Every company, whether it’s already reached a particularly high level of efficiency or is trying to make changes to do so, has short-term and long-term needs. No business exists in stasis, even the ones that are particularly successful. There’s always a thought of expanding into a new market or opening a new facility due to rising trends in demand. Organizations should keep their wants and needs in mind when it comes time to implement a new enterprise resource planning system as well. Understanding needs going into initial discussions can help an ERP partner pinpoint the best system and the most effective add-on components available for a specific situation.
The ERP Software Blog pointed out that understanding some of the more obvious or major internal issues at a company is crucial in selecting the right software. Having this information on hand can help in initial investigation efforts as well as aid an ERP partner in selecting the best possible platform. Here are a few areas that are commonly a target of improvement or consideration during an installation of new software, as a guide to help organizations realize the most effective implementation possible:
The use of multiple systems to record and track data
As the ERP Software Blog said, some businesses are still using more than one type of software – or a mix of software and paper-based systems – to track all of their data. In some instances, it’s because a modern, end-to-end ERP system has never been used. In others, it’s due to a platform not working as expected or because of employee confusion with correct use. Regardless of the specifics, using a variety of systems is obviously inefficient and one problem that’s easily corrected by the right software. For members of the implementation team, this may mean taking stock of how certain practices are carried out in a company and then keeping a record of that information to share with an ERP partner.
The majority of companies have goals they want to see realized in the short term and others that may take many months or even years to complete. These goals may not always be evident to every employee or even members of the implementation team, especially if they’re mostly technical in nature or they don’t affect all areas of a company. However, failure to discuss these long-range goals with an ERP partner can negatively impact the effectiveness of a new system in the years to come. A significant expansion or a plan to eventually enter a new market or industry needs to be shared so the right software components can be put into place – even if they may not be used for some time. Because modern ERP systems are designed to last for many years with proper maintenance and upgrade schedules, configuring them to align with major needs from the start is a prudent course of action.
A realistic implementation timeline
Some businesses will look to prioritize speed during an ERP implementation, but such an approach rarely bears fruit. There are plenty of important considerations overlooked when this track is taken, including effective employee training and the best possible optimization of the software itself. While it’s certainly understandable that companies want to get their new investment up and running as soon as they can, they’re ultimately limiting its effectiveness. ERP pays back its return on investment over a period of months and years. Squeezing a few extra weeks out of the system at the very beginning will more likely harm than help the results.