This simplified 7-step ERP software implementation guide can be used as a starting point on your ERP journey. It is helpful to have a trusted ERP consultant by your side as you commence from requirements gathering to full implementation. An ERP consultant can help you pinpoint the areas where your company can receive the highest value from an ERP system, outline the requirements, and sort through the many ERP vendors to find the perfect solution for your needs.
Step 1: Planning and Team Formation
The time has come to search for an ERP solution. Perhaps you’ve outgrown your current small business accounting software or you’re drowning in spreadsheets to manage your company’s daily financial needs. Planning is the first step in an ERP software implementation journey.
In the planning stage, you should gather key stakeholders from each department in the company who will use the new ERP platform. Find an executive sponsor or champion who will keep the executive team apprised of progress. Be sure to include someone from each major department (not just IT or finance) on the ERP team so that everyone who will use the system is represented.
Step 2: Requirements Gathering
Build a list of requirements for your new system. It helps to examine what you like about your current system and what you wish you had. What problems do you and your team face daily that an ERP system could solve?
Step 3: System Selection
Interview multiple ERP vendors. Share a common set of questions and requirements with them so you can compare apples to apples. Narrow the choices down to a few and invite them to demonstrate the system for you. Make sure you investigate questions like who owns the data that you upload to the system, how will it be charged (by the user, by the seat, or by usage) for the system, and how the data is secured (if it is a cloud-based system). Make sure you consider all potential requirements and reports. Discuss add-ons or customizations that may be required to provide adequate support for your needs.
Step 4: Data Migration
Data in the current system must be extracted and cleaned to prevent garbage in, garbage out. This is a great time to review and enhance your data dictionary and determine who will own the responsibility of data governance.
Step 5: ERP System Implementation
Decisions must be made around workflows, process maps, and reports. This will take time and effort so be prepared to work with your ERP vendor and/or consultant to ensure the ERP system implementation will be both adequate and beneficial for all stakeholders.
Step 6: Bug Testing and Fixing
Even the best systems can have bugs or glitches. Test, fix, and test again. Ensure adequate time is left in the process to thoroughly test all aspects of the system, especially integrations with existing systems and custom coding.
Step 7: Rollout and Training
The big data for ERP system implementation has arrived. Now it’s time to officially roll out the system. Once the system is launched, prepare training sessions for all users. Group trainees into teams based on roles so they learn what is needed to use the system for their needs. Ensure ongoing support and training is built into the system itself so new employees receive a system orientation and current employees receive refresher training.
ERP System Implementation Support
To reiterate, this is a quick checklist for ERP system implementation. The best support for your implementation project is the right consultant who not only understands the platforms under consideration but who understands your business requirements and industrywide challenges. With the right support, ERP system implementation will go smoothly, and you will benefit from an exceptional platform that improves visibility and efficiency.
Emerald TC provides software and consulting. We can help you choose the right ERP system for your needs. Contact us or call 678-456-6919 for more information.