ERP Software Implementation and ERP Implementation Best Practices
ERP Implementations Vary from Company to Company
Your ERP implementation is not going to be like any other company’s process, so keep this in mind as you examine best practices. In taking a proactive approach to your research and selection process, you will be better educated and equipped when it comes to evaluating ERP software implementation processes.
What can easily interrupt the process for you is the fact that there is an abundance of “best practices” documentation available, and some pieces are likely to contradict others. This doesn’t mean that one set of best practices is better than another, you just need to look more closely at which fit your needs or situation best. When looking at one particular strategy for ERP software implementation, ask yourself how the needs of that company compare with your own. Will your ERP implementation mirror this one? Do you want to try and to achieve the same results?
Before you get to the process where you are evaluating new solutions for ERP software implementation, you need to thoroughly complete a needs assessment for your company. What exactly do you hope to get out of this implementation? Who all will be affected by your choice? What do they need before you make the move on any ERP implementation option?
Determine Which ERP Implementation Process Is Right for Your Company
Once you have your needs established, you can then examine your options in terms of ERP software implementation strategies. There are three main approaches that companies generally take:
- One is where implementation happens all at once and all users move to the new system on a specific date.
- Another is a changeover that occurs in phases that happen over an extended period of time where users move onto the new system in a series of steps.
- The third focuses on running both the new ERP system and the legacy system at the same time, allowing users to learn the new system while they are still working on the old.
Industry surveys find that as much as 98 percent of participants prefer the “all at once” or the “phased approach” or a combination of these two. Very rarely do companies launch an ERP implementation that provides users with the option to continue to rely on the old system. Why? More often than not, users will simply just use the old system and never learn the new.
A clear understanding of your environment and what has worked well in the past will help you to best determine the right method for your ERP software implementation. As you examine best practices, however, keep in mind that only those situations that closely mirror your own will add any value to your strategy. Don’t look for scenarios with the best results if those particular environments vary too drastically from yours. Instead, look for real-world scenarios that closely match yours and then plan for your ERP implementation accordingly. Regardless of whether you will be able to duplicate all best practices results, you should at least be able to avoid pitfalls.