The implementation of enterprise resource planning software can undoubtedly be a large undertaking – albeit, a necessary one – for many companies. During this multi-step process, project managers and overseers will likely encounter errors and need to reconfigure the system along the way.
Consequently, audits are a vital part of the ERP implementation process. It’s worth noting, however, testing doesn’t stop once software goes live; post-implementation audits are needed to ensure continued success.
Benefits of ERP auditing
ERP audits provide a number of benefits for the companies that utilize them. Not only do they enable managers to catch – and fix – errors quickly, they also make businesses aware of underperforming areas and present opportunities to employ better practices. Additionally, audits can make a company aware of ERP benefits it may be missing out on, ultimately increasing warehouse efficiency in the long run.
In an effort to decrease issues that may arise during an audit, project overseers, security professionals, administrative managers and IT auditors should work together to develop a checklist before delving into the implementation process. That list should include, but not be limited to, the following five tasks:
- Addressing security concerns: According to the ERP Software Blog, there are several aspects technicians should address when ensuring the proper security measures are being taken. Those include requiring passwords across the system, establishing user controls based on duties and defining the process for setting up user access.
- Laying out must-have features: To ensure an ERP system meets the company’s requirements, Educause recommended overseers document those needs and align them with complementary ERP features. Doing so will enable auditors to see when desired features are not used to their fullest potential.
- Verifying integration between systems, if necessary: In relation to the aforementioned point, companies should also ensure a new ERP solution has, if applicable, the same features that were used in an old system. This will decrease confusion and streamline efficiency across the changeover. Similarly, project managers should introduce a system that either pairs well with or replaces the company’s WMS, if necessary.
- Documenting both automated and manual controls: According to the ERP Software Blog, companies may need to devise manual controls that compensate for any automated functions missing from a new system. In these cases, employees should document relevant information to ensure both automated and manual processes are carried out properly in the future.
- Planning for the post-implementation stages: Though foreseeing the future may prove difficult for companies that are just entering the implementation process, this practice is a vital part of the pre-implementation stage. After all, organizations are far less likely to achieve goals when those ideals – and their measurements – are not recorded.
Managing documentation along the way
In addition to outlining desired system features, goals and shortcomings at the project’s onset, key findings should be recorded throughout the implementation process. According to the ERP Software Blog, those artifacts include, but are not limited to, functional and technical specifications, configuration documents, security and system change approvals, test results and training materials.
While these preparation tactics may seem tedious, they will ultimately help companies avoid unwelcome findings or put them in a position to better internal processes when unavoidable ERP system errors arise.
Though it may seem like a grueling and challenging process, businesses considering an ERP system should not be dissuaded by its implementation. Software such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV Barcoding will reduce costly inventory count inaccuracies and increase efficiency across warehouse floors, making for an internal solution that will quickly demonstrate ROI.
Companies interested in learning more about ERP systems can click to download the “Keeping the Physical World and the Virtual World in Sync” white paper.