Successful ERP projects usually share a common theme: the implementation plan focuses not just on the ERP software but also on plant floor operations, business systems topology, business processes design, master data, and information technology infrastructure.
Whether the project leader comes from within the manufacturing organization itself, or is a specialist brought in from an outside resource, be sure to empower an individual with a thorough understanding of these key elements to ensure that the implementation is positioned for success.
Tips to Understanding ERP Projects
Based on hundreds of successful Ultra-led ERP projects, our ERP consulting team suggests the following six review areas when managing ERP projects:
- Operations – It is wise to take the time and effort to review the facility layout and document key material flows and current/potential data gathering points. Many ERP implementations have run into trouble on the plant floor. This analysis includes receiving and warehouse management operations, along with measuring inventory accuracy. Other areas for review include production and inventory control. Improvement opportunities and key requirements should then be documented for all locations in the enterprise.
- Systems – Another important review is to conduct a thorough survey of the key systems of the manufacturer and determine which software will need to co-exist with the ERP system and which will be turned off. Be sure to observe the software in use by actual key users and the IT team.
- Processes – Based on the operations and systems review, the next step is business process mapping to construct an integrated process flow, map current systems into the process flow, document the key business scenarios of the company, and catalog potential improvement opportunities.
- Master Data – Attention is then focused on the current state of master data including the item master, bill of materials, routings, prospects/customers, vendors, and design documents. Be sure to document data sources, use, degree of referential integrity, data quality, and maintenance processes.
- Network – Modern ERP systems introduce new stresses into a network including interoperability, scalability, security, and operational/change procedures. That’s why it is important to conduct a network assessment to identify what areas are ready for a new ERP system and those that will require investment or process change.
- Prioritize – The final task is to prioritize the improvement opportunities based upon change difficulty, cost, timing, and benefits.
Take the Next Steps to Performing Successful ERP Projects
Gaining a complete understanding of the key areas outlined here is just one part of successful ERP projects.
Download the free white paper 7 Steps to Effectively Organize an ERP Project for additional insight.
In addition, please share your thoughts about what it takes to manage a successful ERP project in the comments section.