Monday, 22 June 2015

Five Steps To Successful ERP Implementation

Tougher competition in the marketplace is generating the need to better optimize resources, improve profitability and keep customers satisfied. Companies are increasingly implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solutions to improve operations and provide faster customer response. Choosing an ERP solution that meets your specific business requirements will enable you
to have a smoother implementation. If the software package is written for your industry, you won’t have to custom design a solution. Customized solutions are time consuming to implement and add unnecessary cost. One of the top reasons ERP implementations fail is because the software doesn’t meet basic industry specific business requirements. However; purchasing an ERP application is only half the battle. A well designed implementation plan is the key to success.

• Assign a project team.
• Examine current business processes and information flow.
• Set objectives.
• Develop a project plan.
Project team: Assign a project team with employees from sales, customer service,
accounting, purchasing, operations and senior management. Each team member should be
committed to the success of the project and accountable for specific tasks, i.e. developing a
timeline, finalizing objectives, formulating a training plan. Make sure you include first line
workers as well as management on your team. Base the selection on the knowledge of the
team not status of the employee.
Examine current business processes: Have the team perform an analysis on which business
processes should be improved. Gather copies of key documents such as invoices, batch
tickets and bill of lading for the analysis. To start the team discussion, consider questions
such as: Are your procedures up to date? Are there processes that could be automated? Are
personnel spending overtime processing orders? Does your sales force and customer service
personnel have real-time access to customer information? The team members should also
conduct interviews with key personnel to uncover additional areas of improvement needed.
Set objectives: The objectives should be clearly defined prior to implementing the ERP
solution. ERP systems are massive and you won’t be able to implement every function. You
need to define the scope of implementation. Ideally, the scope should be all inclusive. But
practically, it is very difficult to implement. Examples of objectives would include: Does the
solution reduce backlogs? Can the solution improve on-time deliveries? Will you be able to
increase production yields?
Develop a project plan: The team should develop a project plan which includes previously
defined goals and objectives, timelines, training procedures, as well as individual team
responsibilities. The end result of the project plan should be a “to do” list for each project
team member.
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