Setting Up an ERP: Preparation as a Factor for Success

More and more companies are acquiring an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system to manage their business better. Here are some keys to prepare for this implementation… and to make it a success!

The objective of an Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) system is to gain productivity by optimizing the management, circulation and analysis of information and automating repetitive tasks. It enables rationalization of processes. Also, before choosing a system, it is important to take into account the company’s business sector, its activities and its specifics. Whether you choose a general ERP system or a specialized one, good preparation is important.

Preparing for the change

Knowing where to go with an ERP system is essential for a number of reasons. It is first and foremost a tool for change. Management must therefore be convinced of its merits and support it. Also involve the managers and end users in the process; make sure that they are involved in the validation steps and that they are trained. Then, remember to regularly inform all employees. Reassuring people and supporting them limits the resistance to change and makes it easier to take on the project.

An accurate and detailed analysis, formalized in writing, is then crucial. Take current needs into account, but also the company’s growth in the medium term, in order to avoid major reinvestment in a short time, knowing that the life span of an ERP system is about 10 years. The analysis will also let you make choices about configuration. Finally, ensure that the software reflects decisions already agreed to concerning processes and not that it is a means to force the hand of users.

Think about everything

Once the needs have been established, make a careful choice of the type of software package, the publisher and the integrator. Organize meetings and take the time to assess the offer. Its maturity, how it takes international standards into account, simplicity in use and the possibilities for settings are some of the criteria to be studied. Also think about what comes afterwards, and negotiate the conditions of technical support, update frequency, etc. Finally, don’t forget to design from the beginning measurement indicators that can quantify the benefits of the new tool.

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