Business owners find they benefit greatly by investing in enterprise resource planning software. This program integrates and automates business processes, so the business sees a boost in efficiency. In addition, the business becomes more responsive, as critical information is contained in a central database. Employees don’t need to search for data. They know exactly where to find it. However, to get the best return on investment, the company must choose the right program. The following checklist becomes of help during this process.
Table of Contents
Know the Requirements of the Business
Bring a team of employees together to determine which business processes the implementation will affect. Learn what benefits this team expects to see with the implementation of the program. Next, define the goals for the project and determine how these goals will be measured. Share this information with TEC when comparing the different programs offered today.
Engage Upper Management
Upper management needs to be part of the process when implementing an ERP program. Not only are they responsible for approving the purchase, but their attitude toward the implementation will impact how all employees feel about the process. Having a list of the program’s features and how they will benefit the company will help bring upper management on board.
Create a Project Timeline
Determine the critical dates for this project, such as when a decision should be made regarding which program to buy and a date for the implementation process to begin. This timeline should highlight the milestones of the project. However, it should also include information about potential risks and contingency plans.
Data Migration Preparation
The data must be ready to migrate to the new system, and this takes some preparation. Clean this data prior to migrating it to ensure its accuracy and completeness. During this process, data sources must be identified and data needs to be consolidated. In addition, the data fields need to be mapped.
Configuring the ERP
One benefit of ERPs is these programs can be configured to fulfill the requirements of the user. The team must be ready to set up the business rules and input information about the company’s workflows. This team will also need to customize the forms and reports the organization regularly uses.
Employees must be trained to use the program to ensure the company sees the best return on investment. This training process needs to take into account the specific duties of the employees. For example, upper management will need to have different training materials than lower lever employees. Ask the ERP supplier if they offer training and what it involves. Furthermore, learn if the supplier uses a structured and phased approach to training. Ask how they track and evaluate the results to ensure the training is thorough and effective.
Testing the System
A company should never go live with its ERP until the program has been tested fully. This testing needs to take place in a controlled environment. It should also cover all critical business processes. Once the testing is complete, the results must be analyzed and any problems addressed before the system goes live.
When this checklist is complete, it is time to go live with the ERP. When doing so, have a plan in place to handle any problems that come up. If all steps have been taken and this plan is in place, the last step of the implementation should be seamless.
The right ERP solution must be selected for great results. Choosing the wrong one means not only a loss of money but also lost opportunities. By following the checklist outlined above, a business can reduce the risk of this happening.