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Ken Jacobsen, The TM Group Inc.

Business Leaders Have To Do Their Part for Successful ERP Implementations


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business-leaders-need-to-play-a-part-in-erp-implementations_1725_40010990_0_14109374_500-300x200The implementation of an enterprise resource planning system, whether for the first time at a new company or as a replacement for a legacy system, is a major effort that involves all parts of a business. From the initial decision to use a new ERP system to the ongoing use and occasional updates of the platform after it's been put into place, the company needs a widespread organizational commitment to best practices and correct use. For business leaders, who always have full plates when it comes to managing operations, special attention has to be paid to an ERP implementation project. While it can mean some extra work for a short period of time, the involvement of company leaders in an implementation will lead to better outcomes.

What exactly is the company looking for?
One of the first questions that has to be asked by business leaders involved in an ERP implementation is related to the ultimate goals of a new system. In essence, businesses have to determine what they expect to get from a new system, in terms of both absolute needs and potential new benefits. These findings, along with other information about a business and the way it operates, are valuable for the ERP partner working with a business to successfully install a new system. Because there are so many options available on the market, having an understanding of wants, needs and operations will help in the selection of the right system for a company. Business leaders can help in this area by working with staff selected to be on the implementation team, making sure that the necessary information is gathered from each operational area and conflicts or contradictions are quickly and accurately resolved.

What are the potential solutions available?
Not all ERP is created for the same purpose. Different platforms can mean the difference between great, in-depth functionality with the potential for great return on investment and a struggle to get the system to meet the needs of a business. In the end, business leaders are the ones making the high-level decisions, such as choosing an ERP partner and acting on the advice of that partner to select a system. The advice of a top-flight partner is needed in many areas of implementation, including choosing the right platform. Business leaders also need to play a part in this area, requesting information and highlighting unique circumstances that may affect usefulness or effectiveness as is appropriate.

Is a system in place to measure results?
CIO.com pointed to the measurement of results as vastly important for the overall effectiveness of a new ERP system. While working with a top-flight ERP partner and effective documentation in the right areas make a large, positive impact, there needs to be a system in place to measure results after the implementation phase is over and staff members are using the system regularly. Deciding on the right metrics for measuring effectiveness is important, and they need to be set clearly in advance of being measured. Business leaders should be involved in the creation and standardization of metrics because they provide the steady hand and calming influence that's needed in such a situation. Tracking system performance, as well as the opinions of the staff members using it, can also help when it comes time to update or upgrade a given system. A strong system that can measure the effectiveness of ERP makes it easier to determine ROI and make decisions related to the future of the system as well.

Do you have the right partner?

Just as important as picking the right ERP system is picking the right partner. At The TM Group, we'd even argue that the partner choice is actually more important than the ERP solution choice. Visit our website and contact us at 888-482-2864 to learn more about how we've helped hundreds of clients with their ERP implementations since 1984.

by The TM Group

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