Implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can be a challenging endeavor that impacts a variety of business operations. Any significant effort requires a detailed and well-planned ERP implementation strategy.
By dividing the implementation into phases, each with specific goals, you can increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. On the other hand, getting started with an ERP installation without clear project direction, scope and organization can lead to future problems.
Understanding of the ERP system and its benefits
An enterprise resource planning system acts as the “glue” that binds together the many computer systems used by an organization. In other words, an ERP system integrates many systems and allows access to the data from these systems from a central location.
One of the many reasons an ERP system could be used in a company is to simplify operations, reduce the amount of staff required, improve the customer experience or unionize company activities. Retail, manufacturing, distribution, pharmaceutical, and technology are some of the businesses that use ERP software. Other areas include Healthcare, Nonprofits, Telecom, Food & Beverage, etc.
ERP rollouts can take weeks, months or years depending on system requirements. That is, if everything goes according to plan. Many companies work with experienced ERP consultants like https://nexinfo.com/erp-implementation/ to help them throughout the process.
An integrator’s job is to help you get the most out of your software investment. Choosing a cloud ERP implementation partner is just as important as choosing the right software.
The key phases of an ERP implementation plan
When implementing an ERP system, there are many interconnected phases. There may be overlap between the different levels. Each phase typically contains entry conditions that must be met before the phase can begin. When predetermined outcomes are met, a stage is considered complete.
1. Discovery and planning
An ERP implementation starts with your company recognizing the need for it. First, you or your team need to determine which back office operations to automate. In order not to miss important details, you should include contributions from people from all departments and sectors of your company.
The next step is to see if an alternative software option can achieve the same goal. This is also known as gap analysis as it aims to identify areas of coverage that are not adequately covered. For example, your HR department may be better off with a dedicated, standalone program than a new ERP system.
A well-designed ERP implementation strategy can speed up the entire automation process, regardless of the method used.
2. Budgeting of integration costs
Compiling a workable budget for anticipated integration costs is the next phase in the integration process. Several variables will affect the final implementation cost. The number of users and the size of the company are two of the most important factors. Take productivity losses into account when creating a budget.
The following are some of the cost elements of the integration process:
- system upgrades
- Backups and Storage
- Vendor training, customization and consulting fees
- Employee overtime pay
During design, the ERP implementation team reviews all processes and procedures to be implemented into the platform. The team needs to understand ERP configuration and customization methods. At this point it becomes more technical and complex, the investigations more extensive.
The implementation team analyzes all data sources and data to be moved to ERP or synchronized via integrations. This information is used to engineer and design ERP software that meets the needs of the business.
There are several levels of difficulty in this phase. See recommended practices below:
- Involve all business areas at an early stage. In terms of what they expect from the platform, every user should have a clear understanding of the goals. Misunderstandings can lead to conflict if not resolved immediately.
- Optimize collaboration. ERP systems must be designed for easy end-user interactions with other users and service parts. Effective cooperation and communication tools can optimize processes.
- poll users. Communicate carefully to integrate key features and meet user needs. Conduct interviews at multiple points throughout the operation to gather adequate information.
- Design intuitively. Your ERP system should be user-friendly. The easier a system is to implement, the more a company can benefit from it. An intuitive dashboard supports this design approach.
- Make it mobile friendly. Like many software solutions, EPR systems are mobile-friendly. The mobile accessibility of your system makes it easier for employees to use and enables remote work.
The ERP system configuration is crucial as it ensures that the system meets all your requirements and specifications. With the help of a trusted partner agency, you can customize the system to your specific needs. This will make the transition to the new system smoother.
As part of this cooperation, your partner also gets to know your current processes and procedures. The ERP system is then set up according to these procedures. This ensures that the system is easy to use and that you can continue to use your current workflows and processes with the new software.
It is important to ensure that the ERP software is set up and working properly so that you can start generating revenue. This can be done through ERP testing.
ERP testing focuses on the functionality of each module in specific situations. Preparation, administration and evaluation are the three phases of test preparation.
- Preparation. This includes setting up the test system, test suites and test data.
- Execution. This includes running the tests created during preparation, tracking issues, and presenting test status.
- Evaluation. This includes error analysis, test plan and root cause assessment, preparation of the test suite and documentation of the test process.
Both the project team and the implementation team assess the situation and come to a conclusion on whether to proceed or not. It is planned to load and confirm the final data just before the system goes live.
After completing the training process, the project team will work exclusively with the new system.
The maintenance phase of the ERP lifecycle is the final step in the process. Those responsible for maintaining the new system must keep abreast of new technological developments. In addition, employees are responsible for acquiring the knowledge required to keep the system up and running at all times.
The installation of a fully integrated ERP system is a company-specific, extensive process. Ideally, your ERP software provider and partner should know as much about your business as you do. Because going forward, their responsibility will be to support and maintain the system.
Still, they advise and offer additional solutions to help you achieve your growth and financial goals.