You have taken all the right steps and selected the ideal ERP for your business. Wonderful!
Now the work begins. You thought you had already worked hard, but you only just began. The hard part that leads to rewards is only beginning - this part is all about developing a detailed ERP plan.
First, formalize your team. You need a champion, a top manager who will keep the project moving, build enthusiasm, and motivate people to implementation when they might be more comfortable with their day jobs. You need a project manager who will spend ideally full time watching all the details, ensure your stick to the path outlined in your ERP plan, and focus efforts if you stray from the time line of this plan. You need a cross-functional group of team players and leaders who will devote time towards their own areas of expertise and ensure the “E” for enterprise part of the project works; that means that all the parts work together to provide a tool the entire business can use and will use to help meet goals.
Your goals for the ERP system are already complete. Look them over again and tweak them as needed. In your ERP plan, you need to be very clear what you are doing and what the benefit for everyone will be. Start off with a big announcement to the whole organization. Here are our plans and here is what you all can expect when we are done. These are the players who will represent you in the implementation and this is what we expect of you during that time period.
As a team, here are some of the key steps to accomplish:
- Design the hardware systems necessary and set up as much as possible for immediate use.
- Design your test scripts. Some should be step by step within a discipline and others will be cross functional even order-to-cash.
- Plan out the transfer of data from legacy systems to the new ERP and begin with enough data to start your testing.
- Keep a log of all issues discovered. Determine when and how these will be fixed and if any will be held over until after implementation.
- Continue running tests, update any data problems with revised data, and set the configuration switches to match your work environment.
- Get as many people as possible involved. People want to be part of a project like this. Even a small role will help with training users. You will learn of issues that the core team just did not recognize.
- Design and test reports and dashboards and check again if anyone needs information you hadn’t thought of yet.
- Set the go-live time. You are ready now so get beyond your fear. Hold hands while all your users run real work on the new ERP. Celebrate! It works just like advertised.
- Test your goals with real data to be sure you have met your goals and start optimizing your value from the ERP.
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ERP Implementation: 11 Steps to Success
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About The Author - Tom Miller
Tom completed implementations of Epicor, SAP, QAD, and Micro MRP. He works as a logistics and supply chain manager and he always looks for processes to improve. He lives near San Francisco Bay in California and can be found on the water in his kayak or on the road riding his motorcycle. Contact Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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