9 Tips for Selecting and Implementing an ERP System

  • February 6, 2020 - by Synoptek
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As digital transformation continues to make headways across industries, coping up with the pace of digital change requires organizations to make some critical IT choices – one of them is selecting and implementing a good enterprise system. ERPs are a great way to bridge the silos that exist between teams and departments and integrate data from across the organization through a single pane.

It makes processes smarter, improves collaboration and business agility, and enables organizations to drive better profits. Yet, implementing an ERP system is a complex endeavor and requires timely steps in the right direction. If you want to drive maximum results from your ERP investment, its important you have strategies in place to overcome challenges across unrealistic timelines, poor communication, and poor governance. Here are some tips for selecting and implementing an ERP system:

1. Be Clear About Your Goals:

There are many ways in which an ERP system can help your business. The question is – what do you want your business to look like, once you’ve successfully implemented the solution? In order to achieve the benefits, you need to focus on goals that are specific and measurable. Are you looking to improve collaboration? Is unifying the business across geographies and departments up to your expectations? Or are you looking to lower operational costs?

2. Precisely Define Your Scope:

The stepping stone to every successful ERP implementation is a clear definition of scope and requirements. Modern ERPs offer a wealth of capabilities, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to embrace them all. Before you embark on the implementation journey, you need to first enlist high-level requirements document that outlines the scope – based on your needs, requirements, budget, and timeline. Prioritize each requirement; begin by considering must-have functionality and if time and budget permit, move on to implementing nice-to-have functionality.

3. Select the Right ERP System:

The market is bursting with ERP solutions, with every vendor promising to completely transform your business. Although most of them are feature-rich, not every system is right for you. Understanding your business needs and then selecting a system that best fits those needs is what will pave the way for success. Look for a solution that is modern and innovative and offers capabilities that are a must in today’s digital era. Evaluate systems based on their capabilities, set up and deployment ease as well as cost.

4. Choose the Right ERP Partner:

Once you’ve chosen a system that’s right for your business, it’s then time to choose a vendor who can successfully implement the solution. An experienced vendor can bring in years of experience and expertise that is needed for an implementation that is massive and complex. Look for a vendor with relevant industry experience; someone who uses a time-tested implementation model, boasts of a strong team of professional resources and can provide the right advice and due diligence – whenever required.

5. Build a Robust Project Implementation Plan:

Having a flexible and robust project plan in place is essential to carry out activities as planned and keep disruptions and deviations to a minimum. A good project plan is a great way to build a timeline, establish milestones/deliverable and assess and track your project progress. In addition, a project plan can give you end-to-end visibility into your implementation activities and help you overcome challenges as they come.

6. Devise a Communication Plan:

No ERP implementation can be successful without a clear communication plan: from stating the need for an ERP system to the changes users might have to make in their daily lives, from the benefits the system will bring to the roles and responsibilities of those involved. It is only through a clear communication plan that you can address apprehension and resistance, ensure support, and maximize adoption.

7. Test the ERP Solution:

Success of an ERP project doesn’t end at deployment; it requires a series of thorough testing activities to identify and correct issues in time. Since a lot can go wrong with any ERP implementation, it is important you build the right test suites, use the right testing tools, and test the solution – from end-to-end.

8. Train Users:

How well your ERP is received depends a lot on how comfortable your users are in using the system. This means you have to train the users to use the system and ensure they leverage the features and capabilities to full potential. Provide intensive classroom as well as hands-on training to every user along with detailed documentation and make sure to be open and available to queries.

9. Ensure Post-Implementation Support:

To ensure the implemented system works as intended, supporting the system post-implementation is also critical. Such monitoring can provide insights into how the system is operating, how it is integrating with other systems within and outside the organization, and how users are using the system.

Drive Measurable Results

Implementing an ERP system to drive digital transformation is a great way to embark on the journey towards becoming digital. While an ERP system offers an array of benefits, you can leverage them only when you select the right system and implement it in a way that drives maximum results. Carrying out proper due diligence, understanding the goals from the implementation, and clearly defining your scope are integral aspects.

Select the right system and ERP implementation partner and devising a robust project plan that helps you achieve your goals with ease and drive measurable results. Contact a Synoptek expert today.