Published on September 19th, 2023 | by Bibhuranjan0
10 key things to consider before implementing an ERP system
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems are transforming the way businesses operate. Now, you can manage multiple core processes from a single platform, including finance, customer relationship management, supply chain management, HR, etc.
However, the key to your success lies in its proper implementation. Here are some ways to ensure you successfully implement an ERP system for your business.
1. Perform an Audit
Think about where you are now and where you want to be. With the help of an audit, you can acquire crucial insights about current business processes and identify any inefficiencies. More importantly, you can assess the existing IT infrastructure and pinpoint software deficiencies to build an ERP solution that aligns with your needs.
A thorough audit can also help evaluate skills and resources that will be required for a successful ERP implementation. Moreover, it can highlight the cost of ERP implementation and enable you to allocate a budget for the project.
2. Decide ERP Specifications
An ERP requirements specification helps identify and document functionalities the ERP system must have to match your needs. The following questions can help you determine which option is best.
- Do you need an on-site or cloud model ERP implementation?
- Will your existing business tools integrate seamlessly with the new ERP solution?
- How many users will have access to the system?
- Do you plan to purchase a one-time license or a subscription to use the platform?
- Are you looking for long-term support and maintenance?
3. Develop an ERP Implementation Strategy
ERP implementations are technical, so having a systematic process will make it easier to achieve your goals and create better results. Develop a well-thought-out ERP strategy by defining your benefits, scope, budget, and timeline.
Keep in mind some processes may change to adapt to the new system. So, make sure to clearly describe how operations will be carried out during the implementation. Furthermore, create a realistic implementation timeline. Remember, you will need time to implement the different modules, bring the employees on board with the new technology, and test that everything works properly.
4. Create a Project Team
Create a team of employees who will be in charge of the ERP implementation. A small team consisting of a project manager and 2 – 3 skilled colleagues should be enough. Designate roles for each team member, clearly defining their responsibilities during the project.
Of course, a lot of your success relies on who you select as the manager. An experienced IT project manager will be able to leverage the implementation process, helping to organize workflows, guide the team throughout the project, liaison between different departments, track finances, and meet deadlines. More importantly, they can help select ERP modules that are best for your organization and allow you to achieve your goals.
5. Ensure the ERP Solution Integrates with Other Apps
Your new ERP system should integrate with your current tech stack. This will ensure data is automatically updated in real-time across the platform, allowing employees to make better decisions. So, a successful ERP system implementation means enhanced productivity and streamlined workflows.
But besides data consistency and operational efficiency, an ERP solution that integrates with other apps facilitates better customer experience, organizational growth, and market competitiveness.
6. Select the Modules Your Business Needs
ERP modules are apps designed to provide a particular business function. Different modules can be plugged into the ERP system. That means all the data is accurate and up to date since it comes from a single source.
A range of modules can be plugged into your ERP system. However, it’s best to focus on those that offer the most functionalities to your business and help improve core processes.
Common ERP modules used by businesses around the world include:
- Customer Relationship Management
- Supply chain management
- Warehouse management
- Workforce management
7. Customization vs Standardization
Customizing your ERP system can help you create a solution that aligns better with your business goals and unique processes. However, it also comes with an additional price tag and a longer timeline. Make sure to evaluate whether or not a customized solution is necessary.
Here are a few questions to consider:
- Can a standard ERP solution help meet your business requirements?
- Have you considered optimizing the standard ERP feature to resolve the current issue?
- Do you have enough money and resources to customize a solution as well as maintain it?
- Will customization create scalability issues?
8. Arrange Training Programs for Your Employees
ERP is a technical solution that might be challenging for your employees to understand and use. So you must plan training sessions to help acquaint your staff with it. Factoring this aspect into your strategy enables you to allocate adequate resources and budget to facilitate the onboarding process well before the actual implementation. This can help ease the transition process and empower your employees to use all the features of the new ERP solution.
9. Back Up Your Data
Back up your data before ERP implementation to ensure valuable information is not lost. Moreover, it’s an easy way to mitigate risks, such as data corruption or configuration errors, during the implementation. With access to backed-up data, your company can operate without major disruptions.
Choose a method to back up your data regularly. Make sure to provide details about your backup procedures, such as what data is crucial for the business, its storage location, what security measures are being used to safeguard the backup data, etc.
10. Hire a Professional ERP Integration Consultant
A professional ERP integration consultant has the skills and knowledge to implement an ERP system efficiently. They can help with deployment, train employees, resolve issues, and offer ongoing support and maintenance.
It’s best to partner with one that has experience in your industry. It means they understand the operational processes that run your business and can help develop an ERP that caters to the needs of your business.
A successful ERP implementation requires considerable foresight and planning. The tips mentioned above can help the process go smoothly. More importantly, they can ensure your new ERP system provides industry-specific functionalities that will benefit the bottomline of your business for years to come.
Cover Image by Freepik