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.
Make the Necessary Investment
Project team leads and end users need to be given the time to get proper training, which may occasionally strain operations. End user adoption rates have been linked directly to the success and return on investment for ERP implementations. Be cognizant of the various learning styles adult learners have, such as visual or auditory, self-study or instructor-led, hands-on or observant. Companies need to make sure that they have a variety of training options and accompanying training tools/resources available not only before the implementation, but on an ongoing basis, as business processes and technology change. Consider holding “lunch-and-learns” in which the company provides training over a group meal. Many people learn best in a team environment where they can share thoughts and ideas with their co-workers. Many companies also provide a “war room” where at any time; users can access the new software on individual workstations. They can also access the training content from these computers to practice their end user procedures in a hands-on manner. This room is typically where all of the business processes that are being implemented in the software are documented on whiteboards, etc. The benefit of such an environment is that users are removed from daily distractions found when working at their own desks (such as e-mail and phone calls).
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.