ERP Handbook: An Executive’s Guide to ERP Implementation
I admit it. Implementing a new ERP can be a bit like going to the dentist. You don't want to do it before it's done and you don't know why you waited so long to do it after it's over and the pain is gone.
While ERP implementation is never easy, experience tells me there are things you can do to smooth the transition.
Consider this baker's dozen list of suggestions when you get ready to implement, then contact us to guide you through the process:
Appoint End-user Leaders
End-user leaders have a real stake in the outcome of the project. Put them in place from the beginning and throughout the project life cycle to ensure consistent results.
Innovate Back to Front
Necessity is the mother of invention and innovation. Use your end-user leaders to help you define integrated business process improvement objectives.
Never Stop Innovating
You're bound to discover new things as your implementation progresses. Set aside resources to build in those newly-found innovations after your initial go-live.
Keep an Eye on Customizations
Upgrades are inevitable and they often conflict with customizations. Put a procedure in place to decide what customizations you will make and how they will impact future software upgrades.
It Ain't Over 'til It's Over
Have pre- and post-implementation plans in place, including how business process improvements will be addressed.
User training is critical to successful ERP adoption and execution, especially in the early days after you go live. Allocate time away from the desk for user training to get their full attention.
Practice Makes Perfect
Give users pre-implementation practice time to allow them to get comfortable with their processes and the integration.
QA is King
Test every function of the ERP to verify the setup, to determine if further testing is needed, or if modifications are required. Nothing frustrates users more than poor quality assurance testing.
Break the ERP implementation down into manageable pieces-gaining early success and buy-in from your team is critical.
Make It Your Mantra
ERP implementation is a journey. It's easy for people to lose sight of seemingly intangible goals along the way. Continually communicate the objectives to keep users focused.
KPIs, meet ROI
Extracting key performance indicators (KPIs) from your ERP data early on allows you to accurately assess return on investment (ROI) later.
Time is Money
Surely one of the most important objectives of your ERP implementation is making users more productive. Be sure you understand how user's gained time will be directed towards more productive projects.
The Buddy System
Fear of the unknown is one of the most basic human conditions and a serious impediment to successful ERP implementation. Assign personnel to work with users and troubleshoot and manage the go-live.
You may be surprised to see how easy ERP can really be. To see how you can increase productivity and thereby reduce operating costs, sign up for our ERP simplified series