Chris Bill, Head of Professional Services
ERP Implementations are often complicated projects with multiple stakeholders involved. They can be slow and sticky, but implemented correctly, they can completely transform a business by increasing efficiency, reducing spend and streamlining business processes.
There are a multitude of factors to address on the way to delivering a successful ERP implementation and the initial stage of selecting Enterprise Software requires Due Diligence. We have first hand experience in helping clients facilitate the selection of an ERP solution for their business and managing the complexities / challenges that are faced. Below I have outlined 7 important phases of an ERP Selection Process and setting up the foundations for success: -
- Establish a Project Committee – before embarking on the process; identify stakeholders, departmental leads, business process owners and end-users that will form the backbone of the project team that will take / defer decisions with each step of the process to encourage company wide acceptance.
- Evaluate Current Business Processes - produce a GAP Analysis of your current business processes. What is being done well? What are the key challenges that can be solved by the implementation of a new ERP system?
- Establish Selection Criteria – define a selection criteria that will form the key part of your decision making. The criteria can be split up into; functionality, size, price, support package etc. Make the criteria bespoke to your business and prioritise in line with how important it is to you.
- Send Requests for Information – send a request for tender out to relevant parties that you would like to consider for your pending ERP implementation. Some ERP vendors may decide their solutions are not a correct fit for your business, but at this information gathering stage, you would expect a meaningful response / follow up from vendors.
- Produce a Shortlist – Shortlist 4 or 5 ERP solutions that best meet your business requirements. The responses / initial consultations that you have received from your ‘Request for Information’ will help you take a decision on the shortlist.
- Demonstrations – Make contact with the shortlisted ERP vendors and ask for presentations / product demonstrations. Prepare questions centred around why this ERP solution is the best fit for your business.
- Reference Sites – identify a couple of reference sites of end-users that are running the ERP solution that you have provisionally selected. You want to ensure the information that you have been provided with is reinforced.
Subsequent to this process, your Project Committee should be in a position to take a decision on the preferred solution. Before starting the implementation, make sure that the project is properly scoped. Ask the question – does the Project Team have action plans with tasks which are realistic, achievable and with agreed promise dates? If not, review before starting to mitigate the risk of ‘Scope Creep’.
Posted: 22 Aug 2016
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