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Now that you have realized the potential business benefits of an ERP system for your business, it is time to implement one. Of course, that may be easier said than done. To help you, use this cheat sheet. It breaks down the steps needed to implement an ERP system.

1. Choose a Team of Employees to Assist You

Start by selecting an employee from every department to be involved throughout the process. Their specific department knowledge will be valuable in selecting the correct modules and options for your ERP software.

2. Evaluate Your Problems, Objectives, and Goals

Have everyone sit down to identify the specific objectives and goals you want to achieve. Identify which analytics, functions, and processes are of the utmost importance. Don’t forget to factor in future changes and scalability. Once you identify what you wish to accomplish, it’s time to select your ERP system.

3. Choose Your ERP System

There are a vast array of ERP system vendors on the market with a large variety of options. Factor in your budget, while also paying careful attention to the system’s method of implementation and what type of training is provided. Make certain the ERP system you select does the following:

  • Improves upon your current processes
  • Supports your existing processes, yet eliminates workarounds
  • Introduces greater collaboration and efficiency
  • Supports growth, including new ventures and higher volumes

Also, opt to use an ERP system vendor who will take care of the data migration process and agrees to take on the responsibility of training your employees on the new system.

SAP vs. Oracle Case Study

SAP and Oracle both invest heavily in cloud technology. However, our client was skeptical about cloud scalability and unsure if the products were mature and proven.

4. Clean Up Your Data

After selecting your ERP system, it is time to concentrate on moving your data. This involves looking at your source data and comparing it to the ERP system’s target data. However, before the migration, it is imperative that you take the time to clean up your existing data.

This involves removing any out-of-date information. Only the most important and necessary data should be moved. Additionally, strive for uniformity and accuracy. For example, you may have the address “North Broad Street” listed as “North Broad St.,” “N. Broad St.,” “and N. Broad Street.” Choose one and make certain they are uniform.

Only after you have reviewed all of your data, made the necessary changes and purged out anything that is old or unnecessary, should you allow the vendor to perform the migration.

Learn more about how other manufacturers are leveraging ERP systems to automate their businesses. Download our Manufacturing ERP Report here to view the unfiltered and objective results from our annual study of manufacturers across the globe!

5. Set Up Plenty of Hands-On Training on the New ERP System for Your Employees

Change can be difficult, especially for longtime employees. In fact, 56% of ERP implementations result in some type operational disruption, after going live, which is frequently attributed to inadequate training [1]. Typically, the most effective type of training is hands-on. This should be completed before going live. The instructor should not only detail how to use the ERP system, but also ensure every employee has access to a test system and is given scenarios to perform and create. Before going live, have every employee test on the ERP system to demonstrate their understanding of how to use it.

6. Test and Go Live

After confirming accurate data migration, it is essential to thoroughly test the ERP system to identify any potential issues before going live. This includes testing functionality, as well as making sure specific interfaces, business processes, reports, and transactions are working correctly.

Finally, it is time to go live! In the meantime, download our 2017 ERP Report to learn other benchmarks and best practices to optimize your ERP implementation.

[1] Panorama Consulting ERP Survey 2017 – Download the report here.

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