Decided to embark on the ERP journey entails both opportunities and challenges. The process requires not only time and effort but also the support from every individual within your organisation.
In the previous blog post, we discussed the first 3 initial steps to a successful ERP implementation. What's next on the list?
Step 4: Out-of-the-box vs. Customised ERP
One of the most draining tasks is to decide whether you should customise the ERP system or use it as it is.
In essence, ERP systems have been developed by observing and incorporating best practices. If your business process is non-conforming, it is most likely not a best practice.
To answer this question, try envisioning about the future where the system is implemented, what the situation then might be?
- (1) Do you need to change any part of your business process to fit with the ERP package? If this is your case, your business is not a best practice.
- Or (2) Your business has a competitive edge, but the new system simply does not have the capability necessary to fulfil your need yet, hence you need a customised package.
If your business is not a best practice, changes are essential to the success of the project. If you are able to implement ERP effectively, and issues with changing the system are resolved, this is also the perfect chance to correct bad habits that accumulate within the business over time.
Step 5: Change management
ERP implementation is not simply an upgrade from an old, outdated IT system to a newer one. It is a change in the way you and your employees operate on the daily basis.
Just like with any other changes happen in the day-to-day business operation, changes take times and not many people embrace the idea of change.
More often than not, there will be those who agree and move on, even though they may not 100% like the idea, and there will also be those who resist.
Forcing your way in does not always result in a happy ending, especially when the idea of ERP still sounds alien to those who are directly impacted by it. Therefore, having a change management plan in place will come in handy at a time like this.
An effective change management plan should consist of these 3 key factors:
- Identify the target – those who will be affected by the implementation project.
- Communication is key – explain to them that their cooperation is essential the project, the change is crucial to the growth and thrive of the business, show them benefits and evidence that the new system will bring if the project turns out to be a success.
- Frequent reports – update the progress to your staff and key stakeholders, investors, they are all wondering about the project and their opinions are also worth listening to.
Step 6: Data cleansing
Many organisations do not recognise the importance of data and data cleansing until they start the process of vigorously organising everything to get ready for a new system.
To make matters worse, each department or person might have different versions of the master data. You have to ensure you and everyone in the organisation only possess one master data, and it is complete as well as accurate.
Solution? Data cleansing can be done even before your vendor selection phase. Go through your pile and organise them as frequently as you can to ensure no data was duplicated or dispersed. Be relentless about probing for bottlenecks and problem areas.
It is also worth noted that this task needs the right people in charge, those who are detail-oriented, smart and hardworking to come up with a process of data cleaning up.
You can also request an ERP demo to see how this solution can help your business.