Is that ERP solution right for your business? Part 2.
As discussed last week, deploying an ERP system is an expensive proposition, not just in terms of licensing and maintenance costs, but in terms of dedicated resources and most of all, time. Yet all too often, organisations dazzled by vendor promises and hype fail to come up with a viable long-term roadmap.
Below are the final 6 tips to help organisations increase the odds of a successful ERP deployment.
Fully engage with the references.
When shopping for an ERP solution provider, ask the vendor for at least three references. Then ask the references what went right, what went wrong and what they might have done differently. If a vendor can’t provide at least three verifiable, happy customers, they may not have the experience you need.
Think before you customise.
Consider the amount of customisation required to configure and deploy. Highly customised systems will generate higher cost, not only in the initial deployment but when upgrading from release to release. Those businesses with unique requirements need to consider whether those requirements can be mainstreamed to eliminate the steep cost curve. A turnkey solution may offer less flexibility but more stability, and less initial and ongoing cost.
Factor in change management.
Organisational change management is pivotal to the success of your project. Typical ERP projects facilitate massive change in organisations that can include changing of day to day job descriptions or eliminating job descriptions in total. These changes impact the culture of your company and without careful control, communication plans and workshops you can create an adverse reaction to ERP resulting in barriers implementation and adoption.
Appoint an internal ERP product champion — and surround him or her with good people.
Do not rely on the vendor-appointed project manager only; you need someone of your staff for this. Select someone within the organisation who knows or is comfortable managing software systems, to serve as the project manager. One of the most common mistakes made by companies during ERP implementation is spending significant time, energy and money selecting the right software and implementation partners, only to assign their own ‘B’ team to the program. This results in numerous issues during design and implementation, slow decision making and delays.
Provide the necessary time and resources for training on the ERP system.
Learning a new way of operating will require a significant time commitment for everyone, so the project team must take proactive measures to reduce the burden on employees. Identify department-specific needs, allowing for sufficient time to develop and deliver training programs. Furthermore, it’s important to recognise that the most effective training may not come from outside sources. Tech-savvy employees within departments can be given the opportunity for more in-depth instruction to become expert resources for their fellow employees.
Has this given you food for thought?
Most system and vendor selection projects start with all these factors in mind, yet many of them result in poor relationships with the vendor following implementation. Safe Financials pride ourselves on our ability to bring to life the solution our clients envisage, making the project life cycle and support thereafter as efficient as possible. Get in touch to discuss what we could do for you.