maintenance, there are also costs in terms of dedicated resources and time. A new solution is not deployed overnight and all too often we hear about failed ERP implementations.
Here are a few pointers to help your organization increase the chances of a successful ERP selection and implementation:
1. Getting everyone onboardFrom upper management to end users, everyone should understand the strategy behind the ERP implementation. While upper management does not need to know the details behind the configuration, being clear on the budget and resources required to support the project so the project does not stall is critical. End users should also have a say in the decision-making process since they will ultimately be using the ERP software.
2. Carefully defining the scope of your project
Before looking at vendors, a clear and extensive list of requirements will make vendors be more detailed in their proposals. Absent requirements or assumptions can easily disrupt the project timeline and budget.
3. Mobile users
Access to the ERP system from desktops only is no longer an option as mobile workforces are increasing across all industries. When selecting an ERP system, you need to make sure it can allow users to access it remotely and securely.
Your potential vendor should provide a number of happy customers they have worked with – within your industry and geography. Customer Satisfaction Scores and talking to the reference customers yourself can help you improve the probability of selecting the right vendor – and reduce the risk of project failure.
5. To customize or not
A highly customized ERP system comes with a higher price tag and you need to consider the amount of customization required. You should consider turnkey solutions provided by vendors since they can help you save time and money on customization. In general, most organizations have similar business processes (invoice payments, revenue collection, etc) and they can benefit from first in class processes that are the reason ERP was built in the first place.
6. Providing time and resources for training
In order to have a successful ERP implementation, sufficient time to develop and deliver training programs must be allocated. These proactive measures will reduce the weight on your employees and ensure they are ready when the new ERP is implemented. You should also consider a 24/7 support service from your vendor.
As you look to either upgrade your legacy system or implement a new ERP system, there are numerous ROI and long-term benefits. This type of structured approach ensures that your ERP system will meet both your current and future business needs.
Check out our ERP evaluation white papers to learn more.