Considerations for a successful ERP implementation
Choosing the right ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning application can be one of the most important decisions businesses of today will make. Indeed, with direct implications for product and production planning, marketing and sales, materials and inventory management, retail and shipping, and finance, ERP is no less than a business’s central nervous system. With such a vital function, then, it should come as no surprise that the consequences can be catastrophic when a company selects the wrong ERP solution and/or the wrong implementation partner. But doubtless, such failures are avoidable. This infographic provides a five-stop roadmap for selecting the right ERP for your business.
- Business goals. Where do you want your business to be in the next five years? In the next ten, or twenty years? Understanding exactly how your business needs to run in order to achieve such goals is one key to knowing which ERP solution to invest in.
- Infrastructure compatibility. Your ERP shouldn’t make things more difficult than they need to be. It may seem obvious, but many underestimate the role existing software and technology usage plays in deciding on an ERP. For instance, as TechRepublic notes, if your business already uses primarily Microsoft products, you may want to seriously consider an ERP built on a .NET platform. Adjusting to a new system can be costly. Consider Lumber Liquidators loss of an estimated $14 million in unrealized net sales due to employees having difficulty acclimating to their new SAP solution.
- Customer support. Take some time to note the support provided by the vendor. Are they based in the same country or region as your company headquarters? Do they have a history of satisfied customers? Research the vendor’s background, and be skeptical of any promises that seem unrealistic. A simple background check can help avoid a tragic fallout or lawsuit.
- What’s in it for you? One of the best ways to ensure success is to map it out. Create a set of metrics that show exactly what your business stands to gain as a result of a given ERP solution. Without a solid set of expectations and Key Performance Indicators, you won’t know how to measure the solution. Know exactly what to expect with metrics.
- Timeline. Finally, what are the next steps needed to implement the ERP solution? Obtain a firm understanding of what kind of timeframe is needed and how it affects your company’s bottom line. The age-old truism still holds: time is money—especially when your entire business is at the mercy of your ERP vendor.