IntroductionThis eBook incorporates the 10 Essential Tips you should consider before implementing a new ERP system. Use proven methodology to speed up implementation and measure progress against your business objectives to ensure that you achieve a faster ROI. Your organization’s successful ERP project should include the 10 key elements found in this guide.
TIP #1 Establish the Right TeamEnsure that your Implementation Team is made up of knowledgeable people with the authority to keep things on track. This team should include: An executive committee responsible for steering the project is a critical factor in the success of an ERP implementation. The “right” project team will take ownership of the implementation and drive the project. Be sure to include your business managers from each line of business, as they have the best knowledge of their functional area and business processes. They should also have a clear understanding of how the software can best benefit the business.
TIP #2 Review your Business GoalTypically, your organizational goals will have been established in your business case for a new ERP solution. These goals should be reviewed before and during the implementation to incorporate any strategic changes. Common goals include: Empowerment and improved efficiencies for end-users as they perform their daily tasks, with the ability to access the information they need and an integrated, end-to-end business process. More timely and meaningful data that will allow management and executives to make faster and more strategic decisions. Greater employee engagement due to operational efficiencies that allow employees to be more productive by spending their time on more strategic and meaningful tasks. This also helps with employee retention. Improved relationships with customers, business partners and suppliers with more process and system efficiencies.
TIP #3 Understanding the Benefits of SofwareYour Implementation Team is responsible for understanding all software features and functionalities. This should include training to provide in-depth understanding of the software’s capabilities and how they fit with improved business processes.
TIP #4 Improve Business ProcessesThe key benefit of an ERP system is automating and streamlining business processes. This is the time to: Re-examine your current processes with the help of your implementation partner. Streamline current processes by taking into account best practices that are available in the new software. Validate new processes to ensure that you don’t miss any opportunity to make improvements.
TIP #5 Maximize TrainingTo ensure that your users are able to effectively use the new ERP software, functional teams will need to be established to ensure maximized end-user training. It is more cost-effective if you select an ERP system with an intuitive interface, which will allow users to get up to speed faster. It’s important that training materials are available which document features and processes.
TIP #6 Define Key Performance IndicatorsAt the on-set of your ERP project, define KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) with quantifiable metrics that:
- Reflect the performance of your organization in achieving its goals and objectives
- Reflect strategic value drivers rather than just measuring non-critical business activities and processes
- Create accountability and track progress
- Align to all business units, departments and individuals with clear targets and benchmarks
- Support overall goals of the business while each reflecting their own performance
- Can be measured and compared against companies in your industry. Trusted advisors with your niche industry expertise can help.
TIP #7 Track Qualitative BenefitsThere are many benefits of ERP that can be difficult to quantify. Organizations should track qualitative improvements resulting as a direct result from their ERP system, such as:
- Error-free processes
- Better decision making
- Reduced inventory levels
- Improved customer, partner and supplier
TIP #8 Communicate ExpectationsOnce KPIs have been defined, identify leaders and champions to communicate expectations. In addition, organizations must be willing to adjust their assumptions when new information comes to light and to communicate why a metric or benchmark changed.
TIP #9 Measure ROI ImplementationTo optimize benefits from an ERP system, organizations need to ensure before they implement that they have an effective set of ROI measurements. Determining ROI pre-and post-rollout is key to achieving success; however, don’t expect benefits right away. In the first weeks of using a new system, users are still learning and making mistakes. Usually it takes up to two months to start seeing results in ROI and business benefits.
TIP #10 Project ManagementEnsure that your Implementation Team is made up of knowledgeable people, Project Management is critical to the success of an ERP implementation. An experienced Project Manager using a proven methodology with a clear understanding of objectives, project timelines and deliverables can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of the project.
ConclusionWhen ERP solutions are efficiently implemented there is a faster return on investment. Tracking KPIs on a regular basis will give you the ability to change course as necessary to ensure success. ERP solutions are designed to help you make smarter decisions, serve your customers better and work more efficiently. Regardless of the industry or size of your business, there’s an ERP system for you. To learn more about ERP systems and how to select the right one for your business, contact us.
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