Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has brought numerous benefits in the business world. From providing easy access to customer information, improving collaboration, increasing productivity and enhancing customer service, ERP has indeed transformed business operations. With ERP, different business functions have experienced faster and smoother processes, allowing them to work efficiently.
Realising the list of benefits it could offer, more and more companies have developed interests in investing and implementing ERP within their organisations. However, many businesses have failed to recognise that implementing an ERP system takes a lot of time and thorough planning before it can actually provide beneficial effects. Furthermore, some ERP systems may take months or even years to deploy, not to mention can cost a lot with various costs such as software licenses and training factored in.
Given these considerable factors that many companies have failed to recognise, most of them fall short of expectations or even worse, completely fail without getting a return of investment (ROI).
Tips on Getting the Most Out of Your ERP System
Choose an ERP solution that suits your business
Implementing an ERP software comes with a hefty price tag. As such, you need to make sure to choose a solution that suits both your business needs, industry requirements and your IT infrastructure. Since there are hundreds of vendors that offer various ERP solutions, choosing the best one for your business can be a little tricky. An ERP solution that works for someone you know, may not work effectively for your organisation. On the other hand, what doesn’t suit others, may work perfectly for your business. With this, it’s safe to say that investing time and effort in choosing an ERP solution can be your best bet.
When defining your company’s core needs, it is best to stick to a short yet functional list of your company’s must-haves. The more defined your core needs are, the easier it will be once you get to implementing the ERP solution.
Look at the total cost of ownership
True enough, implementing an ERP solution can be an expensive proposition. To ensure that you’re getting the most out of this investment, you need to look at the total cost of ownership (TCO) first. When comparing different solutions, make sure to check not just the cost of the software itself, but also the costs of other essential factors such as hardware, implementation, maintenance and future upgrade.
Invest in software training
Like other solutions, understanding how ERP software works is necessary for the successful adoption of the new system. Investing in software training and onboarding is essential to support end-users, manage change requests and address possible issues that might occur. If users are undertrained, it is most likely that they will fail to make the most out of the tools available in the ERP software. Furthermore, they won’t develop an interest in using the system, which may cause them to abandon it and opt for manual processes.
Avoid deploying ERP modules all at once
Implementing ERP modules all at once may seem like an appropriate option to save time and to take advantage of the system immediately. However, doing so can be a huge mistake especially for organisations that are new to this technological innovation. With incremental development, you’ll get to deploy one module at a time, allowing you to carefully monitor how it works before proceeding with the rest of the modules.
Choose the right ERP vendor
By this time, you probably have an idea of the type of solution you want for your business and the total cost of ownership (TOC) that comes with it. The next thing you need to do is to find the right ERP vendor that will suit your needs and expectations. Finding the right person for the job is a vital part of the entire process. When looking for a vendor, make sure to ask about the TCO and the estimated ROI you can get from purchasing their system. You can also discuss the budget as well as the project completion time to ensure that your requirement matches their capability.