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ERP Implementation - Tips For Faster Deployment

There is a general belief that a full scale, top of the line erp solution will take years to fully implement. This assumption is quite co... thumbnail 1 summary

There is a general belief that a full scale, top of the line erp solution will take years to fully implement. This assumption is quite common given the nightmare stories of the earlier big ERP implementations for Fortune 100 companies decades ago, and because for some of the most complex enterprise solutions for large Fortune 100 companies that is still very likely the timeframe even today.

However, for companies today the implement climate has progressed significantly and with the right application and the right management, full scale ERP solutions can get rolled out quickly and efficiently in a matter of months and not years. Here are some insights for an efficient and effective implementation rollout.

1. Don't try to make the new enterprise software look like the old enterprise system. One of the big mistakes companies make is they try to keep the look and GUI the same as the old system which can add to tremendous costs and to the implementation as well as increase the implementation time without adding any real business value. New ERP applications and enterprise solutions should be easier to use and more intuitive than older versions. Just because existing employees may be familiar with older systems that does not mean that are easier and more user friendly.

2. Streamline your business processes and strategy before the implementation and not during. Implementing a full ERP system force managers and department heads to start revisiting the way business is conducted and the process flows of the company. Make sure that this streamlining process happens before the implementation begins. Companies many times fall into the trap of focusing on the day's business and only start to look at processes when brought to their attention by the ERP implementation team. Make sure that these managers have the proper resources and responsibility to carve out time for the streamlining and strategy work before an ERP solution is even sourced let alone implemented.

3. Get your employees that use the system involved with the ERP software selection process as well as in the implementation process itself. While its important to have top company managers on board as well, it is important to have a mix of levels and to especially include the employees that use the enterprise system on a daily basis.

4. Companies usually don't have the right expertise in house to implement a full ERP system. Although the internal IT department and CIO may be brilliant at what they do, the chances are slim that they have worked on more than one or two ERP implementation in their careers, if any at all. And most likely they have not worked on implementation with the newest ERP offerings currently available on the market. It would be wise to hire qualified implementation consultants who do ERP systems implementations for a living especially with companies in your industry sector and business size.