Getting more out of a new business software implementation

July 28, 2015 TM Group

Getting more out of a new business software implementation

Business software has a wide variety of uses. These range from the most traditional applications of enterprise resource planning software for manufacturing and fabrication shops, to the implementation of ERP and customer relationship management software among companies in a host of industries. ERP and CRM aren’t just beneficial to organizations, they can prove to be the difference in staying afloat and having the efficiency and internal insight needed to develop and grow as a business. Companies can realize some significant advantages from using these platforms, in terms of general business needs like finances and customer interaction and for the more unique requirements of individual enterprises.

Of course, it’s easy to say that business software is good for many types of organizations, mostly because it’s true – effective implementations of ERP and CRM offer too many benefits to ignore. The whole view of the situation is more complicated, however. There is a large selection solutions available on the market and a host of ERP and CRM partners who want to help install these systems. Factors such as upfront and total costs, suitability of individual platforms, and employee engagement with a new type of software all come into play. The most successful implementations address these major issues to make sure the return on investment is realized on an acceptable timeline.

Here’s a look at two common issues that can arise during an implementation, and how they can be addressed:

Finding the right partner
A great CRM or ERP partner can be worth their metaphorical weight in gold. Because these types of business software are so complex, it’s rare that a company has the internal experience to accurately and confidently implement them. A great partner will help an organization through the installation process, focusing attention on the three major components: people, process and technology. With the help of a top-level partner, it’s significantly easier to gain insight into how a successful implementation project is structured and to make sure every element of the process is in sync.

In terms of qualities to search for in a partner, businesses should look for experience in their industry and the offering of more than just one or two different types of software. A partner that understands the unique needs of a given market is better able to suggest the modifications, modules and additional software that truly increases the ROI of a business software solution. Having a variety of different platforms available allows a partner to choose the best fit possible for a given implementation instead of trying to force a single system onto any and all clients. One other aspect to consider in this regard is location. Working with a partner that’s in the same general region allows for easier and more frequent in-person interactions, which is a big help for implementations.

Getting employees on board
Employee engagement is a common issue for businesses, and it’s no different when it comes to getting staff members educated and excited about a new business software system. There are plenty of specifics an ERP or CRM partner can help provide guidance for, such as technical education related to everyday use. However, there are a few pointers that can help set the stage for successful engagement. Businesses have to start informing employees early on about the addition of a new system, letting the idea sink in. Organizations also need to explain the benefits of a new system on the companywide and individual levels so staff members can understand how the change will help them and the business as a whole. Another important strategy to keep in mind is providing more than one type of learning material – visual, written, hands-on and other types of strategies – as people learn in many different ways.

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