Updated January 31, 2019
Selecting the right ERP system for your organization, and then creating a successful implementation plan, can be a complex and time-consuming undertaking. The core purpose of your ERP system should be to streamline business processes and functions. Most ERP systems are highly customizable and can be tailored to the needs and requirements of your business. However, this not true of every ERP, so choosing the right solution is critical.
Implementing a new ERP solution will require an initial investment, external expert help and will likely take several months of work to fully complete the system configuration and customization according to your unique business requirements. In addition, your new ERP software will also have a big impact on your organization, as users will have to learn how to use it efficiently in the shortest time possible. Here are some helpful tips to help you choose an ERP software solution and successfully deploy it:
Make a list of requirements before you start looking at ERP vendors: You wouldn't buy a home without making a list of features you need and want. It's a big investment and you should make sure you get what you want. The same is true for ERP.
Enable mobile use: As the use of mobile devices increases globally, an ERP that can only function on desktop computers in the office will be ignored. Cloud solutions that can be accessed from anywhere and any device are a must.
Evaluate your options before selecting your ERP system: There's a growing number of ERP companies, so it's crucial that you find the right partner for your business. Look at the company's product roadmap for the coming years to make sure the vendor’s vision is aligned with your future business plans, check reviews on sites like Capterra, and make sure you'll get the support you need for the life of your ERP.
Get references: Your organization will not be the first one in your market to adopt a specific ERP software. Part of making the right selection is knowledge of other similar companies or organizations using the same solution with much success.
Customize with care: Most ERP has some degree of customization, but highly customized systems will generate higher cost and may make future updates more complex. An out-of-the-box solution may offer less flexibility but more stability, and many ERP companies are building in vertical applications that can be configured to your needs, without deep code customization.
Ensure compatibility and integration: Existing software and systems will either have to be replaced in the ERP, or they will need to be integrated with the ERP, so that the data can flow from one system to another. Without integration, time-consuming re-keying will need to be used, introducing increased labor costs, reducing data integration and making manual errors an inevitability.
Provide adequate training on the ERP system. 21% of ERP implementations fail to provide notable benefits. The reasons vary, from improper customization to poorly trained users operating and entering data to the solution. Training is arguably the most important aspect of the ERP software process. It ensures there are fewer issues and more success, especially when ERP is implemented for the first time or being switched from one provider to another.Have you already gone through the ERP implementation process? What were your experiences? Let us know by commenting below.