Think about all of the processes and tasks that your staff members perform each day. They manage inventory, schedule production jobs, generate invoices, and record accounts receivable payments. Have you stopped to consider your current operational workflow and how your business's technology systems support this workflow? Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can boost your business's operating efficiency and promote growth. Learn how to implement ERP software into your workspace.
Establish Key Objectives
ERP software can help your business in many ways. Before you start discussing ERP vendors, take time to identify why you want to implement ERP software in the first place. What are your key performance indicators? What are your principal objectives? By answering these questions first, you'll be better able to determine what you want to accomplish with your ERP software.
Evaluate All of Your Options
According to a report from Technology Evaluation Centers, almost 50% of ERP software implementations fail the first time around. These shortcomings often result from a failure to research and demo an ERP product before purchasing it.
Before committing to any ERP software purchase, take the time to evaluate all of your options. New additions, such as a cloud ERP solution or SaaS (News - Alert) ERP, may be available in different forms and flexibilities to accommodate future demands. When vetting ERP software vendors, don't hesitate to involve them in conversations about your desires and expectations.
Prepare for Data Migration and Check Your Technology Infrastructure
While you're evaluating ERP software options, think about how you'll physically prepare your company for ERP implementation. You'll want to identify the data you'll need for the transition to ERP software, especially if your business will be using the software for the first time.
In addition to preparing for data migration, you'll also want to ensure your business's technology infrastructure is capable of supporting your ERP software solution. In short, your technology infrastructure should be scalable to support updates and expanded usage as your business grows and demands change. Scalability is one important yet overlooked area that can make ERP implementation successful.
Configure the Software
This phase of ERP implementation is the most involved. CIO contributing columnist Bart Perkins outlines several steps you need to take to support ERP software configuration:
- Analyze gaps: Identify the gaps in your current business processes so that you can make changes to conform to the software.
- Set parameters: Parameters in the ERP software should reflect your new business processes.
- Complete necessary programming: Your IT support staff will likely need to perform programming to connect with other systems and migrate data to the ERP software.
- Migrate data: Your IT staff will conduct a quality assurance check of the data you intend to migrate to the ERP software before transferring the data.
- Test software: Your implementation team will test the software to ensure functionality and desired responsiveness.
- Deploy the software: Training staff, performing final system testing, and setting a go-live date are among the tasks you'll need to accomplish to deploy ERP software within your business effectively.
Now that you understand the processes involved in implementing ERP software, you can take the necessary steps to bring your team members together to accomplish the goal.