Adopting an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution can certainly improve the quality and efficiency of business-critical systems. At the same time, it can be a daunting endeavor.
ERP systems have significantly expanded into business areas such as procurement, manufacturing, and HR over the last decade. This has allowed organizations to improve overall efficiency and ROI.
Whether you are overhauling a legacy system or starting from scratch, you need the right kind of support. Iit is critical to partner with a trusted ERP implementation partner.
What is an ERP System Integration?
ERP system integrations connect the ERP software you select with existing on-premise and cloud-based applications and programs. This is important for a few key reasons:
- ERP systems are intended to serve as a single source of truth for organizations. ERP system integrations ensure all relevant data can be collected and analyzed.
- Integrated ERP systems streamline operations by allowing a variety of work to be completed in one platform.
- Effective ERP system integration solutions support the real-time data flow, as well as effective reporting on it.
- Integrating processes helps your ERP solution better reflect how your business operates.
- ERP integrations can lead to a more robust and complete compliance framework.
Integrating ERP with existing tools helps to streamline business processes across your organization. From managing the supply chain to automating data entry, ERP integration can deliver valuable results.
ERP Integration Framework
Developing an ERP integration framework for a current or new ERP system supports long-term success. Your company needs to outline guiding principles and essential components that are required for a successful ERP system integration.
A successful ERP framework encompasses all aspects of the ERP project. This approach ensures that all relevant stakeholders, resources, and impacted systems are taken into consideration.
Best Practices for a Successful ERP Integration
Below are the top 5 best practices to follow when integrating an ERP system.
#1: Scope the Project
The project scope involves defining a specific list of project goals, tasks, deliverables, budgets, and deadlines. This process is also referred to as a scope statement or terms of reference.
The scope statement explains project boundaries and establishes the responsibilities of each stakeholder. ERP systems integration may be considered unsuccessful if scope creep results in missed deadlines or blown budgets.
Establish a strong project team and ensure they are all accounted for when deciding on the scope of the ERP project. Team members should represent key business groups within the organization and be responsible for developing key performance indicators (KPIs).
#2: Audit Current Operations, Processes, and Tools
Performing an internal audit helps organizations assess the performance of current operations, processes, and tools. The results of the audit provide allow stakeholders to:
- Identify security and compliance concerns
- Establish automated and manual controls
- Verify current system integrations
Once the internal audit is complete, stakeholders can determine whether current records and processes are adequate.
Ensure the thoroughly documentation of key findings. This information will help reduce your organization’s chances of ERP system errors after implementation.
#3: Roadmap New Technology and User Requirements
A technology roadmap creates a plan of action to onboard new technology solutions and/or maintain existing ones. Technology roadmaps should include:
- Long and short-term business goals
- Release plans
- Milestones to track progress and keep implementations on track
When rolling out new or updated systems, it’s critical to provide training and guidance for all personnel interacting with it.
Talk benefits, not tactics, and think big-picture. Focus on how the technology will benefit the business. Build a clearly defined audience so the organization can understand the new or updated technology for both the business and its end-users.
#4: Build and Integrate
Once stakeholders have clearly defined goals, completed an internal audit, and mapped out a plan for implementing new technologies, integration begins. Iit’s time to build and integrate the ERP modules with the existing infrastructure.
An ERP system is built using modules. That means, it’s important to have a thorough, phased integration. This ensures accuracy and prevents data loss or duplication.
#5: Test and Deploy
Testing and development may occur simultaneously. A project team may test specific modules and develop fixes while others are still in development. Once all modules have been tested and approved, the ERP system is ready to go live. Data may be migrated prior to or after deployment. Once complete, the project team will train personnel on the new system.
At this point, it’s time to audit your accomplishments. This helps you determine whether or not you are meeting the goals and KPIs outlined in the scope of the project.
Contact Cre8tive Technology & Design
Finding a partner who truly understands the role of ERP systems in system integrations. System integrations can be the difference between a successful migration and a catastrophe.
Cre8tive's mission is to help our customers optimize the capabilities of the Epicor ERP solution throughout the life of the technology platform. We provide a full range of solutions to support more efficient operations. We provide assistance during the implementation phase and, go-live period. Additionally, we deliver ongoing support and employee training.
Contact Cre8tive Technology and Design to explore how they can help grow your business with innovative Epicor ERP solutions today.