If you want your business to function easily and efficiently, it’s crucial to use enterprise resource planning (ERP). An ERP system encompasses every tool you use, typically in a software suite, to handle various business processes. However, before you can take advantage of an ERP system, you should first know the steps to implement ERP successfully.
The process of ERP implementation isn’t easy and doesn’t happen overnight. Whether you’re upgrading to a new ERP system or it’s your first time implementing one, make sure to know the best practices to ensure a successful software rollout.
To get started, below are the steps to complete an ERP implementation process effectively:
1. Know Your Business Objectives and Goals
Before you implement any ERP system, it’s critical to determine your goals and objectives. Given the countless benefits of an ERP system, you might have a clue about what it could do for your business. But, do you know what goals to achieve?
For that reason, you have to think about your company’s objectives and goals and look for ways to achieve them. You should analyze your key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine the problems that an ERP system can help you resolve. It’ll also provide you an insight into your future projections so that you can adapt your business to the change.
2. Establish Your ERP Implementation Team
Once you already know your goals and objectives for implementing an ERP system, it’s time to establish a team for the implementation process. This team should help you launch your chosen ERP system and pave the way for everyone in your business to use the new system.
More often than not, the team for ERP implementation should include an executive sponsor, end-users, and project manager. An executive sponsor is the one who leads the process, ensuring everybody hits the key goals. On the other hand, a project manager is responsible for managing the whole process, handling communication, and coordinating all tasks.
While you don’t need all end-users to participate, having some from different departments can help you get better feedback when it comes to end-users. End users will help you determine whether or not the system meets business requirements. They can also help you know if the training should be adjusted.
You can also include team members who are experts in finance, app development, and other aspects to get more perspectives to achieve a smooth process. Depending on your preferences, you can also work with a third-party team for the implementation. However, it isn’t necessary if your business is capable of creating an in-house ERP implementation team.
3. Select the Right ERP System for Your Business Needs
No matter how your business is structured and depending on what industry you’re in, not all ERP systems are the same. Discussing with consultants about the possible options for your business will help you choose the right ERP solution suited for your unique business needs. Your ERP consultant may also work with your team for project planning, budget, and scope of work.
4. Prepare Your Plan and Be Open to Change
To ensure a successful ERP implementation, you’ll need a precise and solid plan to install, optimize, and configure your system in accordance with your work environment. While a project plan may change, be sure that your scope, budget, and deadline will be evaluated and analyzed before making any necessary changes.
If possible, document every procedure. The documentation can help you identify the possible changes that will work best for your company.
5. Get Ready for Data Migration
Data migration is a critical step when it comes to the implementation process of ERP. When done properly, it enables you to streamline your operations. However, if you have complex, messy data, it may slow your processes down.
Therefore, filter out the most crucial information so that your ERP system will be more efficient. If done incorrectly, you may need to restart the process again, which may consume more time.
6. Configure Your ERP System
After performing data migration, the next step is to implement your ERP system. During this procedure, you have to configure your ERP and optimize it to meet your company goals. Depending on the vendor and software you choose, the process may vary. So, you may want a balance between time to implement and attention to detail.
Other ERP systems are more robust and may require a more prolonged process based on the complexity. A good system vendor will do their due diligence and guide you throughout the process to avoid any problems. So, before you configure your ERP, discuss the process and timeline with your vendor to prevent surprises.
7. Test the System
After transferring your data and configuring your ERP system, it’s time to test your system to ensure things work well. It’ll provide you clear insights into your system’s performance and help you work out the possible problems that may arise. If possible, ask for a detailed test plan from an industry expert or an implementation expert.
8. Train Your Team
Ensure that all your end-users undergo thorough training about the new ERP system. Make sure not to rush the training because having well-trained end-users are crucial to ensure the success of the ERP implementation. For this reason, take time to answer the questions of your team members and provide helpful resources they can use when the rollout starts.
9. Go Live and Pay Importance to Maintenance
Once everything is okay with your ERP system, it’s time to launch it and go live. It’s recommended to pursue an extra functionality test as a safety precaution. An ERP system isn’t a one-time event, but it’s a continuous process. It’s something that businesses have to keep tabs on to prevent any possible systemic glitches or aberrations that may affect the functionality of your ERP system.
With that in mind, it’s also essential to perform routine maintenance for your ERP system. If there are available software updates, make sure to upgrade your system immediately to avoid any inconvenience in the long run.
An ERP implementation is an excellent investment for all types of businesses out there. Even if it requires a substantial amount of time, money, and thorough planning, you can be assured that your efforts will pay off over time. Just make sure to follow the steps above to get the best possible results in implementing an ERP system successfully.