So you’ve chosen an ERP vendor. Congratulations! That’s not an easy process. Next steps are getting ready to implement your software, which can take anywhere from two weeks to nine months depending on the provider. To help this process go as smoothly as possible, follow these tips to get the most from your ERP implementation.
Get your master data ready
Data imports can hold up an implementation if you don’t get ahead of the curve. Be prepared by tidying up the rolodex of information you have existing in your old system to move into your new system. Have templates of customer, vendor and inventory masters to move the information quickly and easily.
Get your team on board
Implementations are a team effort. Let your employees and coworkers know early on that the implementation has a timetable, and that timetable will partially be dependent on them working together towards a solution (and not harping on the difference from the previous system.) A feeling of ownership of those involved will help in change management of bringing in a new system
Define roles and responsibilities for your team
Jim Collins, in his bestselling book “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Jump and Others Don’t” compares running a business to driving a bus. A good bus driver (business owner) is responsible not only for having the right people on the bus, but more importantly, having the right people in the right spot on the bus. The same is true for an ERP implementation. When reviewing your manufacturing process, have your warehouse manager in the meeting, and not head of sales. This keeps people involved where they need to be, and not where they don’t, so they can focus on their job.
Be open to tweaks in business process
An ERP implementation will bring to light your current business processes, some of which may not have been examined in quite some time! Try to go into your new ERP system with an openness to change and how this can improve your total process. Find process flows which will lead to increased efficiency and productivity in your workplace. When possible, keep it simple.
Test, Test, Test
During the implementation, prior to going live, have your team run through your complete business process, multiple times. Review the process for the different roles within your organization. Review different scenarios of what happens or could happen in the day to day. Test in the system. Run your whole business, before you go live. Then once you are live, you will be ready for anything.
A positive attitude goes a long way in life, and in ERP implementations. Certain standard providers don’t make this easy though, with long implementation times, and unforeseen costs. If you feel stuck in the mud, remember the big picture: your implementation is going to improve your business and make you more successful! Keep this in mind as you go through your implementation, and it will help lead you to success.