How Will a New Financial System Impact Your Operations and Resources? – Evaluating a New ERP System Checklist Item #1

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When choosing a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) or management information system for your organization, several factors must be taken into account to ensure that you pick one that fits your desired processes as well as your long-term goals and vision. A critical aspect in the implementation and to ensure the adoption of your new system is to evaluate how your staff members and their daily tasks will be impacted by the system change.

One element to consider is how the new system will affect your different groups and departments and how it can improve their day-to-day operations. If your users don’t see the value in the new system, the adoption rate will lag and the success of the project could be in jeopardy.

Here are some questions you should ask to gauge the usability of any potential system and its impact on your resources and their tasks:

  • Does the system work with tools your team is already familiar with?
    By finding a solution that integrates to the tools that your resources are already using on a daily basis, you increase the chances of having a smooth implementation and easing the transition. Your resources will also be more likely to embrace the new system if the learning curve is not too steep, which will improve your user adoption rate.
  • Will you have to drastically adapt your business processes to the system?
    The system should be flexible enough to accommodate your current business processes and add new ones as your organization evolves. If that’s not possible, try to get an idea of how your processes will have to be adapted to better measure the impact on your operations and the training necessary to get your resources up to speed.
  • Will it reduce the number of steps required to perform specific tasks?
    Your new system should streamline your processes and allow your resources to perform their tasks more easily and more quickly—otherwise, what’s the point? You may also want to consider an integrated solution, which will centralize your information and processes, thereby avoiding double entries and facilitating the flow of data between your various resources and departments.
  • Which operations or departments will be impacted and for how long?
    It is important to have an idea of what departments and tasks will be affected during the transition to the new system in order to figure out ways to keep your operations rolling throughout the entire implementation process.
  • Does the system favor a phased implementation?
    An implementation by phases will limit the impact on your organization by ensuring that not all teams and operations are slowed down at the same time as they learn to use the new system. By starting simple and adding additional processes or features later on, this will help with user adoption as employees have the time to adapt to the new application and/or process before learning another.

A system that is intuitive and user friendly brings concrete benefits to your organization. The faster your resources learn to use the new system, the faster they can exploit its capabilities to the fullest and resume their day-to-day tasks with increased productivity, which in turn will increase your company’s ROI. Furthermore, they are more likely to adopt the new system if it looks and feels similar to applications already familiar to them, reducing the number of training hours and associated costs.

The impact on your operations and resources is just one aspect to consider when trying to decide what management information system would most benefit your organization. Plenty of other factors should be considered before taking the plunge. Read our complete eBook Choosing a Management Information System: An Evaluation Checklist to find out more.

By JOVACO Solutions, Microsoft Dynamics GP implementation specialist in Quebec

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