Implementing an ERP in your business can be a complicated project. In addition to installing the software, you’ll also need to decide which modules or add-ons to use, transfer relevant data from multiple old systems, integrate the new ERP with other software you’ll still use, adjust the settings to your liking, and train your employees to use the system. With large projects, it’s often valuable to break them down into manageable steps. To simplify ERP implementation, you can split the process into 8 distinct steps.
The first implementation step begins before you even decide which ERP to implement. You must first have a plan. You’ll need to get leadership and IT buy-in for the project, communicate the proposed change to your employees, and assemble your implementation team. You’ll also need to decide on requirements, such as whether you want a cloud-based or hybrid system.
- Selecting a System
Once you’ve outlined your requirements, you can choose an ERP system and vendor. Keep in mind important details such as who has access to your data, whether your ERP can integrate with your existing software, support needs after system adoption, and mobility requirements.
- Installing the System
Once you’ve chosen an ERP and an ERP vendor, the next step is to install the software. If you choose to deploy a SaaS instance, you will face no software installation requirements and little to no lead time. If you choose a hybrid model, this step will be prolonged, as hardware and software will need to be installed.
- Migrating Data
Data migration is an absolutely crucial step to your ERP installation. If you don’t get all your business data into your new system, it won’t be much help to you. Before you begin transferring your data, you must first clean up and filter your old data. Remove redundancies and fix mistakes now—don’t copy mistakes into your new system.
- Training Employees
While you cannot finish training all your employees before the system goes live, you should begin training your designated “subject matter experts” early. These are the people your other employees will go to with questions about the system. You’ll also want to host some preliminary training sessions for all employees who will be expected to interact with the ERP.
No matter how well your initial installation goes, there will be errors somewhere in the system. You’ll need a detailed testing plan to measure user acceptance, validate all the functionalities of the system, and make sure that all company data is as complete and accurate as it was in your previous software.
- Going Live
Now that you’re confident your system works, it’s time to go live! There are three main strategies that businesses use: activating the ERP and immediately deactivating the old system, activating the ERP in phases to minimize disruptions in operations, and activating the ERP alongside the old system for a while before deactivating the old system.
You’re not done with your implementation process when the ERP system goes live. You need to solicit feedback from employees across your company about what works for them and what doesn’t. They’ll see challenges and opportunities that you won’t, given your different positions in the company.
If you’re in the market for an ERP, look no further than Sage 100. Sage is a modern, flexible ERP that is designed to help you expand your business operations, automate repetitive processes, and give you unprecedented access and visibility into your company. Here at Emerald TC, we provide expert implementation, consulting, and support for your software needs. If you’re interested in partnering with us to implement Sage 100, contact us today.