ERP Systems: A Guide to Implementation

ERP Systems: A Guide to Implementation
– February 22, 2023

Designing and developing an ERP System is a daunting and tedious task on its own. However, after the design, you have to install your chosen ERP software, move your business data over to the new system, configure your user information and customized processes, and train your employees to use the software. So you have designed your customised ERP system and wish to put it into play. There are a few things to consider when implementing your ERP system.

Below are 6 steps you should make when implementing your ERP system;

Step one: Choose an initial testing team

Choosing the right team is crucial to a successful ERP rollout. You’ll want to select good communicators among your employees who represent different areas or modules on the ERP system like customer care, human resource or even sales. These representatives will act as initial users of the system, helping to point out a few details that may be missing or make changes in the system if need be. You’ll also need a project manager (PM) who has a proven record of successful ERP implementations. Usually, the Project Manager is part of the software development team. However, you can also choose one in your company that will make sure the testing and implementation of system changes are done. The project manager will also help centralise communication between different departments and the software development team.

Step Two: Procedure review

Have the project team conduct an extensive review of the features and capabilities of your new ERP System. This will help the project team to familiarize themselves with every aspect of the new ERP system. They can also highlight any proficiencies and skill gaps before introducing them to the rest of the team. This experience will guide the training of the other users. Testing the system can also verify which manual processes will be automated by the new system and ensure that necessary modifications are made prior to rollout so that automation proceeds smoothly. It is important that these are conducted by key personnel in each department representing each module. For example Head of Accounts, Head of Human resources, etc. These key personnel can get first-hand insights into the system and can input any changes if necessary.

Step Three: ERP implementation and Integration

This is the actual implementation of the system. given a scenario where there was no system being used prior to this one, a lot of data entry will have to be done to populate the system with information in order to have a proper workflow of the different system processes. You can also choose to integrate your ERP into systems and customise developments if any. The integration with other applications or data sources or customizing software to answer unique needs can considerably increase efficiency and automation. Like any other step of the implementation, evaluate the cost, take into account the delay caused by these new functions, and the benefits they provide.

Step Four: Testing and training

This is where the ERP system is now presented to the rest of the team to test. Have the project team practice with a test database populated with a full week of real transaction data to validate system output, and test accuracy, and ensure that integrations and interfaces work properly. In addition to testing the new system, this hands-on experience with the new software can be used to help the project team create cheat sheets and process documentation for company-wide training. The ideal training methodology varies by the workforce. Factors such as how much time your employees can devote to training and where they’re located will guide you as to whether in-person training, e-learning or a combination of both will work best. Some software companies, for example, can choose to create a user manual or a webinar showing how to use the system. Regardless of which training method you choose,  try to train tech-savvy staff members as ERP software superusers, so that they can help with low-level user issues and free your IT department to address larger issues. You can also offer incentives to complete training on time. A combination of small perks, such as cash bonuses or extra days off, can be an effective way to motivate employees and make the process fun.

Step Five: Monitor and Evaluate

After turning on the system, let the users get accustomed to it. Make sure the users can begin new projects using the ERP while giving them time to learn how to use it. You can also address a few challenges at this stage. It is therefore important to continue relating with the software developers to address any challenges that the users may have. Especially with customised systems, Software developers will walk through the ERP journey with you, constantly offering help and additional training if need be. The goal of making a customised ERP is to make sure that all users in every department can completely relate to the system to achieve the company’s goals. But mainly, keep a close relationship with your advisor, and you should get the optimal value out of the system and its efficient function for years to come.

Step Six: Keep improving the ERP system

Recognize that your system will only be as good as the investment you will continue to make in it. Always examine the software at least once a year to help you identify the improvements you could make to it to get the maximum benefit from the latest technology developments like the updating of some parts, new plug-ins, more efficient procedures, or additional training for your team.

A long-term engagement with your ERP solution will allow you to maximize your investment and follow your successful road To know more about how to implement an ERP system, visit here.

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