Businesses need to be agile when implementing ERP

////Businesses need to be agile when implementing ERP

Organizational readiness is an important, but sometimes-overlooked, element of ERP implementation.

Cost and effectiveness considerations, which are both incredibly important to the overall process of installing and using the software, can often push company preparedness into the background. The most effective, adaptable platform offered at an excellent price won't mean much if employees don't know how to use it and, more importantly, don't understand why it should be used.

A lack of knowledge can also hamper the initial setup of ERP, increasing the amount of time and money required to get the operation fully functional. This situation is mostly, if not wholly, avoidable for the vast majority of businesses as long as they make plans for optimizing the process and work with their vendors.

IT and technology news source The VAT Guy recently reviewed a study about implementation from Panorama Consulting and provided some valuable advice to companies based on the results. A particularly important recommendation was the use of strong installation management practices, including the designation of leaders to ensure a smooth setup. 

Consider the importance of ERP
Businesses use these software platforms because they significantly increase opportunities for operational efficiency across the disparate functions of an organization, from the accounting office to the factory floor. This is especially true for manufacturing businesses, as they have vastly different needs depending on the departments or groups involved.

A disjointed or uncommitted implementation process will hamper the ability of businesses to reap the rewards of ERP systems, so the use of a consistent and proactive implementation plan should be a priority. Selecting an individual or small group from each company department and facility to work together, determine specific needs and spur cross-company communication about possible concerns will likely cut down on problems with installation. Sharing information between separate divisions means realizing issues that may have not previously been considered.

Make sure goals are clear
Depending on organizational size and individual priorities, companies should explicitly list their reasons, in order of importance, for using ERP. Research from Aberdeen Group shows that common goals can range from organic revenue growth to increasing market share and cost reductions. Implementation leaders should have these concepts in mind as they consider ERP vendor offerings, making sure that products have functionality in line with goals.

Easily customizable, modular ERP software, like Microsoft Dynamics NAV, can help organizations meet a wide variety of goals more effectively than through the use of traditional platforms.

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.