Many ERP implementations begin long before the software is ever installed on any servers. In Part 1 of this series, we looked at some of the ways companies fail in the early stages and some of the ways you can avoid those failures. In Part 2 we will assume that you have survived the planning phase and are ready to introduce your ERP system to your organization. Here are more tips from
4) Expect Results Not Miracles
Most ERP vendors will leave you with the impression that their software will transform your company overnight into the business of your dreams. The reality is that it may take a while to even see tangible results. Make sure you document every step of the process. In many cases, ERP failures are actually the failures of the business rather than the software. Likewise, real success will only be realized when the people involved make it happen.
5) Make a List. Check it Twice
The only way to recognize actual success is to measure it effectively. Just as every company should have an evaluation system in place to track and measure growth, so too should your ERP implementation. If you expect your inventory turnover to increase by 10 percent, you need an effective method for measuring that and also determining how much of that increase is actually the result of ERP improvements.
6) Don't Get Carried Away
Your new ERP system, assuming it is a good one, will give you the ability to dissect the most minuscule detail of your sales, services, manufacturing, or whatever it is you do. You could conceivably put every aspect of your business process under a microscope and analyze it to death, but you must keep in mind that if you want to analyze more data, someone has to input more data.
You may want expense reports and other detailed reports on every minor detail, but that still requires an actual human being to input all of it and analyze the reports. Just because you can do something does not always mean that you should. Focus on the key areas of concern first, and make sure you have those reports before you start getting into too many details.
7) Use Decision-Based Reporting
Any information you collect should have a purpose. It should help you make a decision. Otherwise, you are just arranging numbers because they look pretty. A pie chart on inventory turns will not help you make a decision in the long run. Instead, you should have a chart that shows the progression of inventory turns over time and the projected inventory turns of the future. Then, you can make an informed decision about what to do next. You should not simply use your ERP system to impress people. Use it to effect change.
8) Be Prepared
As you move forward with your ERP implementation, you need to be prepared for the highs and lows. If you have prepared well, your ERP system will fit your company like a glove, and you can use that glove to get real work done. That is the ultimate goal: to improve the work you do and to achieve sustainable and demonstrable results.