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Defining requirements in ERP implementation

Defining requirements in ERP implementation

For many businesses, the idea of a new ERP solution can be a daunting task. There are certainly a lot of benefits to utilizing new software, but the costs can outweigh them, especially if a company decides to take a kitchen-sink approach by installing all of the software at once. In order to maximize efficiency and bring the costs of running a new Microsoft Dynamics implementation, a firm should be able to know what it needs  to get the results it wants. In order to establish that, gathering requirements for the software becomes an important step in the planning process.

Making a change
The key point of any requirements for a new ERP solution is that it should request specific changes that are both possible and realistic. These answers lie at the core of gathering what needs are to be met with a new implementation, according to ERP Focus. However, the software needs to be affordable when purchased and cost-effective in the long term. Creating a list of ideas that are not possible with the resources a company has available to them can be a dicey proposition and somewhat dangerous to the owner over the long term. It means overspending the budget and ending up with things that the company may not need after all.

It is in this situation that companies have to write down tangible needs that the ERP solution can provide. Improved productivity, for example, should be explained as an increase in orders completed in a day. Greater visibility should be described as management and employees having more access to specific data in real-time, so as to make decisions that either increase revenues or develop new solutions for completing projects. By providing this information as requirements for the ERP solution, vendors will be able to assess whether they should offer their software and services.

Working with others
When gathering requirements, companies must take into consideration all the stakeholders, since many will be directly affected by the new ERP implementation. Accounting Library suggests that opening the staff to discussion about the current ERP system may help figure out the problems associated with it. With these issues being aired out, a requirements list can be better drawn up to the full benefit of everyone involved.

Once that information is put to paper, knowing what new ERP systems are available is a good idea to look into. Assigning a project manager to this role can be helpful. In looking at different options, an important consideration is what extra features are available. If there are things that need to be addressed that a new aspect of ERP can alleviate, then that should result in establishing a requirement that is related to the need. This might require a public demo of the software that is accessible to employees and management. From there, a company can write up a requirements document to present to potential vendors. That can help develop a relationship with a vendor that understands their business.

Learn how to define your ERP strategy by downloading the white paper entitled "ERP in Manufacturing: Defining the ERP Strategy" from the DMS website today.

Posted in: ERP Solutions

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