As an independent ERP Consultant in Manchester, we know that implementing a new software system, whether it be an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system or new cloud accounting software, can be challenging however rewarding the end result is. We have been offering independent ERP consultancy in Manchester for many years now and have therefore picked up many tips for how to implement these types of systems successfully.

Planning

We are big believers in the old adage ‘fail to plan and you plan to fail.’ Not only do you need to assess your company’s needs thoroughly so that you ensure you choose the right ERP system in the first place, you also need to have a detailed definition of scope agreed upon as well. Since this will help you to identify the business processes affected and ensure that you have the correct people involved in the project. You need to have a clear idea of how the ERP implementation fits in with your company’s strategic goals too, because this should provide the basis of the case for investing in an ERP system, as well as gain the buy-in from top management. It will also enable you to determine how the ERP system should be implemented across the business to maximise the return on your investment. Once all this has been considered, then you can plan realistic timescales and budgetary requirements.

Teamwork

As an independent ERP consulting company, we know that many companies simply lack the internal expertise required for successful ERP implementation. You need a strong project leader, who is backed by top management and helped by the right people in the right number, to ensure that any project goes smoothly. Getting some help with this will ensure that the project is run efficiently and you are not wasting any of your time or giving yourself too many headaches. It will also free you up to concentrate on other areas of your business.

Evaluation & Selection

As part of the planning process outlined above, you should end up with a list of process requirements, which will enable you to list the software features that you require in your ERP system. ERP systems are not one size fits all, and the right one for you will depend on various factors, such as your industry and your business needs. Another consideration that has recently abounded is whether to have an on premise ERP system or one that is hosted in the cloud. There are many factors which affect your end decision, but an ERP consulting company will be able to help you make the right choice.

Change Management

Nobody really likes change, it can take some getting used to, and so a really important part of successful ERP system implementation is change management. Make sure that all of your employees are fully informed of the change and are engaged in the process. Experience has taught us that ERP implementations are as much about changing business cultures as they are about changing technology.

Implementation

After selecting your ERP software and a lot of planning, you should now be ready to implement your chosen ERP system. An independent ERP consulting company will help you to map out a plan for installation, configuration, and optimisation. However, be prepared to be flexible as plans usually change slightly during the installation process. To ensure everything is running smoothly, you should also undertake some system and user testing during the implementation process. An indepenedent ERP consultant will also be able to advise you on how the testing should be carried out.

The implementation process also covers user training and setting up the on-going support process. Once the system is installed, you need to ensure that your employees know exactly how to use it and get the best out of it. You also need to ensure that your IT team has good knowledge of the new system and how to handle any technical problems that may occur in the future.

Post-Implementation

Like any software system, you cannot just install your ERP system and then never think about it again! You need to factor in upgrades and maintenance, and so having a plan for this is a good idea. You should also review the process and any lessons learned, and take some time to recognise and reward the efforts of your project team.

For help with ensuring your business has a successful ERP implementation plan, please call Greenbeam Consulting on 0843 523 5630 or send an email to [email protected]