Employer’s guide to implementing an ERP system
Online ERP is a term used to describe internet-based systems with which organizations are able to maximize their profitability through effective data management. Software is implemented to record and store standardized information, to which employees are then given access. This enables scope for identifying opportunities to streamline systems and increase efficiency, thereby driving profitability by reducing overheads.
Things to consider
When an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is put in place it should make life easier for employees and improve business, rather than adding onerous and unwanted responsibilities on the company’s staff members. To that end, the following questions should be carefully considered prior to implementation:
What is the main purpose of the system? One year from now, what sort of improvements should the business be experiencing?
What information will it store? Establish a clear understanding of the critical data that needs to be accessed quickly and simply.
Who will be using the system? Have a clear idea of the people and their roles to ensure they are fully engaged. By making them part of the process they are far more likely to willingly adopt the system and have a vested interest in making it work.
What external support is required? The right expertise and the right tools for the job will help to ensure that any system works for the business and not the other way round.
Implementing the system
Having analyzed the answers to the questions above and identified the most appropriate system and the best software to deliver it, the next step is the actual implementation. These are the causes a few of the most commonly experienced issues and how they can be most effectively overcome:
The right partners. External support is critical to a successful rollout as this an area that requires a degree of technical specialism. It is important for a business to fully understand the product and service they are receiving so they can properly hold suppliers to account both during and after the implementation. Getting recommendations from people who have been through a similar process is one way of avoiding this. As is ensuring that the agreement is properly documented.
Devoting sufficient time. It is tempting to assume that implementing an ERP system is going to be quick: a case of simply installing some software. In reality, it entails a lot more than that and it is crucial to devote adequate time and attention, particularly in the early stages, to ensure implementation is a success.
Understand the goals. Repeatedly going back to the initial rationale for implementing such a system (see ‘things to consider’) will ensure that ambitions are realized and expectations are met, and not detracted from by any complications along the way.
Introducing an effective and fit-for-purpose online ERP system is critical to any business wishing to continue to reach its targets in an increasingly data-driven environment. It will enable growth through ensuring maximum profitability by empowering colleagues to identify opportunities for efficiency and reducing overheads, while engaging employees in the development of the business.