How to have successful ERP implementation

Posted by Gerry Poe

The most difficult project a business undertakes may be ERP implementation.  Before the ERP software goes live, there are moments of agonizing as the team asks “Who was the genius that thought this up?”  Tension and anxiety is soon followed by an “ah-ha” which brings the staff together to celebrate the new processes.  At the end of the ERP project, it becomes obvious that the time and effort to implement ERP will be well worth the short term bumps.

Along the way of ERP implementation, there may be a small trail of project manager bones as not everyone makes it to the end of a project.  The larger the corporation, the more impact a bad decision has.  The ERP project manager is at the center of creating success and the pressure to perform can crack them like an egg.

ERP software is referred to as one system when in fact there are many modules which make up an ERP solution.  An ERP software solution may include:  barcode systems, report writers, warehouse management, CRM, lot tracking and many others.

“Change” is in the wind each day as the moment of going live nears.  Change is not limited to one or two departments but at the very core of a business.  To streamline and optimize productivity, to take complete control of planning and management processes, change is necessary at every level.  This can be the most difficult thing to manage since it must happen almost simultaneously.  The change to systems, processes and culture of the company can make or break the project.  There is no room for marginal and without someone at the helm to anticipate the problems and be a guide, the effects can turn negative just as easily as they can be positive.

What does an ERP system impact?  Management strategy, policy decisions, day to day operations, inventory control, record keeping, payroll, cash flow, customer transactions, customer service and more.

This is the reason that a consultant reviews in detail every task and process of a company.  Examining the details with reviews, checklists, audits and surveys are necessary if the coming years will have the business improving productivity by 10% or doubling sales in the next 3 years.  Since an ERP system is implemented to support and maximize the opportunities for a business, understanding the business is critical.  Tailor made software which fits like a glove sets the business apart from others which try to squeeze their business into a box.

The company living with the box software has pains and errors for the long term while the ERP solution enhances performance.

Before this can happen, processes need to be mapped.  Those who will be using the ERP software need to be trained.  The ERP software must be validated.   Reports will be reviewed and mostly likely there will be new reports created.  Interfaces will be written for add-ons.  It does not end there.  Data conversions mapped and tested and each step of the way, the customization which creates a better environment for success.  The right ERP consultant will know the best questions to ask and how to fine tune the ERP system to the people vs. the other way around.  Customization done with rubber bands and glue will cause issues when the new upgrades are implemented thus causing a headache for the business if they have an inexperienced ERP project manager.

There is the potential that the changes will be like a large earthquake and disrupt the flow of the business at every level.  There are ways to minimize the problems. 

One which is very important is management support.  Without management support, there is no successful ERP implementation.  The management team must make it a top priority for the company.  With little or no management support, a lack of direction, miscommunication, conflicts, and confusion will result in fight or flight within the team.  Participation will dwindle and leave the new ERP system a new lame piece of software.

We are here to help you implement your ERP solution just as we have done for over 20 years.   Here you will find an award winning ERP solution along with 100% satisfaction.  We have every confidence that both the software and service will have you wishing that your inquiry to us had happened years ago.

If you are ready to take the next step, download the whitepaper:

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Tags: ERP, Implementation, Enterprise Resource Planning Software

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