Ahead of Softworld, guest blogger Fran McKee, Marketing Director of Sage Business Partner Pinnacle, talks about how to successfully implement an ERP solution. Pop by stand AF130, at Softworld and ask Fran about a free business audit.
Leading businesses from across Europe will this week grace the doors of Softworld (18th & 19th Oct Excel London) seeking the right ERP solution fit for their unique business. Many operate globally and across multiple sites so naturally prompts the question, what are the critical success factors of selecting and implementing an ERP solution? Enormous benefits can be reaped from a well planned implementation, however even the most successful businesses have suffered massive ramifications from poor ERP implementations.
Finding the right partner
Attending vendor gatherings such as Softworld helps the process right from the start. The search for vendor capability is fundamental to finding the right product, and importantly the partner, that is capable of project delivery and support of the solution. Attention to the quality, capabilities and capacity of the implementation team from the vendor is crucial. Engaging the right consultants, at the right time, coupled with a proper requirement exercise beforehand will assist in getting the implementation right at all stages.
Getting support from management at the outset ensures the business is committed to best of breed processes that can be realised through the selection and implementation of an ERP solution. This means investing people and time into process adaptation, data cleansing before transformation into the new ERP solution and sufficient testing before go live. Making sure the project manager within your business is right – communication internally and externally is essential.
Successful implementation of ERP requires an educated and well trained workforce so the users understand the changes in workflow and jobs that the new ERP software and business processes bring. This is especially important for companies who operate globally and across multiple sites. Continuous roll out of training programmes for existing and new staff reinforces existing processes while also introducing latest software releases and technology changes.
A common understanding
A useful tip is to create a “glossary” of industry specific terminology and processes which are clearly understood by the ERP implementation provider. Misunderstood terminology can lead to significant increases in both implementation costs and time.
Keep the project moving
Ensure key management and staff agree to measurable steps, goals and project milestones with the vendor throughout the implementation process to ensure the project keeps moving. Perhaps hold last payment to the vendor to ensure all their commitments have been met. Be realistic – don’t be tempted to go-live before you are really ready!
Fran McKee, Sage Business Partner Pinnacle
Don’t forget to visit the Sage solutions team and its ERP partner Pinnacle at Stand AF130 Softworld, 18th and 19th October Excel London and discover how Sage’s ERP software solutions can support your local and global operations.