How to Stick to Your ERP Deadline and Budget
The title sounds too good to be true, right? You've probably read your share of ERP failure stories, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t also an abundance of success stories. In fact, a study this year found that 88% of organizations achieve successful ERP implementations. Like any project, implementing ERP on time and within your budget requires due diligence. When you follow best practices, develop a plan and get some expert help, you can deploy your software solution without incurring extra costs and delays. Best of all, once it's live, your ERP will deliver end-to-end business improvements. By following our tips, you can meet deadlines and budgets in your ERP implementation project.
Map Business Processes
Never forget that business processes are more important than software. No matter how great your software is, if the system doesn’t correspond with your operations or support your goals, it will be unusable for your company. Maybe your company will go customization crazy, adding unnecessary features that slow down systems and confuse users. Or maybe you'll forgo necessary customizations, resulting in an out-of-the-box solution that fails to meet specific business needs. In either case, the project team will fail to meet deadlines as they constantly tweak the program. On top of that, with that wasted time comes wasted money.
When defining business process models, don’t leave any stone unturned. Take a careful look at processes throughout the enterprise by talking to employees about daily routines and sources of bottlenecks. As you discuss each user’s needs, you’ll learn which type of reporting and dashboard capabilities to install, discover the procedures which could benefit from automation and determine how data should be utilized. It might seem like business process modeling would add extra time on to your implementation, but it actually ensures that you won't waste time on unnecessary tasks. Businesses that map their processes thoroughly are more likely to gain an on-time, on-budget implementation that boosts each user’s productivity.
Schedule and Budget Realistically
You can’t stay within your budget and schedule if they aren’t feasible in the first place, so conduct thorough research and understand the details of your ERP implementation project to set realistic goals. When creating the timeline and budget for your project, consider three crucial factors: 1. the amount of time it took similar organizations to implement their systems; 2. the complexity of your new system; and 3. the complexity of your business processes.
Finding the average ERP implementation duration for businesses of comparable size and in the same industry can serve as a helpful starting point in building your schedule. Customization requirements and the number of modules and locations are among the many considerations which will determine the go-live date. Your business processes, including supply chain complexity and level of standardization, also impact the project duration. These factors contribute to the budget as well. The more intricate your new system and business processes, the more your implementation will cost.
Unfortunately, unexpected issues can arise, increasing costs and slowing down your progress. However, as long as you take a thorough, realistic approach to creating the schedule and budget and build in some wiggle room to cover any surprising circumstances, you can still launch your system by the scheduled date without surpassing the budget.
Find a Trusted ERP Consultant
Setting realistic goals and mapping business processes shouldn't be done alone. Certified consultants bring an outsider perspective to your project, helping you uncover inefficiencies in your processes that you never even noticed. They have the knowledge to develop an air-tight project plan designed to give you an ERP solution that improves your business performance. They also understand ERP best practices, mitigating risk throughout the implementation to help you avoid unexpected delays and costs. Consultants know what it takes to implement software in line with business goals, budgets and deadlines.
But not just any consultant will do. Consultants shouldn't just be an expert in the software; they should also know your industry. Seek out consultants with experience in successfully implementing ERP for businesses similar to yours. Request recommendations and ask relevant questions to make sure you're selecting the right partner.
ERP projects have a reputation for becoming bloated and expensive, but with the right plan and the right guidance, you can implement a solution that generates ROI and helps you meet business goals. Epicor ERP includes comprehensive modules and cutting-edge features designed to elevate manufacturing and distribution performance. A successful implementation of Epicor sets the foundation for enterprise growth.
As an Epicor Gold Partner, Datix has the ERP expertise to deliver reliable solutions within your timeline and budget. For over 20 years, we've executed countless Epicor projects for manufacturers and distributors across multiple industries. We also developed our Epicor fixed fee implementation packages to enable clients to rapidly gain a robust solution at a set price. With a fixed fee implementation, there are no surprises and no horror stories. The scope, cost and schedule are clearly defined, so you can see results in no time.
Have more questions about ERP? Reach out to Datix today!