Truthfully, there’s a lot involved in planning an ERP implementation. From deciding on a budget, to establishing responsibilities and choosing an ERP, there’s a lot going on. The stakes are also high because a failed ERP implementation causes major business disruptions, frustrates staff, costs the company money, and impedes growth. However, a successful ERP implementation can unlock your business, allowing employees to work faster, more accurately, and impress customers. Here are a few of the key elements to executing a successful ERP implementation.
Forming a Team
One of the first steps to an ERP implementation is getting your team together. This should involve more than just IT because you want a solution that makes day-to-day operations easier throughout your organization. Staff from different departments will have different insights on what they need and what challenges the current system offers.
In addition to internal staff, your ERP implementation should involve an ERP consultant to offer their expertise. The right consultant will make the implementation process easier, faster, and help you stay on-budget while maximizing outcomes. While many companies don’t bring in an ERP consultant until they are “ready” and already have a vendor selected, a skilled ERP partner could streamline the planning process for you by offering advice on which ERP is right for your business based on your specific needs.
Again, while your internal IT department will have a critical role to play in an ERP implementation, they are not best-of-breed ERP experts. At Datix, our certified consultants have executed thousands of software solutions for manufacturers. As a one-stop shop, we will bring our unique skillset to your implementation project so that we can help guide you through the journey. Learn more about working with Datix.
Mapping out Business Processes
After forming a team, the next question becomes: what do we need from the new system? When asking this question, some manufacturers assume that their business processes should stay exactly the same, but this is often a mistake. A new ERP implementation is the perfect time to model and simplify your business processes because your new ERP will have the tools and capabilities to make certain tasks easier. Modern ERPs offer extensive automation capabilities, exponentially speeding up steps in your business processes.
As you think through your business processes and what your new ERP needs to be able to do, map out every role, task, and interaction you want to be part of your system. If this feels overwhelming, an ERP consultant can help. At Datix we are experts in business process modeling because we take a business-first approach with each of our clients. By taking the time to understand what you need and your competitive advantage, we can come up with an ERP solution that will streamline your business processes for maximum efficiency.
Having a Budget
Once you know what you need from your ERP and who will be using it, you can reflect on the right budget for your implementation. Of course, you may only have so much money available to spend on the project, but it helps to be able to see what different aspects of the implementation will cost so you can decide how important they are for your business (like adding a customization, for instance).
You can begin by researching the price of ERP implementations, but you need to be careful with this approach. When researching prices or talking to consultants, many manufacturers start by asking how much a system costs. The problem with this method is that prices vary dramatically based on a company’s individual needs. Generic, quick numbers usually give a false sense of what your budget should be. Without considering factors like the ERP hosting location and necessary configurations, you simply won’t be able to estimate how much the ERP solution you want will cost.
Instead of giving you a fast budget estimate, the right ERP consultant will take the time to learn your ERP needs and offer advice about how to best achieve them. For instance, many companies go with ERP customizations. However, customizations have huge ramifications on your budget for the implementation and your long-term ERP plan. This is because customizations are expensive to develop and can require additional support if an ERP update or upgrade causes the customization to break. In contrast, certain ERP platforms are designed to allow configurations, which still let you tailor your ERP solution but for a fraction of the price (and they rarely break). Learn more about customizations vs. configurations (also called personalizations).
There’s a lot more to executing an ERP implementation, including choosing an ERP vendor and creating a change management plan. However, this blog should give you a sense of what to expect during the process. An ERP consultant like Datix can support you throughout your ERP implementation so that you can stay on time, on budget, and get the solution you want. Schedule a call to take the next step with your ERP implementation.
Hear our 10 Tips for Implementing a New ERP
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With over two decades in the industry and as Infor CloudSuite consulting experts, Datix is the ERP consultant of choice for manufacturers and distributors. We believe in “being the best with the best” and look for partners who match our commitment to solving real issues and doing what it takes. Our in-depth analysis of our clients and their business needs allows us to maximize their software investments to the fullest.