Six Steps to Flawless ERP Implementation

Implementing a new ERP system is not fun. It takes a lot of time and energy. With all the ERP failure stories, it might be difficult to get yourself to take the plunge. If done correctly, though, the end result is worth all of the sweat and tears.

If you come up with simply an end goal for your ERP implementation, you will surely fail. There is a correct way to implement ERP. Creating small milestones to hit along the way will ensure that you will make it to your end goal. Following these six steps to implementing ERP will help you along the way.

  1. Defining and Planning
    This may be the most important part of your ERP implementation. This should be when you look your company over from top to bottom. Decide how many users will be on the ERP software, what functions the ERP software will need to have to support your company and what kind of tasks your employees will be completing. You will be lost in the next phase if you do not complete this one correctly.
  2. Selection
    This is where your defining and planning comes in handy. There are millions of different ERP solutions out there to choose from. When selecting, you should be looking for one that meets the needs of everything you discovered during the defining and planning stage. Choosing the right vendor and software is what will make or break your ERP implementation.
  3. Integration and Implementation
    This is where you really start to get your hands dirty in the ERP implementation. The first two stages lead up to this moment where you begin to customize and integrate the ERP software with existing modules and functions. During this phase, it is best to bring in an expert who can help to ensure the implementation goes smoothly.
  4. Training
    This is where the project become all encompassing. Your employees need to be trained and comfortable with the software before you move on to the next stage. If you are going to ensure that your implementation will be a success, you need to have all employees on board. You could follow every step perfectly, but without the support of employees your ERP system is useless.
  5. Going live
    This is the moment of truth for the implementation process. If you have made sure to hit every small milestone before this, you should be having a relaxing day with minimal hiccups. Celebrate and enjoy the day.
  6. Post going live
    The work is not over once you’ve gone live, however. It is crucial that you implement continuing education on the software so that employees don’t fall behind. Just because your go-live days was a success doesn’t mean that a problem can’t creep up on you a few months down the road. Ensure that you have a plan in case a problem arises.

Although implementing ERP can be a long, hard road, it doesn’t have to be. It is important that you set yourself up for success and celebrate when you’ve met your goals. Once you’ve completed the ERP implementation process successfully, you’ll start seeing your investment take off.

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