7 Key Phases of an ERP Implementation!

ERP Implementation

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The implementation of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can be a challenging undertaking that has repercussions for a wide range of the company’s operations. Any significant effort requires a detailed and well-planned ERP implementation strategy.

By splitting the implementation into phases where each has specific goals, you can increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. On the other hand, going into an ERP installation without a clear project direction, scope, and organization may create future issues.

Understanding ERP System And Its Benefits

An enterprise resource planning system acts as the ‘glue’ that connects the many computer systems utilized by a business. To put it another way, an ERP system integrates many systems and enables the data from those systems to be accessed from a centralized location.

One of the many reasons an ERP system could be used in a business is to simplify operations, decrease the amount of human work required, improve customer experience, or unionize corporate activities. Retail, manufacturing, distribution, pharmaceuticals, and technology are some of the businesses that use ERP software. Other areas include health care, non-profit organizations, telecommunication, food and beverages, etc.

ERP rollouts might take weeks, months, or years depending on system requirements. That is, if all goes according to plan. Many firms partner with experienced ERP consultants like https://nexinfo.com/erp-implementation/ to help them throughout the process.

An integrator’s job is to assist you in getting the most out of your software investment. Choosing a cloud ERP implementation partner is just as critical as choosing the right software. 

The Key Phases Of An ERP Implementation Plan

When implementing an ERP system, there are many interconnected phases. There may be some crossover between the various stages. Every phase typically contains entry conditions that must be met before the phase can begin. When pre-determined deliverables are met, a phase is considered complete.

1. Discovery And Planning

An ERP implementation begins with your company recognizing the need for one. To begin, you or your team must determine which back-office operations should be automated. To avoid missing any crucial details, you’ll want to include input from people in every department and sector of your business.

The next step is to see whether any alternative software option can accomplish the same goal. This is also known as gap analysis because it aims to identify areas of coverage that are not adequately covered. As an example, your HR department may be more at peace with a dedicated, standalone program rather than a new ERP system.

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A well-thought-out ERP implementation strategy can speed up the entire automation process, regardless of the method used.

2. Integration Costs Budgeting

Assembling a workable budget for anticipated integration expenses is the next phase in the integration process. Several variables will influence the final implementation cost. The number of users and the company’s size are two of the most critical factors. Consider productivity losses when drawing up a budget. 

The following are some of the cost elements of the integration process:

  • System upgrades
  • Backups and storage
  • Vendor training, customization, and consultation fees
  • Staff overtime pay

3. Design

During design, the ERP implementation team will examine all processes and procedures to be implemented into the platform. The team must understand ERP configuration and customization methods. At this point, things get more technical and complex, and the investigation is more extensive.

The implementation team will analyze all data sources and data to be moved to ERP or synced via integrations. This information is utilized to construct and design ERP software to match the business’s requirements.

There are several levels of intricacy to be found in this phase. See the recommended practices below:

  • Engage Every Business Department Early On. In terms of what they expect from the platform, each user should have a clear understanding of the goals. Misunderstandings can lead to conflict if not resolved right away.
  • Optimize Collaboration. ERP systems must be designed for easy end-user interactions with other users and service parts. Effective cooperation and communication tools can streamline processes.
  • Interview Users. To incorporate vital features and meet user needs, communicate carefully. Conduct interviews at several points of the operation to capture adequate information.
  • Design Intuitively. Your ERP system should be user-friendly. The easier a system is to deploy, the sooner a business may profit from it. An intuitive dashboard supports this design approach.
  • Make It Mobile-Friendly. EPR systems are mobile-friendly, like many software solutions. The mobile accessibility of your system will make it easier for employees to use it and enable remote work.

4. Development

ERP system configuration is critical since it ensures that the system satisfies all your requirements and specifications. With the help of a trusted partner agency, you’ll be able to customize the system to fit your specific needs. As a result, the transition to the new system will go more smoothly.

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As part of this collaboration, your partner will also get to know your current processes and procedures. The ERP system will subsequently be set up in accordance with these procedures. This will ensure the system is easy to use and that you can continue to use your current workflows and processes with the new software.

5. Testing

It’s essential to make sure that ERP software is set up appropriately and works properly so that you can begin generating revenue. That can be done through ERP testing.

ERP testing focuses on each module’s functionality in certain situations. Preparation, execution, and evaluation are the three stages of testing preparation.

  • Preparation. This entails setting up the test system, test suites, and testing data.
  • Execution. This includes running the tests created during preparations, tracking issues, and presenting the test’s status.
  • Evaluation. This comprises defect analysis, test plan and cause assessment, test suite preparation, and testing process documentation.

6. Deployment

Both the project team and the implementation team will evaluate the situation and come to a conclusion regarding whether or not to proceed. It’s planned to load and confirm the final data just before the system goes live.

Upon completing the training process, the project team will begin using the new system exclusively.

7. Maintenance

The maintenance phase of the ERP life cycle is the last step in the process. Those responsible for keeping the new system must remain updated on new technological developments. In addition, employees are accountable for acquiring the knowledge necessary to keep the system operational at all times.

Conclusion

Installing a fully integrated ERP system is a company-specific, large-scale procedure. Ideally, your ERP software vendor and partner should be as knowledgeable about your business as you are. Because going forward, their responsibility is to support and maintain the system.

Still, they’ll advise and offer additional solutions to help you accomplish your growth and financial objectives.

ERP Implementation article and permission to publish here provided by Claire Glassman. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on July 18, 2022.

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