When it comes to any form of software implementation difficulties and complications are to be expected. There are a number of reasons why it could go wrong as it is a technically complex endeavor. In fact, analyst research shows that roughly 28% of ERP implementations fail costing companies hundreds of millions of dollars. However, all it takes is a well-planned approach for a successful ERP
7 pre-implementation steps will help lay the foundation for a successful ERP implementation. Here are the first 4 steps.
1. Pinpoint Factors for Success and Risk
Regardless of whether the transition is from an old ERP to a new one or implementing a new ERP for the first time, it would be wise to scope out potential factors for what may cause failure and what might lead to success. Since implementations are a major undertaking, they tend to involve significant investment. Thus creating a business case for the project can help chart out timelines, set achievable milestones and make sure the undertaking stays within the confines of your budget.
Each company’s needs are different therefore the factors that determine the success of your implementation are also going to vary. Using a top-down approach can identify the necessary steps your system needs to take into order to be successful. Similarly, defining factors that could potentially risk your operation will give you sufficient time to mitigate the situation and come up with a contingency plan.
2. Layout A Phased Implementation Strategy
Approaching your implementation in phases instead of a single stroke can be much more efficient and sustainable. You can begin by identifying system functionalities, modules, integrations and respectively categorize them into distinct and subsequent phases. Conducting this project in sections can also allow for a graded entry into the implementation and spare your employees from burn out.
Another factor to consider while strategizing how you will carry out the implementation is whether you need to carry over each and every application to the new ERP. In most cases these auxiliary systems may not be integrated into your current systems. Determining which applications or systems are a must-have from day one can save a lot of hassle while in the midst of the implementation.
3. Establish Organizational Changes
An ERP implementation means a lot of changes especially to the organizational structure of your business, roles and responsibilities will change alongside processes and tasks. While changes are being made to old roles and processes new ones will be simultaneously incorporated in order to cope with the many changes being rolled out. Establishing a Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed (RACI) matrix for every functional area and process can instill a sense of responsibility, accountability and ownership. Clearly writing up an RACI matrix can also make allowances for the development and evolution of future roles that may present themselves in the due course of the implementation.
4. Emphasize Data Governance
Most companies will deny that they function based off of messy data, while the other half will claim that the state of their data is not of consequence. Running one massive sweep through all the data your company may have amassed over the years can help eliminate dead weight and ensure that only the essentials are carried over. A project to minimize data loads can often lead companies to slash it every which way. Take some time to identify master data and eliminate irrelevant or redundant data. This data cleanse will ensure that your business is functioning off an updated data source.
Are you considering an ERP implementation for your business? Would you like assistance in charting out the right plan of action that is tailored to your firm? Our team at SolutionsX can help. We provide expert solutions for your organization’s ERP needs. With more than a decade of manufacturing industry experience our SolutionsX consultants are not only a point of contact but an ongoing personal guide in building and integrating a system that fits with your operations, goals and culture. Reach out to us at SolutionsX to find out more.