Erp Implementation

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5 Steps To Successful ERP Implementation
By Sean W. O’Donnell, President, Datacor, Inc.

Introduction Tougher competition in the marketplace is generating the need to better optimize resources, improve profitability and keep customers satisfied. Companies are increasingly implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software solutions to improve operations and provide faster customer response. Choosing an ERP solution that meets your specific business requirements will enable you to have a smoother implementation. If the software package is written for your industry, you won’t have to custom design a solution. Customized solutions are time consuming to implement and add unnecessary cost. One of the top reasons ERP implementations fail is because the software doesn’t meet basic industry specific business requirements. However; purchasing an ERP application is only half the battle. A well designed implementation plan is the key to success.

5 Steps To Successful ERP Implementation

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Strategic Planning Procedure Review Data Collection and Clean-Up Training and Testing Go Live and Evaluation

1. STRATEGIC PLANNING • • • • Assign a project team. Examine current business processes and information flow. Set objectives. Develop a project plan.

Project team: Assign a project team with employees from sales, customer service, accounting, purchasing, operations and senior management. Each team member should be committed to the success of the project and accountable for specific tasks, i.e. developing a timeline, finalizing objectives, formulating a training plan. Make sure you include first line workers as well as management on your team. Base the selection on the knowledge of the team not status of the employee. Examine current business processes: Have the team perform an analysis on which business processes should be improved. Gather copies of key documents such as invoices, batch tickets and bill of lading for the analysis. To start the team discussion, consider questions such as: Are your procedures up to date? Are there processes that could be automated? Are personnel spending overtime processing orders? Does your sales force and customer service personnel have real-time access to customer information? The team members should also conduct interviews with key personnel to uncover additional areas of improvement needed. Set objectives: The objectives should be clearly defined prior to implementing the ERP solution. ERP systems are massive and you won’t be able to implement every function. You need to define the scope of implementation. Ideally, the scope should be all inclusive. But practically, it is very difficult to implement. Examples of objectives would include: Does the solution reduce backlogs? Can the solution improve on-time deliveries? Will you be able to increase production yields? Develop a project plan: The team should develop a project plan which includes previously defined goals and objectives, timelines, training procedures, as well as individual team responsibilities. The end result of the project plan should be a “to do” list for each project team member.

5 Steps To Successful ERP Implementation

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Strategic Planning Procedure Review Data Collection and Clean-Up Training and Testing Go Live and Evaluation

2. PROCEDURE REVIEW • • • Review software capabilities. Identify manual processes. Develop standard operating procedures.

Review software capabilities: Dedicate 3-5 days of intensive review of the software capabilities for the project team. Train on every aspect of the ERP software to fully educate the team on capabilities and identify gaps. Determine whether modifications are needed prior to employee training. Identify manual processes: Evaluate which processes that are manual and should be automated with the ERP system. Develop standard operating procedures (SOPs): for every aspect of your business. These procedures should be documented. Make sure that...
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