ERP software can be complex, expensive, and difficult to implement, but it does not have to be that way. Having a good ERP implementation strategy in place, coupled with careful planning prior to purchase, can help businesses avoid some of the common pitfalls. Like any major business decision, ERP selection has some best practices. If you can follow them or adapt them to your situation, you will increase your likelihood of success.
- Clear requirements – Knowing what you want is easily the most important practice. It sounds elementary, but too often, businesses do not have a clear vision for ERP. They operate under the assumption that they should have it without actually thinking about why.
- Does your vendor meet your requirements? – Once you have established your clear requirements for selection, you should find a vendor who can actually meet those requirements. Nothing is worse than being stuck with a vendor that wants to fit you into their mold.
- Vendor support – Can your vendor offer the software support services that your business needs? Are they fully certified and qualified to train your staff, or will you be left clueless and in need of a third party training program?
- ERP projects as Change-Management projects – One of the biggest mistakes you can make is treating your ERP project like a routine software install. Instead, treat it like a change-management project, as it will intrinsically affect every level of your business, and significantly improve it.
- Hire trustworthy consultants – It helps to have checks and balances, and a good consultant can double-check your vendor’s work, make sure your implementation is meeting your standards, and look out for any red flags.
- Allocate sufficient resources – You should know how much time and money you will truly need to spend to make this work, so do not try to cut corners when your business needs you the most. Make sure the people who are working on your ERP project have the resources they need to get the job done.
Yes, ERP selection can be complex, costly, and difficult to implement, but when you do it right and follow the best practices of successful companies in your industry, it can be very rewarding.
By ComTec Solutions, an Epicor Authorized Partner with offices in New York and Connecticut