Is your organization about to start the implementation of a new ERP system? Or an upgrade or re-implementation that will bring a lot of change? The impact of such a project on the organization is huge. Without proper preparation, your company runs a lot of risk! With these tips you increase the chance of success.
1. Inform and communicate
Companies often very thoroughly select a new ERP system. Extensive research, presentations, demos, reference visits and meetings. Nothing is left to chance. But once the decision has been made, the plans are rarely shared and discussed with the rest of the organization. While prior to starting the project, it is very important that everyone in the organization knows what is going to happen, why and what the consequences are. This ensures that people are involved and motivated and understand the benefits of the ERP implementation.
2. Select a super team
The project team of your organization will consist of a project manager and key users from the various departments. Select a project manager who is self-confident, has experience with these types of projects, keeps a close eye on the planning and communicates well. The key users are not necessarily your most experienced people. Much more important is that they are good at understanding business processes, see where improvement is possible, are motivated to turn the project into a success and are prepared to implement changes.
3. Make enough time available for your people
One of the biggest problems during ERP implementations is a lack of time. Your employees cannot, of course, drop all their work and focus entirely on the ERP implementation. But you will still have to create some space in their agendas. There are periods when you only devote a few hours a week to the project, but there are also phases in which half the working week is occupied by the project. Take this into account in the capacity planning before you start the project.
"One of the biggest problems during ERP implementations is a lack of time."
4. Ensure support and involvement from management
The management must fully support the ERP decision that has been made and support and facilitate the project team from the start. You do this by giving the team enough time, giving them the mandate to take decisions and by resolving issues that escalate in a steering committee meeting. Management must also be involved in the implementation. Keep an eye on the progress, identify problems in time, show understanding and help the project team.
5. Prepare a detailed plan with a phased implementation
Without a proper planning, an ERP implementation will be a tough project that will never be completed within time, budget and scope. A detailed, realistic planning with responsibilities per task and predetermined milestones provides guidance for everyone. Also, don't try to put everything in the project; choose for a phased implementation. The project already puts a lot of strain on the organization when you keep it simple and do it in phases, let alone when you want to automate and improve everything at once.
Fortunately, you do not have to do the preparation by yourself as an organization. The ERP partner has extensive experience with these types of projects. They can already advise and support you in the preparation for the project. For example, when putting the team together, setting up the planning and regarding the internal communication.
Remko Gaastra is in charge of Dysel North America. He leads a team of industry experts to make equipment dealers in North-America more successful.