New ERP systems get implemented and existing ones modified in direct response to the most rapidly growing parts of a business. From product line extensions, new product lines to entirely new business models, ERP systems excel when they are enablers of profitable growth. With so many resources and knowledge available today, the probability of excelling at implementations is trending up. Think of any ERP system as a platform that can fuel new business creation and help manufacturers deliver value to customers.
How To Intentionally Implement An ERP System
The best ERP implementations have an overabundance of intentional focus to detail; an intensity to excel at each phase of the project plan, clear accountability, and intensity of ownership that often starts at the C-level. When an ERP implementation starts with a clear business objective combined with insight, expertise, and knowledge of internal systems the probability of success exponentially increases.
The following are ten lessons learned from IQMS and Panorama on how to successfully implement an ERP system:
- Have clear business goals supported by project-based and operational analytics, metrics, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)? Emphasize the importance of setting, measuring and reviewing productivity goals before, during and after the implementation. Identify, quantify and assign financial value to expected improvements to set target ROI. Measure and communicate them to the implementation team members, the executive steering committee, and workers.
- Benchmark current operations to get a baseline of performance to measure progress against.Understand and define your current and future state processes before deploying new software. As much as possible, try to use the configuration settings and templates provided by the software provider to tailor the business logic to match your preferred business processes.
- Rely on an organized stage-gate process that the project lead owns to keep customization requests to the implementation of scope. Only customize “differentiators” giving your business its secret sauce. Limiting the number of customizations will keep the implementation marching toward completion. Typically, 70% of companies will have some customization and keep this beast under control is the goal.
- Consider hiring an experienced independent ERP consultant to add to your bench. They can be a strategic partner from planning through implementation. You can also use them strategically for unbiased software selection, support or organizational change management initiatives.