Companies justify moving to a standard enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution based on a number of compelling reasons. By supporting a single system rather than several smaller and disparate systems, they can enjoy economies of scale. Additionally, having single application architecture with fewer user interfaces creates lower integration costs. And through common tasks automation (as well as easier access to more information), best practice systems and procedures allow for efficiencies not available when using multiple systems. While the case for standardizing on a single ERP system can be relatively straightforward to make, the costs and impacts are sometimes easy to overlook. Cre8tive Technology (www.ctnd.com) will be posting a six part series on how to ensure a successful implementation. Companies should take into consideration a number of factors:
- Build a cross-functional team
- Set proper expectations to manage change
- Create new business processes in sync with the new system
- Implement in a phased approach
- Make the necessary time and financial investment
- Putting It All Together for a Successful Go-Live
Addressing these areas early on in the process can be the deciding factor whether the ERP implementation is a success in the long run. This series will highlight the importance of each of these factors and provide recommendations on how to ensure a successful ERP implementation.
Implement in a Phased Approach
Being strict with the original project scope is critical. Many times, changes are justified; however, one needs to also be aware of the “toy box effect” when users discover the new, rich ERP functionality and suddenly want it all now. This needs to be addressed before the scope changes grow out of control. Therefore, determining the exact post-implementation functionality early and sticking to it helps ensure a timely and on-budget implementation. Many companies take a planned, phased approach to their ERP implementation, by prioritizing key functionality they need on day one immediately after the implementation, versus the “nice to have” functionalities that can wait till the second phase. A phased approach allows the implementation team to focus on the company’s critical functionalities and to bring those software modules live as quickly as possible. In addition to realizing a return on investment as soon as possible, the “win” experienced by the team in successfully completing the first phase of the project is extremely motivating, creating momentum for initiating the second phase.
From an Epicor White Paper
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise, and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.