New ERP systems get implemented and existing ones modified in direct response to the most rapidly growing parts of a business. From product line extensions, new item for consumption lines to entirely new business models, ERP systems excel when they are enablers of profitable growth. With so many resources and knowledge available today, the prospect of excelling at implementations is trending up. Think of any ERP system as a platform that can fuel new business creation and help manufacturers deliver value to customers. 

How To Intentionally Implement An ERP System

The best ERP implementations have an overabundance of intentional focus to detail; an force to excel at each phase of the project plan, clear accountability, and intensity of ownership that often starts at the C-level. When an ERP implementation starts with a clear business objective combined with insight, expertise, and knowledge of external systems the probability of success exponentially increases.

1.     Have clear business goals supported

Emphasize the importance of setting, measuring and reviewing productivity goals before, all through and after the implementation. Identify, quantify and assign financial value to expected improvements to set target ROI. Measure and speak them to the implementation team members, the executive steering committee, and workers.

2.     Benchmark current operations to get a baseline

Understand and define your current and future state processes before deploying new software. As much as possible, try to use the design settings and templates provided by the software provider to tailor the business logic to match your ideal business processes.

3.     Rely on an organized stage

Only customize differentiators giving your business its secret sauce. Limiting the number of customizations will keep the implementation marching toward completion. Typically, 70% of companies will have some customization and keep this beast under control is the goal.

4.     Consider hiring an experienced independent ERP consultant to add to your bench. 

They can be a calculated partner from planning through implementation. You can also use them strategically for unbiased software selection, support or organizational change supervision initiatives.

5.     Create, implement and track how communications and change management plans are working.  

Both the communications and change management plan have to serve those most impacted or affected by the new systems’ implementation.  The goal is to overcome resistance to change with bigger knowledge and status of the organization and what business goals it is supporting. Vary your communication style to get your message across in different ways.