Implementing a new ERP solution can seem like a daunting project. And while it certainly isn’t something to take on lightly, choosing the right partner can significantly ease and accelerate the entire process.
Whether it’s your organization’s first step into ERP, or you’re upgrading from a legacy system to one that’s better suited to meet your modern business challenges, it will be an investment of time and personnel to ensure that everything is smoothly rolled out. But don’t fret, your implementation partner will be there with you every step of the way.
There is a lot to evaluate when implementing your first ERP solution. Without a list of what you’re trying to accomplish and what’s required to accomplish it – both for your industry vertical and your particular organization – you could spend months focusing on flashy marketing or plan pricing, neither of which usually tells the full story about whether a solution would actually be a practical fit for your employees.
For example: What are your biggest challenges, and the critical processes that must be addressed to overcome them? How do these processes affect the customer experience? What other applications do you regularly rely on and expect to integrate with your ERP system?
Consider if you already use Dynamics CRM or apps like Office 365 or Azure, as it would instantly make Dynamics a more natural choice than something like NetSuite. From a functional perspective, look beyond the price tag and consider what you will need from your ERP solution on a day-to-day basis.
2) Find an experienced ERP implementation partner
Project management is a critical component of any successful ERP implementation. Your partner should be capable of working with you to activate and coordinate the roles required in both organizations to see the project through, on schedule. Who you choose to help you with your ERP implementation can make all the difference in the project’s success.
What certifications, credentials and past success stories does the partner have under its belt?
What specific services (e.g., consulting, customizations, ongoing support, training, etc.) can it provide?
An ERP solution is not something you want to push live before it’s ready. The transactional and operational processes that ERP supports are likely the backbone of your business, so you cannot afford for a poor rollout (especially during a busy season). As a result, you should trust a partner with plenty of experience, who can foresee potential issues before they occur and fully test the solution functionality with your team.
Running through these tests helps avoid surprises. Is an integration broken? Do the different tools for document management, data storage and other components work well in tandem? You should be able to answer these questions confidently before going live with your ERP system.
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