It is not unusual for ERP implementation projects to encounter difficulties that can cause them to overrun or worse. The sheer scope of the challenge of an ERP project can make the prospect of doing it rather intimidating for some. But an ERP project doesn’t have to be a nightmare and you can easily make a success of it.
The following basic guidelines are a blueprint for success.
1. Make the Right Choices Early On
The first tip is to make careful choices early on. This starts with your ERP selection process, so don’t rush through the selection of an ERP vendor. Take the time to outline what you want and what you need, what your goals are, your budget, and your timeline. Once you know all these things, it becomes easier to identify the software that aligns best with your needs so you can proceed accordingly.
You can learn more about choosing the right ERP software by reading our article The ERP Selection Process.
2. Choose the Right Implementation Partner
This relates to the previous point, but it’s important to keep it in mind. The right implementation partner will have experience in deploying your chosen ERP solution for businesses in your industry. This means they will be very familiar with the software but also with the needs and demands of your sector, so they will be able to advise and guide accordingly.
For some top tips on ERP partner selection, take a look at our article Choosing the Right ERP Implementation Partner.
3. Build Your ERP Implementation Team
A new ERP solution affects the entire organisation, so every department should be represented. The implementation team should be cross-departmental and involve people with various skill sets that will be useful, such as project management, communication, strategy and planning.
You will need to map out all your expected day-to-day operations once the ERP is in place to help your team identify the necessary workflows. They will also be able to plan for what infrastructure will be needed and prepare for things like data migration. All of this requires good teamwork to succeed.
What does the perfect ERP implementation team look like? Read our article Building an ERP Implementation Team.
4. Plan Precisely and Follow the Right ERP Implementation Steps
Planning is paramount for ERP projects if you want to remain on time and on budget. Your team should work with your ERP partner and follow the right implementation steps that you lay out in your plan. This will ensure you work consistently towards measurable goals at all times.
You should plan for issues that will inevitably arise. Trial runs and testing should be incorporated into your plan to minimise the impact of challenges that arise, enabling you to fine-tune the configuration before going live.
For more information please read our ERP Implementation Step by Step Guide.
5. Keep Senior Management Involved Throughout
Every step of the transition must have the support of senior management and stakeholders during the ERP project. This new system will be fundamental to any future growth, so it should be priority number one for executives. They will lead by example to help ensure the rest of your personnel comply with new procedures as they are introduced.
6. Maintain Engagement of End Users
There may be some resistance among your personnel to change. This makes it important to keep end users, who will feel the impact of change most keenly, engaged at all times. An employee engagement strategy can be useful for this, giving you guidance on how to keep those end users updated about changes to processes and expectations as the project progresses.
7. Plan for Adoption with Change Management
Keeping end users engaged is one thing, but you need to take a thorough approach to speed up user adoption and prevent misinformation from spreading. Change management strategies need to be implemented so that the company mission remains at the forefront and employees are clear on how the changes are geared towards that mission.
There should be a plan in place to educate employees about changes to their work. Those individuals should feel encouraged to take ownership of their new responsibilities and feel confident about how to carry them out.
8. Be Serious About Training
If your users don’t know how to use it correctly, even the best ERP system will not be helpful to your organisation. Everyone who will be engaging with the new ERP needs adequate training for their role before it goes live. This way, they will have a solid understanding of how to use it for their day-to-day tasks.
Comprehensive training can help keep users engaged and receptive to further changes. You should decide whether to provide basic training for everyone or more comprehensive training to a few individuals who can then be a point of contact for others to learn from. Take training seriously and make decisions about how it will be done.
9. Test, Test, Test
Everything about your new ERP solution should be tested before it goes live. Generally, the first testing period is about optimising rules and security. The subsequent testing period is more of a pilot run to check that all users have the required training to understand what they need to do. It will also trial the configuration of new business processes and give insight into the operational impacts of the new system.
Create a schedule for testing and ensure all project members are involved.
10. Beyond Go-Live
Once the system goes live, celebrate the win and ensure you show your team that their hard work is appreciated. Everyone needs to be kept engaged, motivated and ready for subsequent changes.
That said, be aware that there will still be more to come. As you utilise the new system, your employees will inevitably notice teething troubles or opportunities to improve, so be prepared for more change and maintain a relationship with your implementation partner as a source of support and guidance for the foreseeable future.
Why choose Eventura as your ERP implementation partner?
Eventura has been providing robust business solutions to countless organizations for over two decades. We are ERP experts and can identify all of your business needs, and deliver a comprehensive ERP solution that works for you.
As Sage 200 Partners and NetSuite Solution Providers, we can help you identify which solution will fit your business needs the best. Our expert team of business analysts, developers, consultants, technicians and support staff can guide you through your entire project, from initial scoping through to implementation and on-going support.
We’re also managed IT service providers meaning we can help you identify your entire IT infrastructure requirements from day one. If you would like to speak to one of our ERP experts, you can request a free call back here.