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Essential Steps for Choosing an ERP

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When looking at the essential steps for choosing an ERP, we have compiled a shortlist that we believe are the most important aspects.

 

Clear ERP strategy

When it comes to implementing a new ERP System, you must have a clear vision of the journey you are about to embark on, understanding the system and what it needs to deliver. By developing a clear and concise strategy, you will be able to categorise costing, and the potential ROI by clarifying functional, organisational and geographical scopes.

Upper Management Support

This sounds like an obvious step when considering an ERP Strategy, but unfortunately, the importance of this is sometimes underestimated. Regardless of if you have the best ERP System for your organisation, without the right support from management, it increases the failure rate significantly.

Support doesn’t just mean approval, upper management has to be actively involved in all steps to ensure the strategy is implemented properly. When the topic of implementing a new system or upgrading your current system, it is very important that the manager truly gets on board to support the transformation, even if there is a short term cost for a system.

Understand the Total Cost of Ownership

When discussing the sales cycle with your vendors, sales representatives always seem to downplay the costs, and more importantly the risk of implementing an ERP System. That is why it is essential that you and your organisation makes sure about the cost of the product to ensure there are no hidden costs later when you are committed to the project. Ensure that you have the information on implementation costs, hardware upgrades, backfilling your project team resources, software maintenance, etc.

Consider the Vendor’s Reputation

This can be the most important step in the process, without the right vendor, you may be heading towards failure. By ensuring the reputation and previous clients your vendor has worked for may give you the comfort you need to trust them. Making sure your vendor fits your organisation is a critical step in the process, helping to increase the likelihood of a seamless implementation. Speaking to other clients can help you to make the right decision on the vendor for your organisation.

Finalising Contract Documentation.

To ensure that you and your team are happy with the contract documents, it is highly advisable that you get your documents reviewed by legal professionals, to ensure that the department is happy with everything including Intellectual Property Rights, Software Acceptance, Insurance, Confidentiality, Liability, Warranties and Dispute Resolution.

Your department and upper management must take care when reviewing these contracts to ensure you are clear on who is responsible for delivering what and when. The vendor may assume you are responsible for certain aspects which you may not have been considering to be your responsibility. This is a common cause of conflict during implementation.

To help avoid common downfalls, make sure you have the right experience and knowledge of ERP & Business management software, It’s advisable to get external independent help if you do not have this expertise in house. Ensuring you receive the right information and propelling your business in the future.

Provide the Necessary Time & Resources for Training

An ERP Implementation is not a small project, time and effort need to be spent on resources and training for the users. Inadequate User Training is one of the most common failure contributors when it comes to ERP implementations. Learning a new way of operating will always be tough, but with the right support and training, it helps to reduce the burden put on employees

 

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