Enterprise resource planning, or ERP, is an effective technology solution for many businesses. These systems of integrated apps and programs can control, spread, and manage all data associated with a company. This can improve efficiency for a company while increasing security. As the head of IT for a company, the prospect of ERP implementation can be both exciting and daunting. When successfully implemented, ERP will open new opportunities for your company. The process of ERP implementation is long, costly, and can easily fail though. To lead your department through it, you will need to act with care and precision. The following steps will ensure a successful ERP implementation.
Evaluate ERP Options
As you consider which ERP system to employ, take the time to evaluate all the options thoroughly. One of the biggest mistakes made in ERP implementation is buying a system without enough evaluation. The system you pick should be closest with the company’s needs with a minimum of customization. The more the program needs to be customized, the more expensive and time consuming it will be to implement. When you’ve narrowed your choices to two or three options, consider running demos of them for a few weeks to see if they work as you wish. This will ensure that when you evaluate an ERP solution, it will continue to serve you now and in the future.
Create A Project Plan
Now that you have a system in mind, put together a plan to oversee the whole of implementation. At this step look closely at your timeline, IT staff, and budget. IT implementation of an ERP system needs to be balanced between the time it takes, the cost, and your IT staff’s training capability. If your company wants to save on one of these criteria, you need to balance the other factors in your project plan. For example, if your company wants the system in place quickly, it will cost them more. You will also have to hire new staff trained in fields you current IT team isn’t. If the company does not want to hire more staff, then you need for time to train your staff, or more money to hire vendors. Work with the company to work out a plan now, so that if trouble arises later you can respond quickly.
The next step in the process is the trickiest, the data migration from your old system to the ERP. This process can be very difficult. Your data may not be configured in a way that will work with the new systems. The combination of automated processes and your IT team handling more complicated migration creates many chances for loss of data and other issues. To get this migration correct, take your time and use the latest machine learning tools to monitor the process and correct any errors. This process will complete the technical set-up of the ERP system.
Test The System
With the ERP system in place and holding your data, it is time to make sure every other part of the system works. Thorough testing before the system goes live will ensure that most common ERP disasters will be uncovered and solved before going live. Additionally, this testing will let you adapt the system to how your company does business. Start of with simple tests of data retrieval and gradually make the test more complex. The final level of tests should replicate how the system will function when it goes live. If the system can handle that test, then it is ready to run in real life.
Train The Staff
The final step is to train the company to use the ERP system. If you oversee a big company, you may consider hiring an outside firm to do this. This step is the most important so the team understands proper data discovery, resource management and forecast planning. An advanced tool like ERP is worthless if the company does not have the knowledge to use it. If your staff grows impatient with the system, they will attempt to get around it and use whatever system they see fit. With the system undermined like this, the ERP system will be a waste of the time and money used to implement it.
With these steps completed, you can take your ERP system will be fully implemented. Evaluate your ERP options, using demos to pick the right one. Create a project plan that adapts to your company’s needs. Handle the data migration to the new system with care and attention. Test the up and running system to work out any bugs before the company gets hold of it. Train the office staff to use the ERP system effectively. After you complete these steps, you can take your ERP system live for the benefit of your company.