Top 5 ERP Implementation Success Factors
By Buu-Linh Tran, Vice President - Financial Solutions, Marcum Technology
A big part of an Enterprise Resource Planning’s (ERP) success is how well the system is implemented. But before we implement a new system that will seamlessly integrate into your core business functions, we are assuming that you have performed the necessary due diligence to select the right system.
When selecting a new ERP system, there are 3 questions you should ask:
- Does the system meet my core requirements? “Core” is the key word here. We don’t want to get caught in analysis paralysis, where we go overboard with the requirements. Your team should evaluate and prioritize your greatest needs and find the right balance between addressing your pain points and future requirements.
- Does the system meet my budget? You should have an idea of how much the organization can spend on the new system based on your budget. Also keep in mind that the cost may include post-implementation support and not just the initial software and implementation services.
- Do I have the right vendor to implement the system? Even if an organization selects the right ERP solution, if the wrong vendor is selected, the solution might not effectively manage your business functions and create inefficiencies. A couple of key points to consider when evaluating vendors include:
- What level of experience does the ERP vendor have?
- What level of expertise in your industry will be provided?
- What does ongoing support and collaboration look like?
Assuming you have completed your due diligence and selected your new ERP solution, what are the factors that will lead to success? The top 5 success factors that can ensure successful ERP implementation are as follows:
1. Right Implementation Team
Your implementation team should be comprised of key employees across your organization. It is vital that the implementation team also include at least one member from the executive office. Having executive sponsorship and support is vital to the project’s success. The team should know your current processes and pain points. The team should also agree on a set of project goals and objectives for the implementation.
2. Clear Project Scope
A well-defined and written scope of work is critical for a successful implementation. The project scope should also be incorporated into your statement of work. As you begin your implementation, you and the selected implementation vendor should break down the project scope into individual requirements. For example, if your scope of work includes implementing accounts payable automation, one of the requirements may be to define the workflow for the accounts payable invoice approval.
3. Emphasis on Training
Training should not be just about learning how to enter transactions into the new system. Training should be a core focus throughout the implementation. The implementation vendor should review how the system can best work for the organization based on configuration options. When training is embraced throughout the implementation, it fosters team engagement and promotes smooth and accurate execution of the implementation tasks.
4. Well Defined Cutover Plan
There are many key milestone tasks when implementing an ERP system. These tasks may include defining the requirements, configuring the system, and testing. One key task that is sometimes under-emphasized is defining the migration or cutover plan. When the cutover plan is not well-defined and cleared, it can result in data reconciliation issues and months of cleanup efforts.
5. Change Management
A new ERP implementation generally changes the way people do their jobs. Change is difficult for many people, and there must be a real effort to help staff adopt new ways of doing things. Even if the entire implementation is executed perfectly, if your people do not embrace and adopt the new processes and changes, the project will ultimately fail. The key to successful change management involves clear communication and effective training throughout the implementation.
Marcum Technology has helped many organizations implement ERP solutions. If your organization is looking to upgrade or change to a new ERP system, you may want to consider how these five success factors can help in your implementation. If you are interested in learning more about ERP solutions and implementation, register for our upcoming CPE-accredited webinars or contact us at [email protected].