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5 Steps to Prepare for ERP Implementation

Preparing for ERP implementation is a challenging and exciting task.

If you feel that your company is ready to embrace change and upgrade its core business system – you will need a clear vision of how to make it work. Successful ERP implementations need both good internal preparation and a competent partner to work with. A company needs to have a clear and structured vision of what they expect the results to be.

To accelerate the project and succeed in ERP implementation, you need to be prepared in terms of manpower, financial and technical resources. Such a large-scale project will require a lot of effort and attention during the implementation process.

You can learn and consider some of the best preparation practices for a smoother way forward with implementing the ERP. Taking the initiative in organizing these preparations will help secure a buy-in from the stakeholders and facilitate the implementation.

Here are five steps you can take to set the process in motion:

1.Identify your Business Strategy, Goals and Objectives

Firstly, to understand why you need new ERP in the first place, you need to have a business strategy, goals and objectives. They drive the need for ERP implementation.

Throughout this process you will be able to figure out the following important points:

– how ERP implementation aligns with your business strategy.
–  how you want the new ERP to interact with other components in your ecosystem.
–  what functionality should it have in order to fix the issues you see currently
–  what benefits will your company receive by implementing a new ERP.
–  the total cost of an implementation project to achieve those benefits

Together with your team you can record this in a single document that will be useful to everyone throughout the implementation process for a more clear vision of what you set out to achieve from the very beginning.

2.Identify the issues you want a new ERP to resolve and bring together a team to work on a project.

It’s important to understand, what problems and issues need to be tackled by the new ERP, by consulting various departments of your company. Thus, you will see what are the main drawbacks of processes currently in place.

  • Map out your different business processes to see how they will align with a new ERP. In case they don’t, think about how they can be adjusted or improved to fit. Also, it is good to find out what parts of the existing processes employees rely on the most. After that, you can plan on how to keep these processes running smoothly throughout the implementation.

  • Understand the current technical landscape in your company to see how new tools will fit in and if any wider changes will be required
  • Build a delivery team by determining an internal lead for the project, and individuals accountable for the various parts of an implementation. It is vital that everyone understands the complexity of the task and how important it is to properly align the processes. Together with the team, you can define the implementation roadmap in detail.

3. Create a Change Management Strategy for ERP implementation

A Roadmap will help to better structure the implementation process in terms of financial, procedural, technical and the human issues associated with making a major change

The human factor, is of vital importance. People have to be prepared for change. Your staff need to have a clear vision of how new ERP will affect what they do, and they’ll need to understand why the business wants to do it – and, of course, any changes that will make their own tasks easier and better in future

Create awareness among your team by explaining some of the aspects:

What exactly is ERP?
– What is the importance of this software? Share the goals and desired outcome 
– Demonstrate what solutions will be implemented and why
– Which departments will be impacted?
– How big will your project team need to be, what specific roles are needed and who is going to fill them?
– How will those individuals have their day to day workloads accommodated to make them available to work on the project?

Think of practical aspects that impact project timeline – business cycles, seasonal changes, holidays and annual leave etc.

In order to keep awareness high at all implementation stages, prepare a communication plan. Use tools such as newsletters, briefings, regular meetings, intranet and social media to keep all your stakeholders and employees fully informed. Be open, and try to cover any issues or questions as soon as they arise.

4. Work closely together with your vendor

Another vital point to consider is to liaise with your supplier. Choosing a hands-on, experienced and reliable supplier will free you from unexpected delays and complications. 

A reliable supplier will provide you with great support throughout the implementation and after it’s completed.

In order for the process to go smoothly, all the parties need visibility of key project metrics.. Increased traceability will allow for better understanding of the project timeline and performance as well as accuracy in controls.

If an open, trusted and productive cooperation to implement ERP is what you are looking for – our team of professionals at Go-ERP is ready to discuss the plan for you over a free consultation. You can leave your email and we will be delighted to help you accelerate your project.

5. Be ready with a Go-Live and Post-Implementation Plan

The biggest milestone on your way to successfully using new ERP is that “Go-Live” moment.  A successful go live is all down to great planning, preparation and practice.  Think through the ways for Go Live Day to be as flawless as possible, since for many end users in your organisation this will be the moment that creates their first  impression of the technology: when they start using it for real.  

Prior to Go Live Day, make sure everyone knows their roles and tasks and create a plan for handling unforeseen issues.

And as for the post-implementation, you need to decide what components of the ERP will be handled internally (by your team) and externally (by your partner). We, at Go-ERP can fully support your implemented technology for you to always feel secure about Business As Usual. 

Working towards implementing ERP is an ambitious task that requires proper preparation, high level of awareness and readiness for the changes. As we have mentioned above, it is vitally important to know the flaws of your existing system and to have realistic expectations from a new one. By choosing and guiding a Delivery Team in your company you can ensure that members of staff are also getting prepared for the upcoming changes.

A clear and practical Change Management Plan, regular communications and training among the staff can secure overall understanding and accelerate the process. Choosing a competent supplier for your new ERP is another important aspect in the process, as well as building an open and honest cooperation with that supplier.

All in all, defining a plan and acting according to it together with the team and your supplier can notably help you with your implementation success.

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