9 checkpoints to ERP implementation success
Having a clear roadmap for ERP implementation can make the process significantly less daunting. While each ERP journey is different, most organizations that have successfully undergone this transformation pass through the following nine checkpoints.
1. Have a champion. Successful ERP implementation – and the post implementation process –
requires sustained commitment throughout the enterprise. Having a C-level champion will help ensure that the undertaking receives the long-term attention it needs.
2. Communicate and educate. Major company initiatives almost always are accompanied by uncertainty and speculation that can coalesce into speed bumps and roadblocks. This particularly can be the case with ERP implementation, which calls for a new approach to how work is done across the organization. Proactively counter skepticism and resistance with transparency and education to build buy-in.
3. Allocate adequate support resources. An ERP implementation isn’t simply a large IT project – it requires functions throughout the organization to closely examine their processes and how those processes can be improved or adapted in the new ERP. As the various elements of company workflow are developed on the ERP platform, they must be subjected to iterative testing and feedback by the people who will be using them. Free up the time and energy needed for these important tasks by bringing in temporary staff or redistributing workload to handle routine operational matters.
4. Build implementation teams with depth and breadth. The heavy upfront work of ERP implementation takes place in the teams assigned to examine the workflow and processes of the various functions. Make sure that the teams include a wide range of perspectives and that there is a team for each function that has a part in operations and back-office support.
5. Monitor involvement. In the crush of client engagements, it’s easy for testing ERP modules and providing feedback to be relegated to the back burner. Measuring and publicizing how each team is progressing with these tasks keeps them high on everyone’s agenda.
6. Celebrate wins as they happen. An operational ERP platform is comprised of a network of individual elements. When a process that, for example, streamlines invoicing and eliminates the need for manual double entry has been finalized, communicate that milestone across the organization. Don’t make people wait until launch to see the fruits of their labors.
7. Customize your rollout strategy. ERP rollout schedules can be as flexible as the ERP platform itself. Rollout can be staggered across functions and scheduled at any point in the calendar. Structure the rollout to fit the workflow cycles of the individual organization.
8. Don’t stop at the finish line. As important a benchmark as a successful ERP implementation may be, it is only a baseline for further improvement. The months after implementation provide additional experience and data points that should be translated into ongoing performance gains.
9. Upgrade your culture. Replacing ad hoc processes with an ERP system represents a higher level of sophistication and professionalization in how the company conducts its business. Management should use this opportunity to re-examine the firm’s culture and brand to make sure they reflect the elevated standards that have been embraced.
The CohnReznick ERP implementation team has helped many contractors balance an ERP implementation with the demands of running a business – and then conduct post-implementation follow-through to ensure they are getting the most out of their system.
To learn about how we could help your company, please contact:
Eric Rafail, Partner, Tax
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