Do you know 55% to 75% of ERP implementation projects do not succeed?
In fact, as per a study, 57% of enterprises end up taking more time than expected, and 54% go over budget. 60% face data integration and fetching issues. 37% of the total businesses find it very tough to train their employees to use it.
So you must be thinking—what are the benefits of taking the pain and risk?
Well, the deployment of Enterprise Resource Planning systems can streamline your operations, improve customer engagement, and revolutionize the business overall.
ERP can help you in significant cost savings, improving the cash flow, perfecting the business reporting, tightening the enterprise security, automating business processes, handle supply chain tasks smoothly, and a lot more. However, this task is not random.
You first need to plan everything well and then deploy the ERP System implementation strategically. In this definitive guide, we will tell you how to implement it well.
Preparation For Implementing ERP Solutions
Challenges for every business are different, and so are their solutions. So, first of all, you must know what you actually need and what you are trying to achieve through it. List down all needs and see which all third-party integrations you will need in the process.
Thereafter, your business must think of a budget and timeline for the implementation process.
Though you should set realistic timelines and monetary limits, be prepared for extension in both. Having extra time and money in hand will ensure that added needs won’t cause the failure of your project.
Data migration and security implementation planning must be done well in advance too.
In the end, be prepared for the challenges and try to solve them calmly. Set benchmarks for your overall process to see if everything is going in the right direction or not. Needless to say, it is essential to involve ERP implementation experts at every step of ERP implementation.
ERP Implementation Steps
1. Research and Team Finalization
As a business owner or someone handling the ERP implementation in your enterprises, you cannot be the jack of all trades. So, built a good team that could handle the deployment from beginning to end.
Project manager, executive, development experts, quality assurance specialists, testing professionals, and analysts are a few user roles that are essential for your process. Also, make sure that your team is capable to document the process throughout too.
Once the team is finalized, brainstorm about your requirements and consult the team about what kind of system will be suitable for your needs. If you are upgrading your existing ERP, mark the areas of improvement and up-gradation aids.
Think about the existing bottlenecks for your organization and future challenges that your business might face in terms of operating. Keeping it all in mind will help you think of a future-proof ERP implementation from the very beginning.
Your selected ERP service provider and your own team need to examine the existing implementations to understand the level of efforts needed in migrating data and processes. That will be done at this step.
Share your purpose of ERP implementation, your vision, timeline, and other essential details so that they could sketch out the budget and project plan.
3. Project Strategizing and Budgeting
The investment in the ERP software implementation process can vary. In fact, your budget plays an important role in the determination of the extent of customization. For example, enterprises with a very high budget would want to move ahead will a custom solution, while a low budget will make the businesses choose the ‘ERP plus customization’ path.
Therefore project planning, process finalization, and budgeting should move ahead together during the ERP deployment process.
Not to forget, after the discovery procedure, this step requires a deeper analysis of requirements. The final strategy should have the blueprint of the overall process till the post-deployment needs. It should not exclude employee training planning.
4. ERP System Building
As per the plan prepared at the previous step, this step will be all about ERP system development for your enterprise. Whether a modular, off-the-shelf solution of a custom system, an ERP requires to be prepared for implementation.
Your ERP solution provider will handle it as per the planning and discussion that happened in the previous steps.
As per your industry and business requirements, your off-the-shelf ERP might still need some personalization. For the custom ERP solution, it is probable that you have a few more requests from developers after seeing the system work. That can be handled in the customization step.
6. Preparing for Migration
This step requires you to convert the data and processes in a format that your new/upgraded ERP system could accept and utilize during operation. During the process, make sure to handle operations in a way that data loss is minimal, and try minimizing the efforts being put.
To deploy a final release that is stable, enterprises must test their ERP system prior to the final deployment. It helps in preventing problems, eliminating bugs, and ensuring a smooth transition.
Now that your ERP system will be live and in use soon, it is essential to provide adequate training to your employees. You must:
- Ask as many questions as you want to ask from your ERP solution provider
- Explain everything to your employees through training sessions regarding using the ERP
- Encourage people to work on the new system and shun old processes
9. Final Deployment
This step may excite you, as well as make you and your team nervous. System deployment, third-party integrations, data import, and a lot more have to be done at this step. Choose the least busy time for ERP deployment to avoid extra troubles.
10. Maintenance and Support
To keep your system up to date and future-proof, make sure to routinely maintain it and upgrade its components as needed. You may have an in-house team or let your ERP service provider do the same through managed services if they could provide them.
Whether deploying a whole new ERP system or updating your ERP, the success of doing it will improve your productivity. ERP will simplify operations for your employees and will make your day-to-day processes hassle-free. To reduce the post-implementation risks and to leverage its full potential, businesses must pay special attention to the data migration and employee training part.