The timeline of installing ERP systems can be an average of eighteen months to fully implement. This timeline commonly applies to mid-market tier one ERP systems, but they can, if you adhere to the principles listed below, be implemented in 45 days or less.
1. Install the software out of the box
To install a tier one system you spend significant amounts of time going through extensive requirements gathering sessions. If there are mission-critical items missing in your preferred choice, you are probably not a candidate for this approach or you have selected the wrong system.
2. Pick an industry-specific package, if possible
This makes installing a system out of the box much more possible and ensures your company will gain the maximum benefits in the least amount of time. Choosing the right partner for your industry means they will understand your business and the requirements gathering and setup time will be significantly reduced.
3. Utilize industry templates
The better systems in combination with forward-thinking partners will have come up with a highly organized approach that carefully outlines the requirements of the customer and the implementation partner. Industry templates will already have been set up and default project plans prepared. Requirements gathering is greatly simplified and the implementation turns customization into configuration. Importtemplates are all ready to go.
4. One-click Cloud solutions
An exciting development that has become possible with Microsoft Azure, as an example, allows new production environments to be easily set up and rolled out to customers through the use of a one-click setup process, which works exceptionally well if you adhere to the first three principles here. Literally clicking on a link during setup will provision the environment in Microsoft Azure ready to start the implementation process. With some systems, staff can have a choice of clients including local Windows clients, web browsers, or SharePoint.
5. Free up time for your staff to participate
A research project studying implementation projects and carried out by Deloitte many years ago stated that 50% of the cost of an IT systems project was attributed to internal costs. While this may have been more attributable to Enterprise level corporations, the need for internal staff availability is true for any size of implementation project. Otherwise, even for a mid-market system, you will find yourselves on a three to four month schedule.
Implementing a mid-market ERP system in 45 days or less is legitimately possible if you adhere to these five principles. It has the dual benefits of reducing the stress on your people, assuming you have freed up time for the staff to participate, and because of the reduced effort from the external implementation team, you can significantly reduce your services bill.
By Malcolm Roach, CEO of Open Door Technology Inc., a Microsoft Gold-certified ERP Implementation partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Dynamics CRM.
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