There are a variety of reasons why a company may choose to implement enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. For some organizations, implementation comes as a result of outgrowing the system that’s already in place, which may even be obsolete at this point in time. Some look to enterprise resource planning software as a tool for boosting productivity, hoping it will help to improve each staff member’s level of efficiency. Regardless of why enterprise resource planning software is being considered, it’s important to take a few steps before implementation occurs.
Here are a few things to focus on prior to implementing ERP software, all of which can help to smooth-out the transition.
Weigh Your Options
One of the first things you’re likely to realize when searching for ERP software is that not all options are created equal. Every vendor is unique in the solutions they provide, and there’s a very good chance that one may be better suited to your organization than another. The key is to identify your needs from the very beginning of your search and look for software/vendors that will help you reach these goals. Otherwise, you may end up getting locked into a vendor relationship that doesn’t do anything to further the efforts of your company.
Look for Security & Strong Customer Service
There are so many different elements involved in choosing ERP software that the process can seem overwhelming at times. Aside from basic functionality, however, the two most important things you can look for in a software instance or vendor are data security and customer service. Given the amount of sensitive data that will likely pass through your ERP (and the fact that it will most likely live in the cloud), proper security standards and certificates need to be in place to offer peace of mind to you and your clients/customers. It’s also crucial that you be able to reach out to your vendor for a quick answer at any given moment, which is where strong customer service comes into play.
Prepare for the Transition
It’s easy to assume that, because you have such a great staff, integrating an ERP won’t be much of a challenge at all. Integration is still a transition, however, and any transition period brings potential for roadblocks and headaches. Creating a “change management team” comprised of upper management staffers can help to alleviate any concerns about how the transition will occur. These individuals should work closely with the ERP vendor to come up a with an effective plan for managing change, which can play a key role in ensuring productivity doesn’t suffer.
Consider Changing Business Practices Along with Your New ERP
One of the most beneficial reasons to implement ERP software is to uncover new and better ways to go about daily business. To that point, you may notice initially that some of the practices you’ve grown accustomed to seem to work against the software you’ve implemented. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something wrong with your ERP, however—it could mean you need to switch-up outdated methods and practices. Stick close to the instructions and recommendations outlined by your vendor, and don’t hesitate to allow your experience using ERP software to change the ways in which you and your staff approach the workday.
Don’t just assume that choosing any random ERP and implementing it without thought will do anything positive for your business. Plan ahead, and you’ll get a whole lot more mileage out of your new enterprise resource planning software.