ERP implementation is a complicated process. Correct planning and organization of initial efforts have to involve a selection of employees and managers from every department in a business to make sure that all concerns and wants for the system are addressed.

These comprehensive needs are often visible when manufacturers and fabricators begin installing the software with the help of their vendors. The wide variety of job types that make up these kinds of organizations, from finance and purchasing to work floor production and warehousing, reveal the level of organization and pre-planning needed to have the best possible strategy for ERP platforms.

Some businesses still run into trouble when they institute new programs, however. CIO.com recently highlighted some especially salient information from a Panorama Consulting survey about effectiveness of ERP institution. An especially troubling fact is that more than 50 percent of ERP projects end up going over budget and beyond the original schedule.

Collaborate ahead of time
When businesses begin looking for a platform provider, they should have specific, enumerated needs for their individual operations and ask potential partner companies about prices and timelines related to implementation. This requires a coordinated effort to determine what exactly what a business expects to get out of its ERP software, from a basic inventory management system to more specialized functions like mobile warehouse management capabilities.

Businesses, especially those involved in manufacturing and fabrication, may get some significant benefits out of using a modular ERP system. By using a base structure along with specific added functionality, an individualized program that is still easily assembled and modified can be crafted.

What best-in-class providers have to offer
Research from Aberdeen Group shows that the top providers craft normalized solutions that work for every part of a business, another attribute that savvy businesses should seek out when selecting a company to partner with. Additionally, ease of access from a variety of points, both on-site and off should be a focus.

Providers that can help their partners craft ongoing metrics for measuring effectiveness are also usually among the best overall at what they do. This concept is important for two reasons: the ability to determine return on investment and assess the ERP system for future modifications and additions.

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.