Implementation costs are tricky to account for because of the magnitude of the project. The process can also vary greatly for every company. Here are a few areas you'll need to be cautious of before diving into your implementation project. Spending a little extra time before the implementation can save you a lot of time, stress, and money at the end of the day.
Don’t sweat the small stuff: Many software solutions are scalable and flexible right out-of-the-box, such as Microsoft Dynamics® GP. However, sometimes you have a specific business operation or critical data that you need to capture which might require a little tweaking of the software. Again, most software solutions are easily customizable and there are boutique add-ons readily available. However, businesses quickly get fixated on addressing every nuance and think they need all sorts of bells-and-whistles. Don’t waste resources on customizations that are really unnecessary. Each day that pushes back implementation will cost you time and money, as well as delay your return on investment. Discuss and plan out your software needs thoroughly, but don’t go overboard. The ERP software solution was designed to work as it stands.
Tag the team early on: Your employees are going to be using the ERP software so why not get them involved in the planning stages? Find out what data they capture now and make sure it coordinates with your software choice. If the right data isn’t being captured by your software or if the wrong data is being captured, then your software isn’t going to provide you with meaningful data. It’s better to find this out before implementation, rather than afterwards when you have to make fixes or start all over again. Also, getting your team involved early will promote confidence that the software will make their jobs easier and improve their productivity. When employees are afraid of the software or think it will make their jobs harder, they won’t use it – which also diminishes the accuracy and usefulness of the data.
Don’t forget the post-party: Of course you are going to train your staff on how to use your ERP software solution when it goes live. You will also require training when you hire new employees and when there are software fixes or upgrades that need to be made. You may also need your software vendor to guide you through those bug fixes or upgrades, as well as to provide training on new functionalities. The party isn’t over after you go live with the software. Be prepared to address future training needs and budget for software upgrades.