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6 Steps to Create a Strong ERP Strategy
Build it and they will come, it’s been said. Building an ERP strategy will bring together your teams on a level playing field with the knowledge and information to implement, use and succeed with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. Before we can show you how to build one, we first need to define it.
What is an ERP Strategy?
An ERP strategy is the guide that manufacturing companies follow to influence and shape the implementation, application, and use of ERP software. The successful implementation of ERP software is the result of a calculated and well-planned ERP strategy.
As the manufacturing world modernizes, more and more companies are taking the plunge and making an investment in ERP software.
Manufacturers need software and technology to stay ahead of the curve, but choosing to implement an ERP software is not a decision that is made lightly. Even if organizations have achieved success and things are going well, there is always room to improve and create processes that are more efficient. ERP software is designed to take a deeper look into a company’s business processes and identify areas where improvements can be made. This is the value of ERP software.
A successful ERP implementation includes three important factors:
- The right ERP software that fits your company’s needs
- The participation and engagement of your company’s people
- And processes that will minimize challenges and make for a smooth implementation
Couple that with a well thought out ERP strategy, and you’re primed to begin your journey into simplified manufacturing. So exactly how do you create an ERP strategy that works for your business?
How To Create An ERP Strategy
Learn the 6 steps on creating a successful ERP strategy. We recommend you do these six things prior to or at the start of your ERP software vendor search.
- Identify and address IT issues: The IT system currently in place must be able to support the installation of an ERP software that will improve productivity and efficiency and generate more revenue. You will likely need updated hardware installed. Work with your internal IT team or consult with outside IT professionals to identify what you need.
- Set a budget: An ERP implementation often includes upfront costs to deliver positive results, and it is not uncommon for an ERP implementation to exceed initial budgets. It is wise for companies to earmark appropriate funds to support the entire implementation, including a contingency budget should any costs overrun.
- Plan for integration challenges: If you have a legacy software programs you use such as Nesting or CAD software, there might be times when the new ERP system won’t be able to effectively communicate. You will need to adjust business processes or get customizable ERP software that will allow the two systems to communicate with one another.
- Create a change management plan: ERP software is only as effective as the people engaging with it on a day-to-day basis. Training is an important part of the ERP implementation process and getting staff members to understand how to use and embrace the new platform can be a challenge. Remind them that is a great opportunity and to remain open-minded. A change management plan is needed to reinforce the importance of the software and the need to be able to use it correctly.
- Conduct a risk assessment: ERP software has a huge value. However, there is still potential for things to go wrong during implementation. Decision-makers should identify any areas where snags might occur and address them before the installation begins. Plan to be proactive rather than reactive.
- Outline an ERP roadmap: Before you commit to an ERP vendor, it’s a good idea to outline a roadmap to ensure a smooth implementation. Define clear roles and responsibilities, define a set of objectives, identify milestones, and determine if you have sufficient resources. Use the below chart of critical success factors to help you build your roadmap.
ERP software can take your manufacturing from good to great. But it begins with building an ERP strategy. To learn more about how ERP software can benefit your business or to read stories of others’ successes, download one of our many manufacturing whitepapers or case studies.