When preparing to implement an ERP system, one of the most common mistakes is thinking that this is just another project for the IT department. That could not be further from the truth. The implementation of an ERP system is an important phase of change for any company. The key to a successful ERP System implementation is preparation. Before the ERP software is installed or employees are trained, several crucial things have to be done. The company must be well prepared for the systematic overhaul of important operational processes. Companies that wisely anticipate pitfalls can avoid typical mistakes and make the implementation process smoother. The following article should help you to make ERP implementation a success:
Implementation of an ERP system: Define internal project responsibilities
An ERP system affects every functional area of the company. That's why everyone - from top management to middle management and individual employees - needs to be involved throughout the implementation phase. The very first step in the preparation process is to put together an in-house team that has the power and authority to drive the whole business along.
Ideally, the company should build a project team with the following members:
The executive sponsor. Being a member of the management, they are the patron and supervisor of the project. When it comes to basic matters, they take over the leadership of the rest of the team and ensures that the ERP system reaches the targeted business goals after going live.
The project manager. The main tasks of the project manager are to manage, plan, control and coordinate the project from a business perspective. Their sole objective is to complete the project on time and on budget. This should be someone from the upper or middle management level who has experience in several different functional areas. Their other tasks include planning meetings in terms of time and content, training team members, holding meetings, identifying problems and monitoring project progress.
The IT manager. The internal IT manager is responsible for coordinating all IT-related activities between the company and the ERP vendor and third-party employees. The IT manager's day-to-day activities involve developing plans, supporting team activities, and providing resources. The user team. The user team is a mix of users with authority, corporate knowledge and commitment. It should also include employees from each functional area that is affected by the ERP system. These include, for example, accounting, development and production as well as sales.
The user team cooperates with the provider in order to use the software in the best possible way to support the business goals. The user team is also required to create documentation for the task-level business processes within the new system.
A company should have a clear idea of how it would measure success after introducing an ERP system. The planning process for implementing an ERP system is not simply choosing a provider and then having it do all the work. Careful planning enables companies to minimize risk and avoid typical pitfalls. Only in this way can the financial and operational advantages of such a system be fully exploited.