If you’re curious about what ERP stands for, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution automates critical business processes. ERP implementation, therefore, refers to the entire process of adopting such a platform.
It allows for increased productivity and improved cross-departmental collaboration, especially with modern leaders such as Acumatica Cloud ERP General Business Edition. However, the implementation of ERP can come across as a challenge, posing a set of technological and business requirements for a smooth and effective deployment.
To help you get started, here’s everything you need to know about ERP implementation methodology.
What Is ERP Implementation?
The implementation of an ERP system is not a straightforward rollout. It is a company-wide effort that will, at the very least, affect multiple departments and business units.
Modern ERP software usually includes the following applications, which will dictate your ERP implementation plan and the unique business case for your organization:
- Human resource management (HRM) increasingly known as human capital management (HCM) covers employee concerns, onboarding and offboarding, timekeeping, benefits, and retention programs.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) handles customer data, lead generation and handling—critical business aspects for sales and marketing teams.
- Supply chain management (SCM) handles the materials flow from your suppliers into your market.
- Inventory management is for businesses that require inventory, such as retail or warehousing. A successful ERP provides automated inventory management that tracks your floor stock levels in real time.
- Financial management is an indispensable core focus. A robust financial platform that is both timely and accurate is the foundation of most successful ERP implementations.
Of course, other, more specialized applications are often needed for certain industry-specific implementation of ERP systems, such as flexible solutions like Sage 100 Software with eCommerce modules. Therefore, implementing enterprise resource planning strategies must consider the unique needs of the business.
Check out these other blogs about ERP systems:
Adopting a Basic ERP Implementation Methodology
ERP system implementations are largely on a case-to-case basis. From the outset, it looks like it’s about deploying the software, either on-premise or from the cloud, and conducting data migration. However, customizing it for a certain company requires careful consideration.
Implementation of ERP systems varies from company to company. Still, there are general guidelines to help you get started with your own ERP implementation plan, which, in turn, will dictate how you roll out the technology to the company.
To help get this massive project off the ground, below are four phases of ERP implementation to guide your progress.
1. ERP Implementation Planning
Among the ERP implementation phases listed in this article, one might argue that the first is the most important. Not only does it guide the implementation process down the road, but it also identifies critical parts of the entire undertaking.
For most organizations, implementing an ERP system starts with setting up a dedicated ERP project team that works closely with the third-party provider to address all concerns. Usually, a project manager spearheads the entire effort with a virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) from the vendor’s side.
Then, team members ensure that the proposed process aligns with every specific goal. After you define the role and choose how to approach the project, you can start with the next steps of ERP implementation.
2. ERP Project Design
An ERP Implementation Project Plan documents all the relevant information about your company’s endeavor. It covers your specific targets and how to implement the ERP system across different departments. This plan addresses the specific modules and features needed, as well as the timeline of the entire project.
More than identifying platform specifics, this process of ERP implementation also requires your team to study, assess, and streamline an existing business process to allow for its upcoming integration.
By analyzing existing gaps, you can identify the optimal ERP systems implementation that works well for your company—one that aligns with your target, brings value to your employees, and minimizes disruption for the rest of the implementation project.
In designing the overall plan, you also finalize the rest of the ERP implementation life cycle—including schedules and financial projections.
3. ERP Project Development
Start developing your platform with the technological, business, and design requirements already identified in the previous ERP implementation steps. As you go further, you will see whether there is a need to customize an existing ERP solution.
Similarly, this ERP implementation process involves other integration and development procedures to ensure compatibility with existing legacy systems. These include but are not limited to the following:
- ERP conversion to meet specific requirements
- Programming modules to department specifications
- Laying out data migration plans
It’s worth noting that balancing the technical side and the human side is important in ensuring a successful ERP implementation. Generate user manuals and brief your teams on what to expect once you start deploying it in full swing.
The ERP Implementation Process Can Be Overwhelming
For businesses in regulated industries, this particular segment of implementing ERP systems can take longer than other phases because of the testing, especially if you adopt an agile ERP implementation approach. However, you can expect a more robust system with this approach once you deploy it in the field.
Implementing ERP systems without sufficient testing could cause problems down the line, leading to downtime and productivity losses.
4. ERP Deployment and System Testing
After developing a customized platform for your company, it’s time to deploy the system. Despite testing, it pays to be ready once you start with the live ERP implementation in your company with contingencies and backup plans.
Some organizations go about implementing ERP software all at once. Meanwhile, other companies prefer implementing ERP in a certain order. You can start with the most critical ones, with the least critical ones coming after.
Regardless of the implementation methodology in ERP that you choose, what matters is gearing it toward attaining the targets you have outlined back in your planning stage.
Implement Your ERP System
We’ve answered the big question: what is an ERP implementation? But more importantly, you now have an overview of what happens in implementing an ERP system.
With the phases listed above, you can ensure all platform aspects bring value to the company. That is regardless of whether you’re looking to follow specific methodologies such as SAP implementation phases or those used by other organizations.
One more important part of implementing ERP systems is having a reliable partner. Kissinger Associates is a trusted provider of ERP solutions. We help companies implement an ERP system designed around their unique requirements, particularly on Sage 100 and Acumatica-based platforms.
Call Kissinger Associates now for seamless implementation of your ERP system.