Every business that wants to start using enterprise resource planning software needs to make sure they have a strong implementation strategy in place. There's an even greater need for companies in the manufacturing and warehousing sectors to address potential problems and figure out possible solutions before an issue becomes "live." The wide variety of needs that the average business in these fields has means that some extra consideration can certainly pay off in the long run. Here are three pieces of advice for businesses planning the start of an ERP project:
- Set goals and timelines: Business 2 Community provided the reminder that ERP is powerful, but it isn't magic. Organizations need to be realistic when it comes to their projections for positive change. While it's entirely possible for companies to realize significant gains from their systems in terms of greater visibility, cost reductions and more efficient processes, these improvements won't happen immediately. Those involved in planning the ERP project need to work with the vendor and present organizational data to figure out reasonable expectations for when benefits will begin to be seen as well as when they'll be fully realized. Explaining these timelines to executive leadership is also important.
- Select the right kind of system: Using the most responsive and efficient ERP platform possible will obviously increase the benefit that the software brings to a business. The best-fit system will also reduce the potential problems that a company may run into when using new ERP. Whether a company wants to implement a mobile warehouse management system or timekeeping software, having the right platform will make the process easier. Manufacturers and warehousing concerns should consider using a modular ERP system such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV so they can build their preferred platform from the ground up.
- Schedule training time: ERP systems aren't needlessly complicated by any means, but there still needs to be sufficient time available for employees to learn the nuances of the programs they'll be interacting with on a daily basis. CIO.com pointed out one of the most common mistakes when it comes to ERP is not budgeting enough time for learning and demonstrations, so companies should make sure their staff is comfortable with these new processes ahead of time.
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.