Fail to plan, plan to fail.
The idea of what a new ERP system and process automation can deliver for your client’s business is exciting – but before they can experience the benefits, they need to undertake a successful implementation.
In our last blog, we talked about how to decide whether an ERP system is right for your client’s business – if you’ve decided that it is, you’ll want to keep reading. Or, download HARMONiQ’s ERP automation eBook for a complete breakdown of ERP implementation techniques.
The transition period of system implementation is critical to the success of your client’s ERP further down the line – simply investing in process automation technology does not guarantee your clients a seamless journey to success and growth.
Not only is an ERP system an investment of time and money but it will affect the way your client’s employees do their job, the future capabilities of their business and their capacity for growth.
With stakes this high, successful implementation can prove to be make or break.
Poor approach, poor result
The ERP implementation itself can only fail if you and your clients allow it to. Taking a back seat and assuming the vendor and the technology can do all the work for your clients will result in:
- Your clients receiving a system that’s not right for them
During the implementation phase, the ERP vendor will work to customise the system to best suit your client’s business needs (within the limits of the technology). Your clients failing to establish specifically what they expect and need from the system – or focusing on the fancy features instead of must-haves – will see deliverance of a system that doesn’t meet your client’s process automation needs and can’t be utilised to its full potential.
- Not achieving goals
If your clients can’t clearly outline what quantifiable targets they want to reach with the help of the ERP system, chances are that not only will it be difficult to customise, but they could face problems convincing their staff to get onboard with such a big change. If your clients don’t know what their goals are, they should be reassessing their decision to implement ERP in the first place.
- Experiencing people problems
Your clients failing to get their staff involved with the transition and not establishing open paths of communication will result in an incredibly disjointed ERP implementation experience. Failure to consider the human impact of change leads to:
- Technology that doesn’t suit your client’s staff needs
- Staff dissatisfaction
- Staff unable or unwilling to utilise the technology
- Discovering problems (or better ideas) after implementation.
The result of all these factors is a system that doesn’t automate the processes your clients desire and ultimately, a waste of time and money.
Cover all your client’s bases
Before your clients start their ERP implementation – or even source a vendor – they need to carefully think about their expectations, goals, and unique business requirements or parameters. Your clients can never be too prepared, especially when it comes to ERP systems.
Chances are your clients won’t be going through this process again for quite some time, so it’s worth them putting in the effort to make sure they’re getting just what they need, and that the system they implement now will continue to benefit their business through future periods of change and growth.
No one knows your client’s business like they do. Using their employee experience and knowledge, past limitations and future goals, they have the ability to build a strong foundation for their new ERP system.
Keep in mind that before – and throughout – the implementation journey, your client’s need to consider:
- Business trajectory
- Processes that can benefit from optimisation/automation.
- Each role that will be affected (and how)
- Their quantifiable business targets
Get out what you put in
The path to ERP is not walked alone – your client’s ERP vendor will be their partner through the process. Their ERP vendor will be there to provide them with expertise they need to realise desired benefits and process automation. However, it’s important not to expect too much from them, as they can’t do all the work for your clients.
Your client’s best chance at a positive ERP implementation and system transition is through building a specific pre-implementation plan.
This plan allows your client’s entire business to be ready for the changes the ERP system will bring, and ensure they’re getting the best ROI. Some helpful elements to ensure is included in your client’s plan are:
- Project objectives – Why are your clients implementing the system? What business goals are they wanting it to help them achieve?
What process automation are they seeking?
- Project team – Designate a representative from every department that will be affected by the change and have them take ownership of a particular area of the implementation based on their expertise.
- Discovery – Make time for you ERP vendor to learn the ins and outs of your client’s business processes and future goals, so they can build a system that reflects this.
- Change management – Form a strategy and team to handle the human impact of the change and drive communication throughout the business
It can be easy to get caught up in the end result – but to ensure your client’s make it there, preparation is key.
For a step-by-step walk through of how to approach and build a pre-implementation plan, download the HARMONiQ ERP Automation eBook. Here you can find all the most commonly asked questions about ERP’s and read a more in-depth overview of the implementation process.