Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software changed the game in the business world. The high-functioning systems featuring different kinds of modules are quickly becoming a staple for growing companies to improve their operations.
However, implementing an ERP system is not as simple as installing a program on your computer. It is a complex process that requires extensive research and care from planning and beyond deployment. To reap the benefits of ERP integration, it is vital to properly integrate the right ERP software in your company and avoid potential problems later on.
Take note of the following steps below to help you successfully implement an ERP system in your business.
Form an ERP Project Team
Implementing ERP software is a big enterprise and requires a dedicated team to ensure its successful integration. The ERP project team consists of a project manager, executive sponsor, and representatives from different departments that will be using the new software. They will be responsible for formulating plans, setting deadlines, securing resources, and making design and product decisions, among others. Consider hiring an external consultant or an ERP implementation expert to help guide the team on overseeing the overall project.
Identify Goals and Objectives
To accomplish any project, you need to have a set of concrete goals and objectives first. The project team needs to study the company and its processes and pinpoint problems by analyzing key performance indicators. After identifying the company’s needs, the team will create a list of requirements for the ERP software that addresses these issues and inefficiencies.
By setting clear goals and objectives, the project will have a clear direction on where to go, and the team will take the next necessary steps based on them.
Choose the Right ERP Software for Your Company
Finding ERP software for a business is harder than it seems. Bear in mind that different ERP programs are more suitable for some than others. Thus, you need to purchase a system compatible with your company.
Consider your company’s needs, the industry it is in, system requirements, and any plans you have for the business. Afterward, consult with an ERP expert and partner with a reliable systems provider that can give you in-depth knowledge on your available ERP options. In this manner, you can screen through these options and find the right system for your enterprise.
Improve Workflow Through Effective Design
The design phase consists of reimagining the current company operations with the potential of the new ERP software. The team will design more efficient workflows that take advantage of the ERP system’s new features and possible changes in the software to fit current processes.
Data migration refers to the transferring of data from different departmental systems to the centralized ERP data storage. This phase of the project takes a lot of time and work since you need to sift through the information and get rid of unnecessary or incorrect data.
However, the process is laborious as it is rewarding. With accurate data in the new system, you can ensure that employees and users can access updated and reliable information.
Configure the ERP System
At this stage, you can now install the ERP system. From there, you can make adjustments to the program and optimize it to match your business needs.
The time it takes to configure the system depends on the ERP’s complexity. You need to work closely with the vendor and learn to prioritize which features need to be adjusted or customized to fit the project’s overall objectives.
Conduct System Tests
Before deploying the ERP system, you need to conduct a systems test first. To avoid being overwhelmed, test the basic functions before checking the full capabilities of the ERP software.
Form a control group of users from various departments and instruct them to use the system for their daily tasks. Use their feedback to identify overlooked gaps and points to improve before the system’s launch. After addressing these points, have users test the reconfigured system again.
Train Your Employees on Using ERP
Aside from developing the system, the project team must also formulate a training plan for the users. Remember to inform employees of the upcoming changes well beforehand and conduct the necessary training seminars to prepare them for the new ERP system. In this manner, you shorten the adjustment period and help them maximize the software’s features.
The IT department, in particular, should be trained on the ins and outs of the ERP software. Long after the system’s deployment, the IT will be the people users turn to for technical issues and system maintenance.
Deploy the System
After accomplishing all due preparations, you can now deploy the system across the company. Expect that it may take some time for the users to adjust to the software and that there will be multiple queries on its function. The project team must be prepared to answer any inquiries and address any issues that come up.
Provide Support and Updates
The deployment of the ERP system is not the end of the line. To make sure it performs at its maximum potential, you need to keep working on it. Updates, reconfigurations, and additional features are all part of maintaining the system and ensuring that it works to help reach company goals. Overall, implementing an ERP system is a huge investment. Hence, you have to make sure it is done properly. By doing so, you reap the benefits of ERP implementation and boost your business’s efficiency and productivity.