Dealing with enterprise resource planning software can be stressful for businesses. The great impact that this type of platform has on both short- and long-term operations means that getting ERP right offers plenty of benefits, but choosing the wrong system or not having a good plan for implementation can reduce return on investment and lead to less positive outcomes. This is one area where businesses need to work with vendors and find ones that will provide ongoing support and consulting to improve results. Stress relating to these systems is also common during upgrade periods and can lead to similar issues, so finding a provider who will work with a business over time is vitally important.
Along with getting the right vendor, here are a few other pieces of advice to made ERP upgrades less stressful and more successful:
- Make ERP an all-the-time consideration: Small amounts of incremental work, even just an hour or two per month, will pay off when it comes time to update or upgrade. Keeping track of the performance of the existing system, as well as requests from employees for new functionality and areas where it becomes apparent that an addition to ERP would pay off is an important task. Using a modular platform such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV makes upgrades easier as well, because the structure of the system is geared toward adding new components with a minimum of disruption.
- Select internal leaders: Consulting firm Singer Lewak suggested having a clear chain of command when it comes to making internal upgrades. This process, obviously important during the initial implementation of an ERP system, can sometimes be overlooked further down the line. Depending on the circumstances, the employees in charge of various functions of a system may not be the ones who lead an upgrade plan. Coordinating and opening lines of communication ahead of time means an easier implementation of new additions and less confusion.
- Share the strategy: The ERP Software Blog highlighted communication as a key point for a successful upgrade. This is important in many different areas, including sharing the news and training employees who will be using a new software component when the update is complete. Conversely, businesses should also discuss why a certain change that was requested by a team or department wasn't implemented and where such an upgrade falls in future plans.