Make Your Software Project a Success
Real-time visibility, process automation, and customer service improvements are only a few of the benefits of implementing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. But software costs money, and businesses rarely have excess lying around. That’s why we recommend incorporating ERP implementation best practices. In this way, your business can maximize ROI to justify software spending.
Here are few of these critical implementation best practices:
1. Objectives and Requirements
You can’t just wing an ERP implementation. With so many vendors, modules, and features to consider, you'll only gain the right solution if you thoroughly understand your software requirements from the start. If new ideas come to mind throughout your implementation, your project will grow beyond your capacity and resources, putting your investment at risk. The best approach is to nail down your goals from the jump, so you can put together a solid plan.
This stage requires you to undergo business process modeling. Thoroughly document your processes to identify performance gaps and prioritize the areas that need the most improvement. Leverage this information to establish goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). For example, if you expect your software to reduce machine downtime, track your equipment’s performance using your new ERP instance. Pinning down clear, realistic project goals will help you keep the implementation on track and gain the ideal solution for your enterprise.
2. C-Suite Support
Without C-level support, ERP implementations are doomed before they even get off the ground. However, thorough research of the benefits of ERP and a compelling business case can transform the C-Suite into software advocates, providing the necessary resources to ensure a smooth implementation process.
C-level executives want to make money—not spend it. Therefore, convincing the C-Suite to back an ERP implementation can prove a little tricky. Employees or IT personnel might recognize inefficiencies or problems within their system and recognize the value a new ERP solution would provide, but executives might not see that. However, for ERP project success, the C-Suite needs to be on board. We often find that implementations get derailed when executives are on the sidelines. They play a critical role in managing progress, defining expectations, building enterprise-wide trust, and financing the project.
3. Organizational Change Management
Humans love their routine—it’s just one of the basic facts of life. Once we’ve found a way we like to do things, it’s hard for us to change our approach. This makes the implementation and subsequent user adoption of ERP software a huge task within a business. The enterprise-wide systems represent a huge change for employees, with both their day-to-day tasks and the wider business processes.
There's a strong possibility that several users will resist the software. This kind of resistance will translate into poor usage of your new system as employees fall back into their old ways of tracking and management. The software requires full input of company data to be successful, and that requires full acceptance from your team. Low user adoption is one of the biggest enemies to a new ERP project and an easy way to guarantee that you won’t be seeing the results and ROI you expected. To put it bluntly, poor adoption leads to all-out project failure. That’s why a structured ERP change management strategy is necessary to your project’s success.
4. Get Outside Help
Businesses often run into trouble when they attempt to implement ERP on their own. SMBs rarely have enough IT personnel to manage the project along with their regular workload. Even enterprises with a substantial IT department tend to lack expertise in ERP software. Consultants fill the holes in your implementation process. By having experience not only with enterprise software but also with your specific industry and business process, they can incorporate best practices that will ensure you implement software that will improve your business and achieve maximum ROI.
ERP success hinges even more on your ability to execute modern best practices than on the system you select. That’s why businesses shouldn’t cut corners in their ERP implementation strategy. They also don’t have to undergo the process alone.
Datix, an Infor partner and Epicor® expert, has provided ERP solutions and services for over 20 years. Using our methodology, we adhere closely to best practices and prioritize each client’s unique business needs. When our clients need implementation, integration, upgrade, or customization, our expert consultants deliver optimal support from start to finish.
Ready to learn more about ERP implementation or Datix’s other exciting enterprise software solutions? Contact one of our expert consultants today!