Here’s what not to do when tying your business together.
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems have had a lot of work on their hands since their arrival in the late 1980s. They’re the brain of a business body, and if successfully implemented can unify a company’s processes from front of house to back room. The automation afforded by a quality ERP system can boost performance by improving communications and ramping up your overall efficiency.
Making such a major switch in your operations can be intimidating. For some companies, it’s been downright disastrous, but there’s no need to panic. If you want your ERP implementation to go smoothly, you just have to make the right moves. Here are our top 5 to get you started.
1. Use your pre-ERP period to check up on your existing system
Like any major upgrade/overhaul, switching to an ERP is being done for a reason: the existing system could use some improvement. With improvement being the key word, you can use the pre-installation period to analyze exactly what the problems have been with your existing model. Using that knowledge is the way to make sure your ERP removes the issues, rather than simply streamlining the inefficiencies.
Pre-ERP is a great opportunity to speak to an IT professional about ensuring your upgrade does exactly what your specific needs demand and prevents budget overruns through faulty implementation. Not only can they help tailor things to your requirements, IT pros can provide training and guidance on how to get the most out of ERPs. It can be a long road to full installation (up to two years, company size depending), so use the time wisely.
2. Let everyone know it’s there
This brings us to a follow-up point. The ERP is there to unify operations, but it can’t do that unless every department is on board with it. When we say on board, we don’t just mean aware that it exists. Every rung of your business personnel ladder needs brought up to speed with what they can do with an ERP. More importantly, each department can submit valuable input at the decision-making stage as to what kind of tasks and features they’d like.
3. Appoint strong ERP project leaders
The above step is best carried out by putting the right people in charge of overseeing the process and relaying between departments. The surest way to succeed here is to choose a strong rep from every department involved and have them report to an overall ERP team leader. This will keep inter-departmental communications flowing and improve risk management.
4. Consider the cloud
One of the benefits of a cloud-based system is reducing the need for physical storage. On-site servers become unnecessary, as does the financial outlay to buy that equipment. ERPs that utilize the cloud (these are also sometimes called SaaS or Software as a Service) are therefore both money and space savers. This method can save time, too; cloud-based solution providers can be valuable members of your ERP team and may knock months off ERP installation time.
5. Keep it current
It may be tempting after the effort and expense of installing an ERP to call the job complete. In reality, technology is always advancing, and today’s cutting edge is tomorrow’s obsolete model. Make sure you maintain and update your system regularly. Not only will it keep you running like clockwork, it will help keep hackers and other tech criminals on the run, because up to date systems mean up to date security.
Make the most of your ERP project
With the proper pre-installation consultation, realistic budgeting, sensible time-framing and consistent cross-departmental communication, ERP implementation needn’t be a headache. A few common-sense steps will unify your entire business chain and put the power of company and customer data at your fingertips.
At Consultis, we’ve been delivering first-class IT workforce solutions since 1984. Our Project Solution Services can help you find the perfect IT talent to implement your next technology project, ensuring it stays on track and on budget. Contact us to find out how we can help your organization move to the next level.