For any type and size of business, implementing an ERP solution is a critical project that has to be taken seriously. To ensure successful execution of ERP implementation, not only commitment is required from the project team but, more importantly, business leaders must have clear vision and be supportive of such an initiative, besides focusing just on the cost and demonstrating ROI.
ERP implementation is a major undertaking however, the process does not have to be painful. With proper planning and execution, implementing an ERP solution should be a smooth process which would quickly increase efficiency across your business. Some critical ERP implementation best practices to be considered during solution selection and deployment are listed below:
Get Business Leader/Executive’s Buy-In
Getting buy-in from business leader(s)/executive(s) can get challenging as it is not about getting the ERP solution contract approved instead, it entails properly educating them why they should invest in ERP solution, how it can benefit the company; basically, what ERP implementation really means for their business. ERP solution is not just a simple software deployment, instead, it can require realigning the business strategy, change the business processes and routine practices followed for years and thereby, transforming the business – a concept that the business leader(s)/executives/department head(s) must support before moving forward with any ERP implementation efforts. Effective and frequent company-wide communication from leadership about ERP implementation plans and changing processes is the key to help build consensus across the organisation.
Select the Best ERP Implementation Suiting Your Business Needs
ERP is a complex integration of wide range of functionalities and hence, there are various types of ERP implementations.
Do-it-yourself: You can build your own custom ERP solution from the bottom up, however, the complexity and hence, the time and costs of undertaking such a large project can make a “Do-it-yourself” choice a poor one.
Purchase on-premise ERP software: You can purchase on-premise ERP software and install it on your company premise. However, consider the fact that, two-thirds of the mid-size businesses are running older versions of the ERP software. The reason being: Such businesses cannot afford to take business risks of losing customizations and integrations and hence decide that the costs to re-implement incremental releases are too great. To maximize the potential of an ERP solution it is important to keep its technology current and hence, it is vital to select deployment option that will preserve customization and is easy to update or is extensible.
Cloud-based ERP solution: A cloud-based solution, like Netprro, gives you relief from expensive upfront investments in IT hardware and servers. You do not have to worry about dedicating significant number of resources to manage because a cloud-based ERP solution is managed entirely off site by the ERP provider. Additionally, cloud-based implementations are easier to deploy than on-site deployments, customizations and integrations automatically update, product enhancements are painless, and are easy to maintain because, the cloud-based ERP provider is responsible for keeping the technology current. Thus, with a cloud-based ERP solution, you can always be assured that, your business is running with the most advanced capability.
Set Realistic Expectations
ERP software can improve efficiency, streamline processes, reduce costs, and completely change the way that your company does business. ERP solutions include many complex front-office and back-office systems, such as, CRM and Sales Management to Accounting and Warehouse Management, which needs to be integrated along with customization of user interfaces, is required in order to create a seamless experience for end users.
All this requires careful upfront planning, preparing project scope and requirements, identifying experienced ERP solutions provider and then establishing realistic timeframe to enable the solution provider to execute the project. Realistic timeframe means, it should allow for changes that may come up during the project execution – which is very common.
Strong Project Management with Adequate Resources
ERP implementation, as we have stressed ample, is not to be taken lightly. ERP projects are complex and require strong Project Management. Having a dedicated project leader with strong project management skills who can facilitate team communication, track and address any issues that may arise, and keep the implementation on schedule, with a knowledgeable team will assure you of successful project execution. At Netprro, we have strong project managers and experienced team member who have continued to ensure that ERP implementation projects are brought to successful closures.
Further, it is important to have enough resources, including human resources in place to ensure successful project completion. Although this is obvious, many companies begin ERP implementation without adequate resources, which then, results in overworked, unhappy employees and a less-than-optimal installation. For ERP implementation, you need to identify from your staff, internal ERP team members and reassign or remove some of their normal duties, thereby, enabling them to focus on ERP tasks on hand.
Thus, following these best practices will help you launch your ERP software customization and implementation project successfully and keep it on the schedule or right track throughout the entire process. Researching the best ERP implementation option for your business, building consensus around the effort, setting realistic expectations, and providing your staff the support they need may take some time, but they result in a more effective ERP experience and a better-run business in the long term.