Enterprise resource planning, or ERP, can be a daunting phrase and an even more daunting process especially for the novice user. When trying anything new, it can be confusing and maybe even a little scary. However, it is important to push past the fear because the benefits of ERP can be overwhelming! The process of implementing ERP Software can be difficult, even for experienced users so keep in mind the following things when implementing ERP:
What is ERP?
ERP software integrates many functions and departments all into one system platform for easier tracking and organization. Obviously, there is much more to it, but at a basic level it is the system or systems that keep a company running. Originally created to help manufacturing companies keep track of massive amounts of inventory and invoicing, ERP is now used across multiple industries for multiple jobs. The uses are endless, as well as the options. Larger companies could not run or scale successfully without effective ERP systems.
Looking at ERP for the First Time
Now knowing what ERP is used for, at least at a basic level, a novice user should be starting to think about what ERP can do for them. An ERP consultant, someone with a background in both business and technology, can help guide a novice user through the process of ERP implementation, including the initial choosing of the software. For example, whether the novice user is at a large company or a small company and how robust the functionality needs to be, can be great questions to answer during the initial phases of developing a business specific ERP strategy.
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Implementing ERP for the First Time
Once the software choices have been determined and chosen, ERP implementation can begin. The process can be long and tedious, and this is where an ERP consultant will come in handy. ERP implementations can take from months to years, depending on the size and complexity of the company. For example, a company with multiple locations or currencies is commonly a longer and more difficult implementation. In no way does a novice user have to go through implementation alone. Aside from a consultant, a novice user can also rely on resources such as Panorama’s educational ERP Boot Camp, webinars, white paper studies and more. Implementation needs a clear plan and competent knowledgeable players to work well and stay on track. Many first time ERP implementations go over budget and take longer than expected for a myriad of reasons.
Tips for ERP Novice User
As ERP is such a wide topic, novice users are encouraged to do as much research as they can to get up to speed. Again, there are a variety of resources from which to choose. An ERP Consultant is often the best bet to help with mapping and planning as well as making sure the project stays on track. Also, when looking at ERP costs, remember that it is an investment meant to save a company money and time in the long term, so don’t be so concerned with sticker shock. Your ERP “investment” should make your company more efficient and able to compete in your marketplace.
Benefits of ERP for the Novice User
Investing in ERP software can make a huge difference in the profit and functionality of a company when executed well. ERP Software was built with the idea of saving money for companies via efficiencies and automation. Duplication of tasks are often eliminated. Increased customer satisfaction should be a by-product. This should lead to increased ROI and profits and the ability for companies to grow without adding bodies. As mentioned above, an independent ERP consultant can be of significant help. They do this every day for a living.