Any company in the middle of dynamic ERP selection development faces a daunting task.  Many selection teams get pulled into a variety of instructions, often finding it difficult to apply the needed resources for effective ERP selection.

Whether a company has outgrown their legacy system, is burdened with an unstable technical environment or is looking to leverage new delivery models and infrastructure, the usefulness of ERP selection has everything to do with the success of the eventual implementation.

So how to start? Certainly establishing a cross-functional assortment team is important, as is gaining interior consensus and participation from all parties.

Through our knowledge, though, one of the most important places to start is by taking a hard look at the preferred end-state.

This means taking the time and attempts to get a full sense of how the new ERP implementation can get better the way a business operates.

A Matter of focal point

It’s a matter of focal point. Before the vendor demos, before RFQs, manufacturers must focus on where they want to be, not where they are.

Here are a few tips offered as thought-starters.

  • Look at the whole practical organization. Will ERP cut across shop floor, shipping, accounting,   the front office, inventory, quality, production? What’s the desired end state in these areas?
  • How is IT operations running now?  What’s the vision for the IT department in future years?
  • Identify what the organization does well. How will the new ERP system impact those areas?
  • Categorize opportunities for step up. How specifically will the new ERP system support this desired vision?
  • Look at existing reports and metrics. How can business decisions be improved to help overall business performance?    

The bottom line is that implement ERP to impersonate current processes is a missed opportunity. 

That’s why we suggest, “starting at the end.” Only after you have clearly defined how the business will run in the future can you match that vision to what the ERP system can deliver.