What is the ERP Implementation Process?
ERP implementation should not be complicated. Implementing an ERP system is not an easy task, but Big Bang will try to help you understand the different steps to make your project a success!
“Don’t tell anyone since we’re not really supposed to do this, but this is how I do this task.” We’ve all heard this while getting trained for a new job. It’s like the telephone game, but with processes. Employees often skip a few steps or do things differently when following a company process. The next thing you know, you’re generating a PDF when the original process would have had you generate an editable spreadsheet.
Change management is often a big roadblock in the rollout of ERP implementations, however, it is not the only one. Lack of planning and failure to see the value in customizing out-of-the-box features can prevent you from even getting to the training and deployment phase, meaning change management shouldn’t be your only worry.
Understanding the benefits of ERP implementation
ERP systems offer a wide range of benefits, such as streamlining processes, improved reporting and planning, and much more. However, one of the greatest benefits for your business with an ERP is that a company’s data is centralized and organized within a single database. Centralized data ensures that information is available from anywhere in the world at any given time, allowing the company to adapt and be more flexible, which ultimately provides the company with a higher chance of success.
Planning your ERP implementation
Implementing a new ERP for your business is not an easy task. The importance of the planning phase of ERP implementation is often underestimated. Skipping this step is a sure way of having an unnecessarily lengthy implementation with the constant need to make changes to the system instead of getting it right the first time around.
Enterprise resource planning software, commonly known as ERP, will help you standardize your company’s processes and increase efficiency. However, there’s a catch. Current company processes need to be thoroughly understood so that they can be optimized and standardized.
Identifying essential steps of a process as well as redundant ones is a critical step in ERP implementation. For example, your company might currently have three different ways of tracking sales orders that are due in less than a week, but you definitely won’t automate all three of them. So how do you decide which process is the best? Certainly not by the luck of the draw.
Optimizing processes for your business before the implementation will also give employees a chance to understand why current processes are flawed, and therefore be more accepting and willing to apply the new and improved processes.
A common myth is that only IT departments should be involved in the planning process. However, they might not be the ones using the software every day. It is important to get the opinions of key team members from every department that will offer valuable insight and help you understand all the data needed for your ERP implementation.
To learn more about how to make your ERP implementation a success, click here.
Customizing your system during the implementation
There are multiple benefits to implementing an ERP system for your business, such as having an integrated view of your business processes and improved collaboration and efficiency. ERP systems offer many out-of-the-box features, but they might not all suit a company’s specific needs.
Some ERP customizations may be required to ensure that the processes are properly implemented and remain efficient within the ERP. Doing so will also streamline all processes within the system and make it easier for the company to adapt to the “new way of doing things.”
For example, ERP systems offer a reporting system with standard reports and the possibility to customize them. The ERP software provides the tools, and the company is free to use them. The possibilities are endless; the only prerequisite is planning so that the only question we have to ask during the software customization phase is “how do I achieve what I want” instead of “What do I need?”.
Training and deployment for a successful implementation
Many people think that training and deployment of your ERP system are the most challenging phase of the process due to employees’ potential pushback. By being involved in early stages such as planning, employees tend to accept the changes an ERP system brings. Consulting firms such as Big Bang offer extensive training for your business, such as live demonstrations, video training, guides, customer support, and much more, which will ensure that the transition from the old system to the new one is as smooth as possible.
Like most things in life, training, and deployment of the ERP system might have a slight learning curve, but with proper training and support, your team will master the use of the new system.
Conclusion… To help you win your implementation!
Many ERP implementations fail because the time, effort, and resources needed to implement an implementation successfully are grossly underestimated. Planning, customization, training, and deployment are crucial phases to maximize the opportunity for a successful implementation. There are many benefits to seeking the proper support from ERP experts, such as making the implementation project much more comfortable, all while increasing efficiency and success rates.
At Big Bang, we leverage The Big Bang Experience®, our proprietary 7-step methodology to maximize the success of your cloud business transformation. Learn more here.