Even though today’s innovative ERP solutions offer unrivalled functionality and flexibility, deploying a new system within your company is still a significant undertaking and what can sometimes seem a very scary task.
There’s a lot to consider, which is why we’ve put together this useful guide to implementing your ERP system.
Navigating the various implementation options
If you’re looking to introduce an ERP system to your company, there are a few different routes you can take to fully deploy the software.
Firstly, you could choose to build your new platform from scratch. If you have the resources and the budget, creating a fully-configured system that’s completely tailored to your individual requirements can seem like an attractive option. However, if you hit a stumbling block (or go over budget), the repercussions could halt your entire project, and costs could spiral out of control. We would always recommend carrying out a comprehensive on-site scoping exercise before embarking on this kind of development project and ensuring you have the skills, industry know-how and of course the money to see it through.
If funds don’t allow for a fully customised approach, you could invest in an on premise ERP solution and install it on your own server. This may work for companies who don’t expect to grow, but those who predict expansion will find it tricky to update and customise their on-site ERP software as their needs change.
The last option seems to us to be the most scalable. Investing in a cloud-based ERP solution makes implementing and then managing your new platform much easier, plus there is scope to deploy additional features as and when you need them. Your data be accessible from anywhere, at any time, ensuring staff have access to the information they need, wherever and however they choose to work. Let us take this hassle away from you and host it for you!
Also, your ERP provider will be responsible for keeping the technology up to date and free from bugs, so you won’t need to invest in additional maintenance.
Appoint a project leader
There will be plenty of people on hand to manage your deployment, but it’s always advisable to nominate a member of staff to supervise the project and ensure everything is on track. He or she will be responsible for managing communication between the ERP provider and main points of contact within the company, and will work to address and then smooth over any issues that may arise during implementation.
The project leader doesn’t necessarily have to have a strong practical knowledge of ERP software – they do, however, need to possess excellent management skills and have the time and the resources to concentrate on their new task as part of their role.
Have realistic expectations
Yes, your ERP software will improve company processes, increase data accessibility, reduce costs and give staff productivity a significant boost – but none of these benefits will appear overnight. It will take time to set up and integrate the platform’s features, and you will need to work with a Business Partner that can guide you through everything one step at a time. You’ll rarely come across setbacks when implementing an ERP system, but if you do, you need to know that the professionals are ready and waiting to tackle any challenges head-on.
Communicating with staff
Though a smooth implementation is key to the successful of your ERP software, communicating with staff and educating them on its various benefits is just as important. You’ll need to spend time introducing the concept and explaining how it will change their routine (and, in some cases, their role).
Your whole team needs to be on board with the changes you are making to your internal processes, so the excitement surrounding your new investment needs to start at the top of the management tree. Make sure all major stakeholders are involved in the selection and implementation of your ERP software, even if their knowledge of such technologies is limited. They need to buy into the changes it is going to bring. Once you have their full support, you’ll find it much easier to implement the ERP system across the entire organisation.