About to implement ERP in your business?
Before an ERP implementation, it’s critical to understand what the needs (and pain points) of your business are, and how a proposed solution will help you address them.
Inconsistent data from different business areas or an inability to find information when you need it, are often key signs that your business is outgrowing its accounting or business management software. However, recognizing that your company is ready for a new solution is only the first step.
So how long should this process take and how much will an ERP implementation cost your company? Well, there is no easy answer because it depends on the size and scope of your organization.
According to Panorama’s independent ERP research over the past five years, the average cost of an ERP implementation is approximately $6.1 million with an average duration of 15.7 months. ERP projects fail because managers don’t consider:
- How a successful ERP implementation will improve day-to-day business processes
- The cost of an ERP implementation from beginning to end
- The time it will take to complete an ERP implementation
Eric Kimberling of Panorama Consulting is an independent ERP systems expert with over 20 years' experience advising clients around the world. He believes that ERP solutions have become easier to implement over the years.
"You don't want to treat ERP as a small project. You want to make sure you have a dedicated focus on the people that are addressing the organizational change management aspects," he says. "People always think end-user training when they think of organizational change, but there's so much more that needs to happen before the end-user training in order for that to be successful."
Before implementing ERP software, it’s key to define your business processes in advance
Alongside your management team, ask:
- What inefficiencies in your current business processes do you want to improve?
- What process do you want to mitigate against?
- How can ERP software address these needs or wants?
- What is your budget for an ERP implementation?
- What is your timeline?
- Have you allowed for contingencies?
- Have you communicated these milestones internally?
It doesn't matter if you opt for on-premise or in the cloud, the more you focus on identifying your business need, the more likely your ERP implementation plan will succeed.
How business management solutions overcome the problems with painful ERP implementations
Business management software or business management solutions are faster, simpler, and more flexible than a typical ERP implementation. They succeed because companies relying on BMS achieve greater insight into their processes by bringing everything together in one solution.
According to the size and need of your business, determine whether your company needs specific industry functionality, or whether it will work better with a more flexible, standardized solution.
Irrespective of which software or method you chose, make sure the entire process is divided into steps and each step has specific timelines for completion. To guarantee a seamless implementation, assign someone responsible for ensuring those deadlines are met.
As with most implementations, the success of your business management solution depends on following a systematic approach. Sometimes, the implementation process runs into minor bumps, and the implementation plan falls behind to accommodate those unforeseen circumstances.
However, in most implementations, the process is supported by documentation, so the chances of hitting road bumps is close to zero. Such pre-worked documentation shared by the provider ensures that as a business, you are able to hit the ground running, and hone in on opportunities.