Realizing that your future depends on the capabilities of an ERP is an exciting first step. But the next decision you make will have the single biggest impact on the success or failure of your ERP.
Enterprise IT is only as strong as its implementation. A collaboration tool that that is not implemented effectively will destroy timelines, create lots of extra costs, frustrate users and stakeholders, and leave you with an incomplete or imperfect set of tools. For that reason, the way you approach implementation needs to be carefully considered before moving forward.
ERP implementation services are one of the most common value-added services offered by vendors. But some companies feel compelled to handle their own implementation with the belief that their own teams can handle the process more effectively than outsiders.
That may be true for some enterprises, but it’s certainly not true for all or even most. To help you determine if you are equipped to handle your own ERP implementation, ask yourself the following questions:
Do You Understand All that ERP Entails?
ERP is the very definition of enterprise IT. It is a tool that will affect every one of your workflows and each piece of data you rely on. Many companies underestimate just how much it takes to integrate a tool this expansive without creating delays and disruptions. The only way to circumnavigate all the potential issues is to carefully study the ERP product you’re implementing, and then compare that to your complete IT and organizational infrastructure. Even in the best instances this is a time and labor-intensive process that invites a lot of uncertainty.
Do You Have the Necessary IT Talent on Staff?
Implementing an ERP takes more than just a few members of your IT team. In practice, it takes the entire team, often including several layers of project managers. And even with all hands on deck there may be problematic gaps in the skills or experience available. On top of that, while your IT team is tackling ERP they have less time and resources to dedicate to their other responsibilities, effectively creating problems in one area while you’re trying to prevent problems in another.
Are You Aware of Compatibility Issues?
A good ERP can eliminate a lot of the applications you currently rely on, but not all of them. Unfortunately, trying to integrate an ERP with legacy systems can be an unpredictable and unruly challenge. More than one implementation has been derailed because systems that had to work in harmony could not get in sync. Unless your implementation team has an in-depth understanding of interoperability issues along with the kind of hard-won experience it takes to overcome them, expect the implementation to be a tumultuous process.
Can You Handle Training?
Training stakeholders at all levels to use ERP to the fullest requires a lot more than your average IT training session. Since the tools of ERP extend so broadly throughout an enterprise and affect so much of daily operations, it takes a comprehensive computer training effort that incorporates education, testing, and support, all tailored to different user needs. Many companies simply do not have the resources or expertise to take this on, and tying to proceed forward anyway leaves users frustrated, bitter, and disengaged.
Trying to handle your own ERP implementation is not only an unnecessary risk. It’s also an unnecessary burden. The right ERP implementation services streamline the process while ensuring outcomes. And they do this without creating concerns about costs, security, or overall effectiveness. Why struggle on your own when there are experienced experts ready to connect you with strategies and solutions customized to your exact needs?
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