Successful ERP Implementation-As the adage goes, “when you fail to plan, you plan to fail” and this couldn’t be more relevant than when selecting a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, regardless of whether you are switching or purchasing for the first time.
Critically, this planning is not just related to the implementation process but must also encompass all aspects of the ERP project from selection and implementation right through to the exit strategy.
Most businesses looking to change solutions are either using legacy (end of life) software, are looking for features that their current software doesn’t have or would like to move to a solution that uses more modern technology such as the cloud.
Before embarking on this journey, it is important to fully understand your starting point and the reason why you chose your existing solution in the first place. Understanding past decisions will allow you to evaluate options more effectively. For instance, companies using bespoke software that was developed to meet a very specific business requirement, need to keep this functionality in mind when considering features or the cost of customising existing solutions.
The first step on the road to choosing a new ERP solution should be to first list the non-negotiables or the features that the existing software has that the business is dependent on.
The next step is in the planning process is to identify the features, processes and automations that you would like in your new ERP solution. It is a good idea at this point to categorise these into different phases, or even years, as changing ERP solutions isn’t something that you do every year, so you need to take a long-term view when planning. Complex functionality can take more time, to not only develop, but to ensure that it is working in the right way for your business.
Consequently, it is recommended that you add minimal complexity at go-live and rather add the more complex processes once the system is up and running. An example of this would be alerts and notifications as, more often than not, businesses that include these at go-live usually decide to switch them off or moderate them post go-live. Choosing instead to make these features a “phase 2” implementation would ensure that they support the non-negotiable processes while also reducing the total cost of the project.