3. Set clear requirements and KPIs
Setting requirements to be met is an important part of any ERP implementation process. These requirements should align with your business goals. To identify relevant requirements, take a look at the current key business processes, systems, and workflows. What do you want to accomplish, and how can each process be improved? Implementing an ERP system should not only be about automating existing processes; it should be viewed as an opportunity to improve each process. Examples of requirements could be to achieve real-time reporting, to cut financial close time in half, or to automate a specific process.
After setting clear requirements, it is possible to identify relevant KPIs. These are the specific targets against which you can measure if the implementation process is a success.
4. Prioritize the transfer of your data
One of the key benefits of an ERP system is that all the organization’s data is stored in one and the same place. But this requires transferring all the data from the organization’s old (often multiple) systems into the new one during the implementation. This may prove difficult as the data may be spread over many different places across the organization. There are risks of ending up with lost, inaccurate, or duplicate data, which causes further challenges when the system goes live. For these reasons, it is vital to prioritize the transfer of data.
The transfer of data can be handled in one of two ways: manually or through automated tools. Transferring the data manually gives an opportunity for clean-up – old and obsolete data can be deleted, along with duplicate information. Inaccurate data and inconsistencies can be spotted and corrected. On the other hand, using automated tools can save time. Regardless of method, it is important to validate the data before going live to confirm that it was transferred correctly.
Make sure that everyone in the organization understands how important the transfer of data between the systems is and assign clear responsibilities on who will transfer what data and how.
5. Keep the costs in check
ERP projects are infamous for going past the budget. A common reason for this is that the organization underestimates the amount of time and work the project requires, and therefore ends up spending more money than originally planned. When internal personnel resources run out, the organization might have to turn to external consultants, which is expensive. Another reason for cost overruns is the above-mentioned “scope creep”, where the business wants to add features that weren’t in the original plan and naturally leads to more costs that weren’t budgeted for.
Setting up a clear and realistic plan and budget (with extra room for unforeseen problems and minor cost overruns) and checking in regularly during the project to make sure that the plan is in fact being followed will minimize the risks for major cost overruns and expensive deviations from the project.