It’s not every day that your company implements a new or updated ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution. Because your choice of ERP solutions is strategically important to the success of your business, no doubt you put a lot of thought into it. You’ve probably chosen a modern, feature-rich ERP solution, such as
Choosing the right implementation partner and team are just as important as choosing the software brand. Also important is having a solid plan so you can avoid the pitfalls that derail some ERP implementation projects.
Building Your ERP Project Team
Your new or updated ERP solution will affect the day to day workings of your entire company. That is why your implementation project team should be made up of carefully selected members. You’ll need an executive sponsor, a strong leader, power users as well as clear objectives and sufficient budget and resources to successfully complete the job.
Strong leadership with decision-making authority is essential to keeping the project on track, on time, and on budget. However, your executives may not be the ones who will depend on the ERP solution to do their jobs day in and day out. So, most of your team members should come from your user community. Power users who can learn the software and then act as coaches for others will save a lot of time and frustration, as well as money spent on training.
As your implementation progresses, sticking to the plan, communicating clearly and often with your implementation partner as well as with your employees, and resisting the urge to make last minute changes will help you avoid problems and cost overruns. You’ll get your new ERP solution up and running smoothly so you can use it for what you bought it for, to benefit your business.
Choosing the Right ERP Implementation Partner
As important as your choice of software and the selection of your implementation team, is choosing the right partner to run the technical side of the installation and introduce you to the many benefits of the solution you’ve selected.
So, how do you select the right partner? Here are some essentials to look for:
• Knowledge and honesty: Their estimate of time and cost should be realistic. Also, you should be convinced that they truly understand your industry as well as your business and what the new solution will be able to do for you.
• Dedicated consultants: You’re not going to be working with the person who came to your office and pitched the ERP product. Be sure to meet the consultants and technicians that will be working on your project. As well as having the expertise, you have the right to expect that they will be able to work well with your in-house implementation team.
• References: Ask for, and check the references not only for the company but for the consultants who will be working on your project. Be sure the companies on the referral list resemble yours in size and complexity.
• Size: Your implementation partner should be the right size for your project. If they are too small, they may lack the necessary experience. If they are too large, they may not prioritize your implementation in comparison with larger businesses.
• Training: Be sure you are clear as to how much and what type of training will be provided. Your partner’s support shouldn’t end with the installation of the software. Ongoing support is where a partner can prove themselves truly invaluable.
Plan to Succeed
ERP implementation success doesn’t have to be left to guesswork. By careful planning, selection of the right software solution, the right implementation team, and the right partner, you can have an ERP system that truly benefits your organization.
For more information, download these two white papers.
Are you planning to implement or update your ERP system?
By ASC Partners,