Your company’s management team is dead set on purchasing a new ERP system. They’ve begun compiling a list of potential vendors and have started looking at just how big of a project they can fit into the company budget. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until, suddenly, an executive asks: “Do we know what the ERP implementation process looks like?”
Change is never easy. Employees become used to their daily routines. Business processes shift from being best practices to “the way our company has always done business.” The ERP implementation process is no different. The benefits of the new system are often not readily apparent to your team members and this can make it difficult for them to accept the large scale changes.
As a manager, it’s your responsibility to convince your co-workers there is light at the end of the tunnel. Here are a few ways to ensure a smooth ERP implementation process at your company.
1. Pinpoint the Business Problem You’re Hoping to Solve
One of the primary reasons behind the failure of any ERP implementation project is failure on the part of management to articulate why it is they want an ERP system for their company in the first place. Instead, they view it as a solution to problems they have yet to identify.
This approach rarely, if ever, works. Members of the company management team need to meet with their managers to get a better understanding of the inefficiencies and roadblocks they deal with on a daily basis. From there, management can determine whether an ERP system offers a solution to one or more of the identified problem areas.
Upon deciding to move forward with an ERP project, managers should establish time-bound objectives rooted in data for the project. These objectives offer data points executives can point toward when seeking to convince others of the success or failure of the project later on.
2. Begin Building Support For the ERP Implementation Project
The EPR implementation project’s success will ultimately rely on employees buying into it. It’s never too early to start.
You’ve already identified problems across the business that affect the daily lives of your employees. It’s now time to show them how the ERP system can either mitigate or eliminate entirely some of their problems. As always, it’s best to lead with the data.
ERP system providers are generally more than willing to offer you case studies detailing how other companies have overcome challenges similar to your own through the adoption of their system. Use the data and anecdotes presented in these case studies to begin convincing your employees the new software could have a transformative effect on their work lives once it’s up and running.
Be sure to identify influential members of your staff who might be skeptical of the new system and meet with them separately to discuss how it will impact their work on a personal level.
3. Build an ERP Implementation Team
Every successful project needs a dedicated team capable of building an implementation road map and from there executing on it.
It probably seems obvious you need to staff this team with some of your company’s top talent. But it goes well beyond competence. Each member of the team should be chosen based not only on skills and experience but also their influence within the company since, as we’ve mentioned before, persuading others to follow along can be one of your key challenges.
You should also be mindful of which departments within your company will use the system most often in their daily work and appoint a leader from the department to the team. These leaders can relay any challenges their teams confront throughout the ERP implementation process and ensure progress is being made toward the previously established implementation objectives.
4. Create Comprehensive Trainings
Nothing can derail a project faster than stakeholders beginning to feel as though it’s a nuisance. A lack of training can quickly cause frustration and frustration often leads to inertia.
Luckily, there are usually many resources out there to get your team up to date on new systems. ERP companies often offer training courses employees can complete at their own pace. These courses usually offer both instructional materials and quizzes to check the progress employees are making toward mastering the new system. Your team can monitor company-wide mastery on the backend to identify any potential problem areas.
Your IT team should also work to put together courses on elements of the system customized for your own business. They can use resources such as Udemy to build comprehensive training platforms that also allow you to track the progress your employees are making.
If your company is looking for an ERP system designed to streamline your business processes and save you money in the long run, we’re here to help. Timac Business Systems is a licensed dealer of Sage ERP systems. Our experts can help create a software solution tailored to your company’s needs. Contact us today!