ERP Implementation Process isn’t the same for every business since each one is unique in their operations. An ERP system is designed to help a business in every aspect from Planning, Production, Finance, Goods, Services, Purchase, Vendors, Customers and Employees. It creates a centralized database on which every department relies on. This shows the impact an ERP creates on any business operations and implementing such a system needs to be handled with so much care and preparations.
So what is ERP Implementation ? It is the process of integrating the software with various departments in an organization. But the process isn’t the same for all businesses since each one is unique in their operations. But there are few common phases involved such as understanding the business operations, selecting a suitable ERP, collecting master data, simplifying the process flow, training the employees with the same, go live and measure the performance. Let us go through these phases of any ERP Implementation Process.
Selecting the Right Software :
This is the first step to start with. It is really important to choose the right software for your business. To achieve this, you have to first find out the reason you are looking for an ERP system, the current pain points you have been facing, what business goals are you planning to achieve and what specific requirements you are going to need. Once you are done with this information then you can easily spot the right industry specific software that can match all your requirements.
Change Management :
Once you have your software chosen ready, the next step would be to contact your IT team and plan your technical costs for implementation. Start planning your hardware infrastructures and software upgrades required. Not only from a technical and cost aspect, but a change management would affect your employees too. So it is necessary that you communicate clearly with your workers regarding the ERP systems and allocate a team for learning and execution.
Data Migration :
This is really the tough part where most of the companies fail to manage in both the cases, either while switching to a new ERP or changing from existing to another one. The data migration is very crucial as it involves transfer of legacy data. It is better to fine tune and cleanse your old data as there may exist many duplicate or inconsistent data. Since these are master data containing important facts about the materials and if any small issue occurs it may put your business at risk. As incorrect inventory data cause serious consequences it is good to plan these entries under the assistance of Project Managers.
Train your Employees :
You have done all the above process but still if your workers are not aware of the changes then it will be a total failure. Hence make sure you allocate each responsibility to the workers in respective departments for a complete training session. It is the employees who are going to adopt an ERP system and make them a standard operation. So without their depth of knowledge it is difficult to plan for a change and growth in the long run. But the critical part would be to schedule training for the employees without affecting the daily task and production. Hence prior planning is a mandatory one.
Evaluate Your Results With Key Performance Metrics :
Going Live ! This is the long awaited day after all this hard work. But you shouldn’t be relaxed as going live doesn’t tell you your success or failure status. Once all set and your employees started to work on it, the next step will be to measure the performance, how well your workers are efficiently making use of the change, how can you still fine tune your process for more streamlined workflow and finally the ROI of your hard work and investment.
ERP Implementation is really challenging as each business is unique in their own way. But proper planning and forecasting will help you see results and survive the competition. Every business irrespective of its size, are now upgrading to new technologies to stand out in the crowd. So its now or never for yourself to opt for a change.