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How Organizations Can Best Prepare for an ERP Implementation

Enterprise resource planning solutions (ERP) dramatically improve an organization’s operational efficiency, standardization and best practices by serving as the nerve-center for an organization. But rolling out a new ERP can be tricky, because these systems touch all parts of a business and therefore implementation is a complex project.

An example of this complexity is the stat that roughly half of all ERP implementations fail on the first try.

Don’t let this complexity stop your organization from running on a modern ERP solution, however. As an ERP implementation specialist that has successfully implemented ERP solutions for hundreds of businesses over the past 25 years, we’ve seen what works as what doesn’t.


Best Practices for Successful ERP Implementation

Here are some of the best practices for successfully implementing a new ERP solution.

  1. Define business goals and objectives. Clearly establish the desired outcomes and key performance indicators (KPIs) for the ERP implementation. This understanding will guide the evaluation of ERP systems that align with your goals.
  2. Assess current business processes. Evaluate existing operational procedures, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. This assessment will help identify how the ERP system can enhance efficiency and effectiveness.
  3. Select the appropriate ERP system. With various ERP systems available, it is vital to choose the one that suits your business requirements. Consider specific needs and evaluate potential systems accordingly.
  4. Develop a comprehensive project plan. Plan the ERP implementation meticulously. Include project scope, timeline, budget, required resources, and potential risks and challenges.
  5. Obtain buy-in from stakeholders. Involve all relevant stakeholders, including employees, managers, and customers, as the ERP implementation affects multiple aspects of the business. Secure their support and engagement.
  6. Train employees. Provide thorough training to employees on the usage of the ERP system. This ensures effective utilization and maximizes the system's benefits.
  7. Offer ongoing support. Continuously support employees after the ERP system is implemented. Address their queries, troubleshoot issues, and provide necessary guidance for optimal system utilization.

When a business uses these best practices, they greatly increase their chances of a successful ERP implementation.


3 Tips for a Better ERP Implementation

While the above are best practices for ERP implementation, we also can recommend three tips for making an implementation even easier.

Tip #1: Start Planning Early

While the use of a turnkey ERP industry solution can help reduce rollout time to as little as three months, the actual planning phase of implementation still takes time.

This is because planning a new ERP implementation is the foundation for project success, and it requires understanding all of the organization’s needs and current processes so they can be incorporated into or modified for the new system.

It is important to initiate the planning phase as early as possible as a result, allowing ample time to identify needs, select the appropriate system, and create a detailed project plan.


Tip #2: Seek Assistance from a Consultant

ERP vendors such as SAP and Oracle know their products, but hey don’t know the specifics of your business and typically only are available for limited support during rollout and after the completion of an ERP project.

A critical factor in ERP implementation success is having help from someone who both knows the ERP product AND the organization that will be using it. This is why it helps to bring an ERP consultant onboard during rollout, someone who can bring implementation experience to your team and a deep knowledge of ERP, but also can work closely with your organization on the actual implementation.

“We had a really strong relationship with Navigator,” notes Heather Howard, vice president of operations and people at shoe manufacturer Rothy’s when we helped them roll out their new ERP solution. “We could speak incredibly clearly without any nuances. We relied on them as an expert resource for any help we needed.”


Tip #3: Exercise Patience

ERP implementations take time. There also will be kinks in the system at first, and things that might not have been expected when the solution was initially rolled out.

It is important both to plan enough time for an ERP implementation, and also be patient about the process as early issues are resolved. Expect challenges and setbacks, remain patient, and persistently work towards achieving success.

For more advice on ERP implementation, check out our blog post on 4 Commonly Overlooked Aspects of ERP Implementation.


Get a Helping Hand with Your ERP Rollout

Navigator Business Solutions has been helping organizations successfully roll out new ERP solutions for more than 15 years as an SAP Gold Partner. We understand the needs of business, and we know how to map those needs to modern ERP solutions.

For help with your next ERP implementation, contact one of our experienced consultants at (801) 642-0123 or by writing us at info@nbs-us.com.

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