When undertaking an ERP implementation, the heaviest lifting happens during the system design and configuration testing phase. It is a critical time for the ERP team to conduct extensive testing and make configurations, start data conversion and set up the ERP system in various pilot and test scenarios that simulate the real life future state within the enterprise. During this phase the team prepares several test scenarios that simulate running the entire business in the new system.
ERP implementation workshops become more detailed as the entire enterprise accesses the new system and tests for data integration and usage in multiple user and business scenarios. The vendor addresses a plethora of issues and secures the required functionality and features to meet the business requirements.
Doing this right is typically the biggest challenge to a business because it consumes significant resources and introduces the most doubt in the overall project.
The Cycles of Software Releases
Most leading ERP software vendors today are in a constant development cycle and are releasing upgrades, patches, and enhancements at regular and frequent intervals. The notion of waiting for software to “stabilize” is virtually a thing of the past. Software companies are driven by market demands to consistently enhance their products with new features and advanced capabilities faster than ever before.
When a manufacturing business is implementing an ERP solution technical issues are likely to surface and clearly raise concerns about the stability of the software purchase.
However, let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water! An effective and tailored ERP Selection methodology coupled with a robust implementation plan instills the needed confidence that justifies the investment and secures the benefits long term.
Business leaders are wise to invest in professional project management services and experienced ERP advisors that know how to mitigate these risks and maneuver through the Change Management obstacles. Our clients boast 100% satisfaction in our services because of our deep industry expertise and independent ERP advice that delivers beyond client expectation. Those companies who “go it alone” often fail to realize success in their implementations and even mid-market manufacturers can waste millions of dollars in lost productivity and exorbitant 3rd party fees. That’s why it is imperative that solid project planning include realistic and carefully considered deadlines and milestones with critical decision points and mitigation routes virtually every step along the way.
An ERP implementation should keep its focus on implanting technology to achieve the desired “to be” or future state operating expectations of the business. The ERP Implementation Steering Team should keep their full attention and commitment to those events and hold the software vendor and Project Team accountable for the expected results.
ERP Implementation Reminders
As independent ERP consultants, we often remind manufacturers:
- Dedicate your best and brightest team and hold them accountable.
- Invest the time to create a solid Business Case for Change.
- Establish interim project success metrics with measurable business expectations.
- Ensure the project plan incorporates provisions for risk and unforeseen events.
- Don’t short circuit the process – rely on the expertise of independent counsel who share in your best interest for success.
After being involved with hundreds of ERP selections and implementations, our team offers an informative whitepaper sharing what it takes for an effective ERP implementation.
Download this informative white paper “Best Practices for an Effective ERP Implementation” for further insight.