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5 Steps to Take Before Implementing an ERP System
Having an enterprise resource planning system offers companies a wide range of benefits that are too numerous to list. Many manufacturing businesses install these systems because they have become somewhat trendy within the industry. Other organizations are truly looking to simplify their operations to become more profitable through increased efficiency.
However, there are a number of steps that companies can take to best ascertain if undergoing an ERP implementation will be an investment that generates a proper return, or if following the status quo of the way they’ve already operated will be in the best interests of the organization:
- Check references: Before making a decision to install an ERP platform into a business, it may be wise to reach out to current customers of the vendor platform being considered. Polling these organizations can help a company understand the effectiveness of the vendors customer service efforts, how quickly they respond to and solve issues and the overall satisfaction that an organization has after doing business with an ERP software provider. All of this information should be used as part of the decision-making process in deciding on which ERP solution will best meet a businesses needs.
- Prepare for change: One of the first steps that should be taken is the creation of a change management team, IT Toolbox wrote. This collective should be comprised of departmental leaders as well as upper management. Strategies should be developed on how to get those with a strong technical background acclimated to using the system quickly. For those less proficient, the change management team should develop a plan to get these individuals ramped up quickly so that once the system is brought online, everyone knows how to properly utilize it.
- Keep an eye on the prize: No ERP implementation will occur smoothly. Inevitably, at some point during the process, challenges will need to be overcome. These issues can quickly become a source of frustration. However, it’s important to never lose focus on the end goal. Understanding that the benefits of having an ERP software platform will only be seen at the end will help to properly manage any negative feelings about the process that may be experienced during the initial stages of installation.
- Remain goal-oriented: Implementing ERP software isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. In fact, unless a company has mapped out the business goals it would like to see realized through the use of ERP, installing the system can be a waste of both time and financial resources. Whatever the desires of the organization, being honest about any shortcomings and where an ERP system can benefit can help a company stay focused on realizing a return on the investment associated with implementation.
- Change the business to fit the software: The entire purpose of using an ERP platform is to uncover a new way for companies to operate. Therefore, trying to operate in the same manner prior to the installation just doesn’t work. Eresource suggests companies stick as closely as possible to the recommendations made by the ERP software company project manager in order to realize the bull benefits of the system. The purpose of the implementation is improvement, not to go back to the old way of operating.
Utilizing ERP software can make a company more profitable and productive than ever before. As long as best practices are followed and companies make the necessary changes to their workflows, then this process will deliver benefits both immediately and over time.