Enterprise resource planning software is a powerful tool for manufacturing and warehousing businesses, but care needs to be taken when planning the addition or upgrade of a system as well as during the actual implementation phase. By having a thorough plan set up ahead of time, companies can take better advantage of the long-term benefits of ERP while avoiding installation delays and overspending on systems that don't best meet individual needs.

Here are three pieces of advice for creating a strong ERP implementation plan and getting the most out of this software:

  1. Decide what will make the platform a success: The ultimate goal of ERP is to create return on investment by improving the efficiency of various processes, saving a business time and money. While all organizations know this on some level when selecting a system, some fail to determine exactly what will make an ERP platform worthwhile. Having an ROI timeline in place allows businesses to have a great discussion point to use with vendors. Understanding the specific areas that need and want to be improved is another important aspect of creating an estimated ROI, according to IT Business Edge. Companies that know what they want, and have crafted reasonable expectation, are more likely to be successful.
  2. Provide multi-layered training: By offering broad-based education to all employees about why a new system is being installed, organizations can create a greater sense of understanding beyond the technical instructions of how to operate a different inventory system to use a new analytical tool. While this sort of training is obviously important, offering a complete view of ERP can encourage adoption and drive best practices. Learning Solutions Magazine suggests having many different educational opportunities in place around a new platform, from the expected hands-on instruction to other ideas such as online training and manuals that employees can read and review at their convenience.
  3. Choose the right components: A modular ERP system can provide far more advantages than traditional and monolithic platforms. Companies can better address unique needs with modular ERP such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV. By having a need plan and ROI expectations in place, businesses can work with vendors to craft a unique solution that uses specific modules providing the best fit.

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.