Implementing a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can be an intimidating thought but if you feel the limitations of your current solutions then you have no other choice but to react. Despite concerning statistics of an estimated 60% of ERP projects failing, it is mainly due to poor planning and bad implementation.
Find the Problem
The best strategy is worthless if you do not know what problem you want to solve. To effectively optimize processes it is important to find the flaws in the system. Sometimes it can be something obvious like faster communication or easier collaboration. In other cases the problem could be inefficiencies in the production chain and logistics, in any case the first course of action is analyzing all processes and identifying bottlenecks.
Define Your Goals
To be successful it is necessary to define what success is. To reach your goals you have to know what they are. Quantifying success in defining it in measurable units will reduce the risk of failure. It all boils down to being more efficient and that is usually measured in time or money.
Evaluate Your Current System
To optimize a system you should know the shortcomings of the current system. There are two benefits in a detailed assessment of your current system’s capabilities. On the one hand you get a better idea of what needs to be optimized and how, and on the other, you know what systems work fine and can be integrated into the new ERP solution. There is no need to fix what is not broken.
Not understanding your current system can also jeopardize a successful implementation of a new ERP system. Unnecessary delays and expenses are a common cause of project failures.
Develope the Right Strategy
Depending on the size of your project, the process management can get quite complicated with the need to integrate disparate systems, departments and locations into a coherent system.
Due to the complexity of ERP solutions wrong choices can have long term implications. Microsoft, for example, offers numerous integration options so they actually advise that you develop a Microsoft Dynamics ERP strategy before implementation. You might opt for a custom solution that might be more attractive at the beginning but will be difficult to upgrade to future versions, inhibiting your flexibility and growth.
Master the New System
You can have the fastest car on the track, but if you do not know how to drive it you will lose every race. It is imperative that you know how your new system functions and its capabilities. This is both important in the planning phase and in the actual implementation.
Often a perceived failure is actually the inability of employees to use the software properly. A skilled and well-trained team that knows the software inside and out will help get the most out of the software during the planning and implementation, and help train employees for a smooth integration into the company’s business processes. The majority of ERP systems of large international network of vendor that offer the necessary training and support.
Business processes are complicated, integrating software applications to manage these processes is not an easy task. The best guarantee for a successful implementation is proper planning that needs a precise understanding of the system that has to be managed.