According to Gartner, only 25% of ERP implementations actually end up meeting expectations. That is a startling statistic, I mean just think about it; if you are about to implement an ERP system the odds are in favour of you failing!
And in an age of digital transformation and data analytics the question is, how do you get what you want out of an ERP Implementation?
Whether you’re in the market as a first-time ERP buyer, considering an upgrade or managing ongoing support issues, there are a few things to consider which are likely to increase the probability of your success.
“Soul inhabits a body that fits”
Choosing an ERP can be a complex process and a poor decision may have significant economic consequences.
Spending time on the selection criteria to ensure that you choose a system that is a good fit for your business is time well spent. This may include a range of activities, not only limited to a detailed analysis of the business requirements vendor and software research.
This process of discovery can be compared to an artist “painting a picture”. By the time it gets to the software demonstrations, the proposed application should be able to provide a soul that fits.
The current ERP market is flooded with choice, with each vendor trying to outsell the other. Vendors will try to sell you their solution which is not necessarily the best option for you. One way to overcome this issue is to make use of an independent specialist who has a broad understanding of the options available and who is contracted to look after your best interests.
A Methodical Approach
Whether you are implementing your ERP in-house or making use of a third party consultant, it pays to follow a structured, methodical approach to the process. Plan well, choose your partners wisely and the rest will follow.
“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort and intelligent execution” - Aristotle
Understanding, then documenting the detailed business requirements is a good place to start. This typically involves gathering information from various stakeholders, process mapping and understanding workflow through a process of discovery.
When it comes to the implementation or making improvements to an ERP system, pay particular attention to the planning and project management aspects, which in turn will address key issues such as the migration of data, resourcing and user acceptance testing.
Understanding your business processes is critical, as one of the things to look for with any ERP is its ability to ‘wrap itself’ around the business. Failure to do so, will result in process inefficiency and frustrated users or customers. An ERP system should be flexible and suited to your business and industry.
It is perhaps best not to leave this step to the software vendor, as they are likely to fit your business to their software, instead of the other way around.
A good implementation and the appropriate levels of ongoing system support is often as important as the selection of the correct software.
When it comes to choosing your partner, be wary of vendors who focus too much on the software component. It is usually better to partner with somebody who takes the trouble to understand your business and whose resources have business experience.
And you should be able to tell from early on in the process, those contenders who are sales focused versus those who speak the language of value and customer service. Effective project management, which is not over the top, can help deliver an on-time and on-budget implementation.
An ERP implementation is as much about the people as it is about the technology and successfully navigating the people aspect is often key to success with any ERP.
In our experience, organisations do not have to spend millions on managing change, as long as they follow the basic principles which includes engaging staff and involving them at various stages in the process.
You may have the phrase ‘change starts at the top’ and identifying this early on will help reap the rewards later on. Similarly, providing proper training will help users overcome the fear factor. How much people buy in to the ERP system and understand how to use it will ultimately have a huge bearing on its perceived value.
Ramesys Global - ERP Review Service
Are you considering a replacement of your ERP system or are things not working the way they should?
Ramesys Global’s ERP Team offers independent ERP Review services with wide-ranging, unbiased systems knowledge. The decision to change an ERP system often comes at a high cost, high effort and high potential disruption to your business.
Let us be your independent voice and help you optimise the performance of your ERP system.
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