Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is changing the game for organizations looking to improve and organize their day-to-day business processes. The trouble is, while there are many benefits to ERP, a badly executed strategy can make or break your commercial success.
When an ERP project fails, it’s often down to poor implementation – here’s what you should know to prepare your business for ERP and ensure its successful integration into your organization.
What is ERP?
ERP, or enterprise resource planning, is a “catch-all” term for business management software that automates some or much of an organization’s day-to-day activities. These activities can include:
- Product planning and development
Since around 64% of businesses use ERP to improve their business performance, it follows that the ERP solution you implement must be efficient and tailored to your organization’s individual needs. So, how do you ensure your ERP works for you?
ERP system installation: a step-by-step guide
To get you started on your ERP journey, here are our top tips for a successful ERP implementation.
1: Define your goals
Every business is different, which means there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to building an ERP solution. Decide what you need from your system – whether it’s inventory management, or lead capturing, etc. – and prioritize your ERP search based around these needs. If you need help narrowing down your priorities, an MSP can help with this.
2: Do your research
Once you know what you need from the ERP, have a look at the companies and the software available in your budget range. Don’t rush into any decisions and ask as many questions as you need to make your decision. The right consultant will be more than happy to help you choose the perfect ERP for your needs.
3: Backup your data
If you have data stored across different products and platforms, back it all up so that you don’t lose it if it’s corrupted upon migration to the new system. Make a list of where all your data is and where it’s coming from so that you can keep track of it all. This is also a good time to review your cybersecurity, and ensure your key business data is properly protected.
4: Set up a timeline
Decide when you want your ERP system to go live and plan your implementation process accordingly. Always leave time for setbacks and set aside a budget for “unexpected” costs so that your budget doesn’t hold up your implementation schedule. Review your progress regularly and take action if you’re falling behind.
5: Test the system
Test every aspect of your ERP solution before it goes live. This is the only way to spot any real-time problems and solve them before they affect your business operations. Create testing procedures or scripts for as many scenarios as you can think of, and you’re well on the way to error-free ERP implementation when it goes live.
6: Train your employees
Even the best laid ERP system is hopeless if your employees don’t know how to use it effectively. Make sure you train your staff on the new system and ensure they know who they can ask for advice. It’s a good idea to appoint a dedicated point of contact for any problems, particularly for the first few months.
The right ERP solution can help you reduce your manpower needs and improve your bottom line, all while increasing your overall business efficiency. For more information on ERP software and how to choose the right solution for your organization, contact us today.