5 Factors for Choosing an ERP (Hint: Go with NAV ERP System)
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system integrates all the different aspects of your business and allows your company to more easily achieve objectives. It enables you to manage the supply chain, finances, all departments and all locations from one single data management system.
Ideally when an ERP system is fully integrated, there are benefits in the streamlining of organizational processes, in communication between departments and between customers and team members servicing those customers. It also improves tracking and forecasting. Savings will be considerable. But, anyone who has worked in business or information technology for any amount of time knows we don't live in an ideal world, and there is no such thing as an ideal system.
What are the five biggest considerations the savvy manager needs to take into account to ensure your company gets as close to the ideal ERP system as possible?
1. ERP customization has its limitations.
There is a distinct possibility that your organization will have to restructure some of your business processes to fit the ERP system, rather than the other way around. This can be cumbersome and seem as if it's working backwards, but forcing the ERP system to fit your current processes may not be possible – or what’ s best for your business. Working with an ERP consulting service first to map your current order workflow, as well as interior and exterior information flow, and figure out where the bottlenecks might occur is the most crucial stage of the whole implementation process, and should occur before an ERP system is chosen.
Process assessment is the next stage. When this has been completed, then a choice of ERP systems can be made, and the standard working procedures that will flow from it can be planned.
2. ERP implementation takes time, and is seldom done when you plan to have it done.
The process of integrating so many different data and communications functions under one system needs to be done in modular stages and tested along the way, with any issues fixed prior to moving onto the next module. Disruption during implementation will occur no matter how deliberately you've mapped out the process. There will always be unanticipated issues.
3. Data conversion and cleanup needs to be carefully planned, implemented and tested. Compiled data must be evaluated and validated. If new information is needed then it must be gathered, and worthless information must be purged.
4. System users must be trained and the system tested. Expect that training will take three times longer than expected. You will also need to decide who is accountable for each stage of an order through the system when everyone has access to all information.
5. Ongoing evaluation must be implemented to avoid problems. No matter how carefully you've planned and implemented, Murphy's Law will always kick in. Ensure you know what kind of ongoing support you can expect from your ERP system supplier.