ERP Implementation Best Practices
Implementing ERP manufacturing software is a time-consuming initiative that requires considerable organizational investment and commitment. Delays and unexpected expenses are often all too common. In fact, according to the annual report of the state of ERP worldwide by the Panorama Consulting Service, 54% of ERP software implementations take longer than expected and 56% of those ERP implementations exceed budgeted costs.
However, these findings are not due to issues inherent with the ERP software itself, but related to how companies implement and adapt the ERP system. Delays and costly setbacks can be avoided by developing a clear organizational implementation strategy.
Here are 5 best practices to ensure a successful ERP implementation:
- Develop a plan with clear goals and objectives. There is no substitute for early and careful planning. In fact, not having a clear plan mapped out before diving into an ERP implementation will likely result in costly delays. Begin this initiative by having each department and/or business process define deliverables and goals they want to achieve. Then develop an organizational strategy based around accomplishing those objectives.
- Gain internal support and commitment. Implementing an ERP manufacturing software system requires support and collaboration among all departments and processes within your organization. Ensure that executives and employees who will use the ERP system understand why you are implementing the system. Not having full commitment may cause unnecessary setbacks, costing your business precious time and money.
- Select the right software. There are many ERP vendors and software options to evaluate. Focus on selecting an ERP software that best matches your unique objectives. In addition to the software, be sure to also consider references, vendor training, and on-going support offerings.
- Allocate sufficient resources. ERP manufacturing software is an investment that requires a significant financial and managerial commitment. Allocate the necessary financial resources for the software as well as quality training. Dedicate an ERP implementation project manager to oversee the planning, implementation and management of the ERP system, and be sure that this person knows your business and has the respect of management and all ERP team members.
- Emphasize training and support. Training is one of the most critical phases in your ERP initiative because a lack of full and active adoption is a common barrier to ERP payback. Consult with your ERP vendor regarding the best training and support package for your business. Make certain they provide highly skilled consultants to train your employees on daily use of the ERP manufacturing software and offer on-going support. Do not underestimate the value of quality training and support—this is not an area to cut costs.