As a business grows and the environment within which it operates becomes more complex with the demand for extensive analytics to stay ahead of the game and the need to share data and monitor several business process under one roof, there comes a need for an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system to offer these solutions.
However, sourcing for a suitable ERP system can be downright confusing with so many vendors in the market, each promising their piece of heaven. The result is many manufacturing business spending money on systems that are not tailored to their specific requirements.
Here are tips for implementing a ERP solution that will actually work for you.
Define your needs
It’s practically impossible to get an ERP solution that is tailored for your business if you haven’t properly defined what your needs are.
A common approach among businesses is to simply automate the existing processes with an ERP system without having a review of their impact on service delivery. This doesn’t solve any of your business problems.
The better way towards realizing a successful ERP system implementation is to clearly define the problems you seek to solve and have a clear scope of the requirements you expect of your system. This way your vendor can then know how best to tailor your system to handle your specific needs as opposed to one that simply automates everything, whether they are effective towards realizing your business goals or not.
Think about the future
A customized system is important but you also have to think about the future when implementing an ERP system. Your system should be able to be seamlessly upgraded to accommodate growth in your business.
Your business might grow in a few years and you might want to introduce new products like Preparedness Mama Cream of Tartar in your manufacturing line but it will be impossible to accommodate these kind of new developments if you over-customized your system.
Choose a deployment model
You need to consider number of factors such as cost, support, reliability, etc., before you settle on a suitable deployment model.
There are three implementation models to choose from, namely on-premise ERP, cloud-based ERP and SaaS, each with its pros and cons.
On-premise and cloud-based solutions offer the best in terms of customization and support but those come at a high cost unlike SaaS which is much cheaper but doesn’t much in terms of flexibility options.
Even with the best planning, it’s difficult to predict the outcome of an ERP system implementation so it’s important to allow sufficient time for the change to be smooth. Do not skip through some of the implementation phases in a bid to save on cost or hasten the outcomes of the system.
More importantly, you need to properly manage the uptake of the new system across the whole spectrum of your business from the staff and the processes to the technology. You need to train all the staff in all the departments to be on board with new ERP system.