In this our last post in this series today, we’ll look at the conclusions drawn by Aberdeen Research after its survey of 170 firms that implemented an ERP system. Here, we’ll look at the recommended “required actions” that will get you from average success to “best-in-class”.
The conclusions are all drawn from prior posts and observations in the series, and can be summed up as follows…
For the laggards…
* Devise an ERP plan before system selection. You’ll help eliminate ‘scope creep’ and keep costs lower.
* Implement a process for early warning of changes in ERP project scope. Scope creep is costly but inevitable. Planning for early warning triggers allows all parties to sort out the details and plan effectively before the effect can become crippling.
* Take advantage of pre-defined best practice workflows. Look to your ERP vendor, their experience, and the software itself to guide you.
For average companies looking to improve their ERP success…
* Incorporate feedback from employee training. Best-in-class firms are over 90% more likely to do this, and it shows in their results. Identify needed functionality, alter operations and fine-tune plans as necessary, in a constant feedback loop.
* Provide a process for ERP onboarding for new employees. Formalize it. New users that are not trained in the new software serve only to diminish the investment you’ve already made.
* Measure the benefits you gain from ERP. As we often say, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” It’s part of the continuous improvement loop so necessary to process improvement, performance improvement, and ERP success.
And for the already best-in-class, to get even better…
* Certify your ERP users. Stipulate that before jumping in and using the system, users must be company-certified. This ensures correct usage and bigger overall benefits for the company.
* Provide job-specific training. Whenever possible, tailor the training to the user’s specific role. It will help with relevance and retention, and eventually, more skilled system usage.
* Implement ERP in phases. [Our firm emphasizes this all the time!] A phased approach allows you to focus on the most important functionality first! It also give you the ability to adjust your plans on the fly. You’ll receive ERP’s benefits quicker.
This concludes a rather lengthy (seven part) series on some highlighted issues and best practices when deploying an ERP system. We hope we’ve been able to provide you with some practical guidance. Please contact us directly if you’re in need of support in your ERP initiative. We’re here to help!