Principles #5-8 to Guide You Through to a Successful ERP Implementation
In the first part of our mini series, we discussed the first for principles for a successful ERP implementation: Project Setup, Management Investment, Project Scope, and The Successful Implementation Team. If you missed the first part, you can read it here.
There are many challenges that come with ERP implementation. Proper planning can ensure the success of your project. We’ve seen companies diving into their implementation without the thorough due diligence and planning required, so we broke the process into 8 principles to guide you to ERP implementation success. Here are principles 5-8:
Change management is a major factor in the success of your ERP implementation. Post ERP implementation, many of your old processes have been transformed, changing your employees’ day-to-day activity. Involve key team members in the change management process and ensure your vendor offers a support package and training. Use a variety of methods and forums including individual instruction manuals and videos, online resources and support as well as group learning sessions. Educational sessions with staff and company-wide announcements reinforce the benefits of the new system. These informational sessions go further to increase user-adoption while allowing employees become familiar with the new technology. Empower more experienced “super-users” of the system to share their knowledge with peers to get the most out of the system.
Good communication is critical to any project and your communication should be open and frequent. By clearly outlining your objectives to your ERP partner and in-house team, you bring to light issues before they become a problem.
Allow for adequate training of personnel throughout your ERP selection and implementation. Ensure users understand the new functionalities and how they’ll benefit from them. This fosters a fully engaged workforce who, rather than resist the change, embraces the new technology.
Take ample time in selecting the ERP solution with a proven track record in your vertical industry. These advanced solutions are purpose-built for the special circumstances where out-of-the-box technology falls short. When you’re able to select the ERP which currently and successfully handles industry-specific processes and regulation compliance, you eliminate the need for costly modifications.
Not only are customizations and modifications costly, they affect future updates to your technology when you consider each customization needs to be tested against every update prior to going live. Avoid extensive modifications to your ERP selection or perhaps select a different ERP.
Determining the budget for ERP implementation must incorporate all the nuances of the process, from keeping the project within scope and on-time to choosing the right ERP provider. The more detail you incorporate into your original budget will help you uncover hidden or unexpected costs.
At the end of the day, when it comes to your budget, you still need to expect the unexpected. Read more about how to stay within your ERP budget.
Your ERP is live, congratulations! Keep in mind, how you handle your project closing is as important as any of the steps before it, don’t cut corners here simply because the consultants may be gone or your software is live with staff enjoying a basic familiarization to their new shiny technology. Good communication is paramount throughout an ERP implementation, but its importance cannot be overstated here. Management needs to remain transparent about the handling of the rollout, be clear in their expectations surrounding training and how the legacy system will be ushered out for the final switchover. Determine what business processes will be decommissioned in favor of the new and improved processes.
Ensure staff members have ready access to the resources where tools and trainings are available. Don’t forget to include all of the benefits of the new system, as well as frequently asked questions, upcoming organizational changes and any other relevant information throughout your communications.
Finally, let your employees know in your communication and through your actions that their feedback and questions are important and will be addressed. Then follow through.
The entire ERP implementation process requires clear communication. In case we haven’t made this clear: having open and ongoing conversations about your project’s purpose and the expected benefits to staff and end-users is a primary takeaway of this post. We offer this guide as a tool to help you overcome misconception and prepare for the common ERP implementation challenges your company will encounter.
8 TIPS FOR ERP EVALUATION
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