4 Guidelines for Effective ERP Implementation

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An ERP solution should work to help your business understand and make better use of all of the many signals coming into your business which can then be used to reduce complexity, implement new social and mobile strategies, and support the overall growth of your organization.

If implementing a modern ERP solution can help your business to accomplish all this and more, why is the number one most commonly used ERP system just a simple Excel spreadsheet?

If you are using an ERP system that is more than seven years old, you might find yourself having an extremely difficult time understanding your data and technology which ultimately ends up costing you a lot of money in the long run.

Discover if your business is ready to move to a modern ERP solution - get the "Is Your Business Ready for ERP?" Report here.

As you take on the task of choosing and implementing a new ERP system, there are four common guidelines you should take into account:

  1. Project Alignment and Change Management

Most project problems that arise can all be traced back to a misalignment between goals, expectations, and reality. You need to have perfect alignment starting with your executive team that runs throughout the project team, timeline, budget, and overall scope of the project. And this needs to happen early. Executives and team leaders should be well versed in the ERP technology to provide guidance or else your project will undoubtedly face problems. Know how to and be prepared to manage change by eliminating waste, empower your team to be more productive, and get the right information to the right people in a timely manner. Good change management starts with finding and communicating the value of change to everyone in your organization.

  1. Understand Your Processes

Process mapping consists of laying out all of the processes that take place and each step within each process of your business. Map your process to focus on what you do, why you do it, and what you need to change to improve. With this more visual understanding of your current state, you can better plan for how you are going to reach your desired future state. Define the value of change you want to see so you can effectively communicate it to the rest of your business and get them on board early.

  1. Vertical Industry Focus

There are many vertical industries that have distinct variations within their processes. Each of these different areas of focus are addressed by different ERP strategies. Simplify your search for the right solution for your business by learning what vendors focus on your specific needs. This will help you to avoid dead ends in your search and help you find the best fit for your business.

  1. Vendor Partnership

Now it is time for you to come down to your final decision. It is so important for you to establish a close relationship with your ERP vendor who understands and specialized in your particular industry needs. You and your vendor should be able to work together and communicate well in order for your implementation to be a success.

Above and beyond these 4 guidelines, one of the greatest factors in the success or failure of your ERP implementation is the partner with which you choose to work.  Your ERP partner will affect each of these other 4 elements and ultimately make or break your project.  For more information on this topic, read our 2 part series:

What a Difference a Partner Makes - Part 1

What a Difference a Partner Makes - Part 2

By Socius, an Ohio ERP Partner (www.socius1.com)

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