5 Steps to Choosing the Right ERP System and Avoid Costly Mistakes
I've seen a steady increase in ERP selection, implementation and utilization projects as executives want to fully leverage the tools available to drive business results. However, choosing the right ERP system can be a significant undertaking. No two clients are alike, but often times they seek the same outcomes—improved performance, increased efficiencies, superior customer service and accelerated cash flow. Only those who prepare will succeed by following these 5 steps:
- Document business processes - Start by documenting what occurs on a day-to-day basis. One of the top failure points is to assume that people can make the leap from current processes to "best practices" according to the new system on day 1 with no roadmap.
- Review/ revise with cross-functional teams - It's amazing what can be learned as you review documented business processes with cross-functional teams. Different perceptions likely exist. It helps to start with clarity.
- Identify critical requirements - Countless hours wasted on typical business requirements (which all systems generally cover); instead, focus 80% of your attention on the requirements unique to your business, industry, company etc. Think about your strategic advantage.
- Communicate early & frequently - You cannot over-communicate when choosing the right ERP system. I've found that most people will not raise their hand until you've gained their trust. How will you know the key requirements if you aren't frequently communicating? Ask questions.
- Dedicate resources early - It's rare that a company addresses resources early enough to support a smooth and successful plan and transition of the day-to-day workload, system preparation workload (data cleanup alone can be a HUGE project), implementation workload etc. Yet is essential to success.
If you follow these 5 steps diligently you will not only gain new insight into your current business processes, but it will put you on the road to success in choosing the right ERP system.
By Lisa Anderson, MBA, CSCP, Owner LMA Consulting Group, Inc. email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 909-630-3943
About Lisa Anderson, LMA Consulting Group
Lisa Anderson is known for her unique ability to zero in on the critical strategic priorities and bridge the gap between strategy and execution to achieve dramatically improved service levels, accelerated cash flow and increased profits. With a keen focus on elevating business performance, Lisa is passionate about not only synthesizing strategic priorities that will deliver business results but also in designing an implementation approach that delivers rapid results.
“LMA Consulting Group Inc. helped us evaluate and select an ERP software that best fit our business needs. Lisa identified our critical business requirements, matched the requirements with software functionality and analyzed which ERP system best supported our needs for the lowest total investment.”
--Vicki Jeter | International Aluminum