With many Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms offered today, a business owner might find it difficult to know which one is right for the company’s needs. These platforms are not one-size-fits-all applications, which is why there are many failed adoptions. The platform needs to make business operations more efficient while helping the company stay ahead of the competition.
For this reason, many companies choose to bring in a professional to help with the selection process. What does every business need to know about choosing and implementing an ERP?
What is an ERP System?
ERP systems bring together software and tools to help a business streamline, standardize, and integrate operations throughout the organization. Each solution uses an integrated platform and one database to achieve this goal. This allows for cross-functional visibility. Once the system is in place, every member of the organization may analyze workflows and find areas where efficiency can be improved. Real-time reporting allows for improved decision-making. Finding the right solution is key, however, and Technology Evaluation Centers can help with this.
Choosing an ERP System
Before looking at ERP systems, a business must know what it needs from a program of this type. List all requirements for the program and begin evaluating different solutions. Consider using a grading system to make the process easier. Evaluate programs based on the initial cost, ongoing fees, scalability of the system, how easy the program is to learn, and more.
Reach out to vendors whose programs meet the company’s requirements and fit the budget. Set up a time for each vendor to demonstrate their program. Before these demonstrations, have a list of tasks the vendor can complete using the system. This makes it easy to compare the programs and see which one best meets the needs of the company.
Before making a final decision, review the grading system to ensure the program offers everything that is needed in the system. Contact references provided by the vendor and read reviews of the software. This ensures the proper choice is made.
Implementing the ERP System
Three-quarters of all ERP implementations fail to stay on budget or schedule. This may lead to implementation failure. This task does not need to be overwhelming. Those responsible for the implementation must prepare for success.
Create an implementation plan, detailing every step of the process. Ensure the existing infrastructure can handle the software and bring together a team to handle the process. Conduct regular meetings to ensure the implementation stays on schedule and within budget. Any issues that arise can be addressed promptly to keep the project on track.
Keep employees informed about the status of the project and get them involved. They will develop a sense of ownership and work to make the implementation successful. Ongoing training is of great help with this, and the training should vary based on the role of the user or the department.
Consider Hiring an Implementation Expert
Many companies hire an ERP implementation expert to help with this process. The implementation expert offers personalized service throughout each stage of the process, which increases the odds of success. This expert will help train employees, offer personalized coaching, and provide ongoing support. This will help ensure the company gets the best return on investment.
Choosing and implementing the ERP system is only part of the process. The company must also monitor progress once it is in place. Updates must be completed in a timely manner, and the company needs to determine if the system should be expanded over time. Ongoing training is also beneficial for companies to ensure the system is used fully.
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