A 5-Step Process for ERP Selection and Implementation

A 5-Step Process for ERP Selection and Implementation | ACCEO ERP

Not much affects a company’s ability to serve its customers, compete effectively, and maintain long-term business growth like an ERP selection and implementation. This makes it, therefore, a high-risk proposition. Discover the concrete steps to success and get expert tips on navigating the selection and implementation process of your SMB’s new enterprise resource planning system.

Step 1

Lay the groundwork

Document the expected costs and expected benefits from your new ERP system. At this early stage, you’ll want to do just a quick rough-cut estimate to be sure that the project is worthwhile.


To find out more, consult our complete guide:
ERP project justification: Return on investment (ROI)

MOTIVATION | ACCEO ERP

MOTIVATION

Reflect on what is your overall motivation for even considering a new ERP system.

TEAM | ACCEO ERP

TEAM

Assemble your team, which should have adequate representation from all areas of the business.

PROJECT | ACCEO ERP

PROJECT

Outline the general shape and form of your ERP selection and implementation project.

CURRENT STATE | ACCEO ERP

CURRENT STATE

Take baseline measurements. This information will be valuable in measuring the improvement that the new system delivers.

Step 2

Sing from the same songbook

It is important for the entire team to understand just what ERP does and how it facilitates communication and collaboration throughout the organization.


To find out more, consult our complete guide:
Building the best ERP project team

TRAINING

Be sure to schedule some general ERP training very early in the project – not specific to any particular software, but general principles and neutral definitions.


REQUIREMENTS

Outline the specific objectives for the project in the form of a requirements definition. As you identify needed functions and capabilities, honestly prioritize into these categories.

1

Absolute requirement

2

Highly desirable

3

Not needed now but important

4

Nice to have

Step 3

Select your solution provider and implementation partner

ERP has been around for decades, so expect that nearly all ERP products have essentially the same core functionality, more or less. You want to find the best system for your company’s specific needs. The key is to balance these three qualities: functionality, ease of use and support.


To find out more, consult our complete guide:
Choosing an ERP implementation partner


  • LIST Separate and review the systems that have a specific solution for your industry. The goal is to identify your “short list” of no more than 3 to 5 candidate systems.
  • SELECTION PROCESS Request proposals from the suppliers on your short list. Make sure that they include all implementation costs.
  • VISITS Be willing to allow short-list vendors to visit your facility. They may be able to identify additional needs or significant benefits.
  • DEMONSTRATIONS Prepare a list of what you want to be included and include all departments in the demo. This is a test to see if the product meets your needs.
  • REFERENCES You’ll want to talk to existing users of the software in question. Ask them about the functionalities and usability, the supplier’s support and responsiveness, and the challenges during implementation.
  • CHOICE Remember that a purchase decision is always a matter of price, value, and probability of success. Don’t be tempted to sacrifice needed functionality or ease of use to save money.
  • TOTAL SYSTEM COSTS Stay focused on total cost of ownership over a designated span of time for a fair comparaison between on-premise and cloud deployment and add the ongoing costs so you can develop a true TOTAL cost for your ROI analysis.

Step 4

Implement the new system

An ERP implementation project can be a lot of work, but there’s no reason why a well-organized and managed implementation team, with adequate budget and a reasonable time frame, backed by strong senior management commitment, and a clear goal and direction, can’t be successful.


To find out more, consult our complete guide:
Going live with your new ERP system

WHAT TO DO

  • Lay out a plan
  • Use a tracking tool to manage the effort
  • Have regular project team meetings
  • Keep the project highly visible to the entire enterprise
  • Get future users involved early to establish a sense of ownership in the new system
  • Don’t skimp on training
  • Pay attention to change management

ASK FOR HELP IF NEEDED

Use third-party resources appropriately where they can save time, improve results, and help your project succeed.

Step 5

The new system is “live”… what do we do now?

The best ERP system for your business today will not meet all of your requirements in the future. Whatever system you implement must be flexible, adaptable, and above all must be well supported both internally and externally.


To find out more, consult our complete guide:
Business Intelligence: More Than a Dashboard


UP-TO-DATE | ACCEO ERP

UP-TO-DATE

Internally, be sure your system remains up-to-date with new applications, new capabilities, and new “releases” that the developer will issue on a regular basis.

ADVANCED FUNCTIONALITY | ACCEO ERP

ADVANCED FUNCTIONALITY

You will likely also want to expand your system to do more and generate even more efficiency and benefits by adding additional advanced applications that were not part of the initial implementation.

EDUCATION | ACCEO ERP

TRAINING

There is a continuing need for user training and education to enhance skills and understanding, prepare users to exploit and benefit from new functionality or new responsibilities, and continue to expand the utility and benefits from your new ERP system.

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