ERP Implementation

Crucial Steps Towards a Successful ERP Implementation Plan

Implementing an ERP software system not only involves a great deal of expenditure, efforts and time, it also involves change in some of the complex business processes. MCG welcomes changing requirements, even late in development. Software modifications harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.

We deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

Our continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential. The best architectures, tools, and designs are made available to our employees and clients. Implementing ERP requires a team of experts who understand the business and technical aspects of the project, like that of Michell Consulting. An ERP solution provider is responsible for understanding a department’s processes and challenges.

Implementation of ERP involves the following steps:
Planning and Requirements Analysis
 
This is the initial phase where the company takes a decision on implementing ERP. The decision could based on their need to comply with legal requirements, replace their legacy applications, for benefits of integration, reduction of inventory, reduction of operational costs, risk management, additional functionality or speeding up processes.
The team chooses an ERP system. Typically a niche player in resource planning software developement is chosen instead of developing from scratch. Some of the leading vendors are: SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle,Sage Group, MS Business Solutions, SSA Global, Lawson and Intentia.
Evaluation and Selection

A team of experts with specialized knowledge in the field is made to study the basis of different parameters. The experts here at Michell, perform tests to determine whether the package is apt for the range of application in their field. Further, we ascertain the level of coordination that the software would be able achieve in working with different departments. This plainly means that we ensure whether the various departments would offer an increased output due to ERP implementation.

Design
 
This is the phase where the ERP team re-engineers the business processes around the Best Practices wherever feasible and identifies the processes that will result in customizing the ERP software application. The IT infrastructure requirements based on ERP system architecture and vendor are prepared.

The implementation of ERP is defined this stage. The conditions and regulations to meet are also decided. This is done by a team of officers, who reports to the highest authority in the hierarchy of the organization.

Also, in this phase, the ERP team uses the identified business processes as the basis for implementation to build prototypes by choosing standard models, processes, inputs and outputs. This phase involves business super-users in determining the system elements.

In this stage, a lot of microscopic planning and deliberate action are carried out. The step helps to decide and resolve which areas is important for restructuring. It is chosen from the ERP implementation models.

Project Planning

This is a crucial stage where the implementation process is designed. In this phase the details of the implementation is worked out. The deadlines and the time-schedules are also decided. A plan is chalked out, roles are allotted and responsibilities are assigned. The date for starting the project is also decided. The planning is done by a committee of team leaders.

Reengineering

ERP implementation involves an evident change in the number of employees and their job responsibilities, which results due to a more automated and efficient system. The human factors are taken into account in this stage.

Team training

This stage is all about preparing the employees to use ERP. The employees in the organization are trained to handle the system on daily and regular basis.

Testing

The phase is marked by attempts to break the system. At this point, the company tests the real case scenarios. The system has been configured, now only extreme cases like system overloads, hackers trying to access restricted areas, multiple users logging on at the same time, users entering invalid data, are addressed. This phase is performed to find the weak links, which could be rectified before implementation.

Implementation

 
This phase involves installation of the ERP software, migration of data from the old applications to the ERP system, configuring the ERP system for reporting, implementing security, interfaces etc. The end users are involved at this stage to test the system after being trained. The implementation consultants seek feedback, identify software bugs/corrections, performance bottlenecks and apply the fixes. A decision on switching to the new ERP system is taken.

Post implementation

Finally, the process of implementation would be complete when there is a regular follow up and proper instruction flow thereafter and along the lifetime of ERP. This involves the entire efforts and measures taken to update and attain better benefits, after the system is implemented. The organizations should ensure that the ERP implementation process should be smooth and safe.

Maintenance
 
This is an ongoing phase which involves patching/upgrading the software, enhancing the functionality of the applications, changes in reports etc. This is either taken care of by in-house IT department or outsourced to consulting firms.
Our continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential. The best architectures, tools, and designs are made available to our employees and clients.