Implementing ERP can be an intricate venture which could affect business operations in multiple ways. The challenging section is to accomplish the process in a designed manner. vDividing the process into phases with clear objectives will increase the chances of successfully attaining the task.
Contrary to this, undergoing an ERP implementation process without any systematic plan, purpose, or goals, could result in possible setbacks later.
An ERP system boosts productivity and efficiency in business operations through advanced integrations like human resources, financial management, sales, and inventory management. Implementing ERP comprises planning, configuring, and deploying the ERP system. However, the task completion period could take up to months due to the inclusion of diverse programs that automate different business functions. For a successful implementation, the company needs to state its requirements carefully, redesign the process, configure the ERP system, and test it diligently before launching it. Conquering the procedure effortlessly requires accurate planning and an organized and phased implementation procedure.
The Main Phases of ERP Implementation
The ERP implementation process can be clustered into 6 phases, with individual objectives. Due to the diverse nature of businesses, these phases could be different for different businesses and could overlap. These 6 phases consist of planning, design, development, testing, deployment, and support.
The foundation phase starts with researching and choosing the system, building up the project team, and explaining specific system requirements. For the ERP implementation process, the project team takes charge of the laying out of the project plan and target dates, assuring that all the resources are allocated, structuring product and design decisions, and routined project management.
An ERP project team is needed for the ERP software implementation process that includes a sponsor, a project head, and a departmental representative. For the proper allocation of resources, the involvement of the senior executives is crucial. They would also assist in providing support for the changes in the routine operation.
Internal representatives like the IT personnel and report writer are also needed for the development of customized user reports across the organization.
The first concern will be to have an elaborate understanding of the current issues including process inefficiencies and ERP requirements. During this phase, the team could choose an ERP system with the development of the requirements. It is crucial to decide to choose 3xxxwhether the ERP should be on-premise or cloud.
Once the design requirements are clear and concise, the business can proceed with the development stage. This stage in the ERP software implementation process involves configuration and customization of the software when required. Integration could also be possible with other systems in the organization which cannot be replaced by the ERP system.
For the software development section, the team must prepare training material for the new system users. Another important step to handle is the data migration process, which is complex due to its extracting, transforming, and loading of data from multiple systems, which might include duplicate or inconsistent information.
The testing and development must occur simultaneously. For instance, the project team may test the system, find glitches, develop the fixes and adjustments, and then retest the system. Or, they may test one system while the other one is in the development phase. Once the testing of the basic functions is done, it should follow with severe testing of the system with its full capability, along with involving employees to use the system for their daily activities. The project team must also test the migrated data and includes the required user training for the system.
This is the stage where the fun begins. It is the go-live stage. During this stage, your system will face troubles, first due to technicalities and then you will encounter a few bewildered employees regarding the system. The project will have a big responsibility on their shoulders. They must guide the users with the new system, work on fixing system issues, and answer questions related to the system, software, and its operations. The ERP implementation process is not complete unless all the issues are addressed in the initial stage after going live. Your implementation partner needs to address the issues with troubleshooting if needed. One important thing to remember is that it is a time-consuming thing to get adapted to the new system and hence the company needs to wait for some more time to see results and gains.