Planning and choosing the correct ERP
It is very common to think that implementing a new software is an easy topic and can be solved in a few days. However, this is not always the case. There are some systems that require more time than others for implementation, and even more previous considerations. ERP does not happen to be the exception. There are some cases that feel easier than others to carry on, but the truth is that not every system is the same and not every enterprise needs the same applications. In order to choose the right system for you, we are giving you a few clues and recommendations here.
Besides the time and work involved in this process, ERP is the solution for many internal problems, especially for several departments. It takes time to adapt, but that same time is rewarded as a savings in the short term. The same thing happens with investments, and it does not usually take a long time to recuperate the outlays.
Do not try to Avoid Planning
As the implementation of an ERP system takes place, all of the enterprise’s processes become more efficient. This is the equation that can make the difference when it comes to attending to and even retaining a client. However, you must be able to realize if your organization is prepared to use an integrated system.
It is important to understand that ERP is not just a common software that you can buy and use as if it were a video game. It consists of a revolution that involves every internal process, and it must be preceded by a long and hard reevaluation of every department together with their functions, and the way they make decisions. Furthermore, it is important to say that an ERP will not change the management functioning on its own. You must keep in mind that it is an important and decisive tool, but in order to obtain a correct development you will have to decide carefully who is going to command it, as well as the way in which the data will be saved and how information will flow.
In case you want to find out if an enterprise is suitable for working with ERP, it is interesting to look for external consulting assistants. They are capable of evaluating and “taking a picture” of the ways of the organization, and they will identify the effective needs of the moment. On the other hand, they focus on keeping intact the culture of the organization in order to avoid the chances of collision. Specialists make reports to indicate the most suitable course of action to take.
It is essential that a team of professionals participate in the project, being both internal and external for a more adequate design. In the end it is not just about purchasing software, but to order all the pieces to match with it. Normally some internal processes need to be redesigned before implementing an ERP. In addition to this, software is often modified to fit the ERP according to the enterprise objectives and activities. The combination must be as perfect as possible, but in human relationships unexpected winds may appear.
It is interesting to see how the Human Resources department is the most sensitive one regarding this situation, and the one which can be most compromised. The people are the main part of this process, and they must be prepared for this new experience.
Selecting the Appropriate ERP
As it usually happens with every product, the selection of the ERP covers many aspects, from the functions to the vendor manners, as well as the market’s references or even the marketing abilities of the vendor. For this subject the most recommendable action is to carry on a detailed investigation involving external sources, from internet researches to specialists opinions.
Furthermore, the presence of a professional can reduce the distance between the project of the acquisition and the actual implementation, but it is not indispensable to have an IT area exclusively assigned to this task. With the evaluation of the enterprise you can collect the information available about the different ERP’s on sale. A good recommendation to take is not to leave the responsibility of choosing a third party, because it is the organization itself who better knows its daily needs.
On what refers to the economical aspects you must take into account that in this case you are not in front of a cost – benefit equation. ERP in an investment that is able to maximize the benefits of the previous ones. However, as it is not always possible to combine previous software with ERP’s, in this case you must observe the price of the system, if it is a complete package or if it is divided in several units. The cost of implementation and even the chance of discounts when purchasing new versions is important.
It is not casual for the existence of many parameters offering the possibility of measuring the time necessary to recover the amount of the investment, and it is important to read them carefully. Besides, the organizational values of an enterprise might have a strategy as their main motivational tool. Here the desired levels of management are explored together with the benefits expected for products and services, and how ERP can provide them. Detailed evaluations might take time but they guide you taking the right choice.
Important Aspects to consider while implementing ERP
In order to understand the complexity of implementing a specific ERP you must pay special attention to these six items:
– The version of the system selected
– The employees and the organizational culture
– The strategy
– The hardware
– The processes
– The management software already installed
In this way you can take a deeper look to detect the needs and possibilities of your enterprise with the chosen ERP. Another benefit is that you can compare the virtual possibilities of the ERP in contrast with the functions regularly and occasionally used. Concerning the hardware, it is a good option to have an actualized inventory, and if possible an inventory of licenses too.
In every implementation we can easily differentiate between two stages. The first one is related to the period before implementation, which includes the analysis, the definition of objectives, functions required , total cost and calendars between others. The second part has to do with the implementation itself and the training required.
Components of the Previous Analysis
The main aspects to consider in the evaluation are the following: initial analysis of the people, strategy, resources and organization; definitions of the functional reach, that is to say which areas and functions are going to be affected in the first place, and how the are dates going to be planned. The definition of the objectives of ERP’s implementation is important, as well as the definition of the expected benefits.
The definition of the plan for management implementation in order to avoid traumatizing employees is highly important. The selection of the technical solutions according to the first steps of the analysis are important, and this includes the scheduling of deadlines and budgets.
The definition of the time and actions required to recover the first investment must be considered, along with the implementation of ERP. The strict control of the evolution regarding objectives and profitability should be a desired goal.
As you can see, careful research is the key to success when implementing ERP. It takes time and effort, but you must always keep in mind that through these factors profits are made. In addition, here are some of the benefits you will see if you take the previous advice. In the first place, ERP brings extreme support to making decisions because it provides confidence and security regarding countable information. Secondary, it gives you a complete, real and actualized panorama.
With ERP you greatly increase the operational flexibility. It is a very useful tool for multinational companies because it allows them to generate the requested reports when closing fiscal years. It also makes the controlling activities easier from the inside and outside as long as it has many possibilities to generate historical information.
These factors do nothing but show that ERP implementation is a project that must be considered as important for every member of the staff. As long as employees get interested in this project and they see it as a benefit for them, it will be easier to adopt. That is why information is very important.
It is a good option to notice every employee as soon as possible and to evacuate any doubts that may appear. This will allow you to make people will feel more calm about the new software, and they will even give you a hand in case you ask for collaboration. The staff will feel that you appreciate their opinions and will help you through the investigation that you will need to do, and in addition you will obtain their compromise and an increased level of motivation.
ERP is a solution, and there is a perfect version for every enterprise waiting to be discovered. It is the right moment to evaluate the different options available in the market and to increase the capacity of your enterprise. ERP will help you in this campaign, and it is not as difficult as it may look.