To ensure the successful implementation of an ERP system, planning is vital. In the planning process there are 3 key things to consider:
1. Do we have the right people?
The implementation of an ERP system is one of the biggest projects an organisation can embark on. A dedicated project manager is crucial for a successful implementation. A good project manager will address any issues that arise and keep milestones on schedule. Make sure you have staff resources in place to see the project through to completion. There is a benefit to ensuring key employees are actively involved in the implementation from the start, as this can reduce any resistance to change.
2. Will there be adequate training for employees?
A lack of proper training is a key cause of project failure. If employees don’t fully understand a new system they can be resentful and experience great frustration. Make sure adequate training is given, and employees have time to be comfortable with the new system before going live.
3. Will there be compatibility with existing systems?
Many companies have multiple systems and software packages. Make sure the new system is compatible with your existing systems. You need to ensure there are no data-integrity issues and they are up to date. If an existing (legacy) system is being fully replace by a new ERP system, make sure it is fully decommissioned by ‘go live’, so you don’t run the risk of employees ‘hanging off it’ during this stage. You don’t want to have extra maintenance costs of a legacy system.
The implementation of an ERP system is an important project and should be taken seriously. Using a certified specialist will amongst other things, ensure your implementation is done in less time, and, without the in-depth understanding you’d get from a specialist ERP provider, you run the risk of a system not being configured for your business environment, and hence not taking full advantage of your investment.