Adopting an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is no easy feat. It’s a process that requires a high level of planning, implementation and maintenance. However, if successfully carried out, an effective ERP system can be highly rewarding.
Transitioning towards an ERP system requires time as extensive preparation, customisation, and calibration is needed; for small businesses, it might take months, and for larger companies, years.
Furthermore, support and cooperation of your staff is vital as the scope of their work could change during and after implementation. That is why a strategic game plan is needed to guarantee minimal disruption to daily operations.
The question thus stands: When should you implement an ERP system?
Operational Needs of the Organisation
Consider the operational needs of your business. Ideally, ERP software should be implemented before your business can no longer efficiently or effectively function without being supported by an unified organisation-wide system.
During Lean Season
As previously mentioned, implementing an ERP system takes time and so the process of implementation can and will affect your daily operations in one way or another.
Choose to start at a time when your business is slow to allow time for system configuration, data migration, or even briefing your staff about the new system. This can prevent your employees from feeling overwhelmed and overworked. Since there are fewer distractions during this period, employees can be more focused on understanding the software, and at the same time, learn how it works. Ultimately, fewer distractions lead to a higher implementation success rate, since employees are an integral part of the ERP implementation.
Make it Gradual
Considering the tasks they have on hand, employees need a portion of their time to take in the huge load of new information presented to them. This is why doing it gradually but systematically is preferable. This approach also enables your staff to acquaint themselves with the system allowing them to engage with the ERP consultants for clarification if required.
Small Steps First
If you are a corporation or a large company, you may consider starting your software transition on a smaller scale. This could help you determine the system’s effectiveness and provide an opportunity to execute necessary adjustments. Some issues may occur, so it is better to address them before applying them on a larger scale to save time and resources.
Additionally, it may lead to greater cost-efficiencies as you learn to navigate any roadblocks you may have encountered in the pilot phase.
When The Organisation Is Ready
Once all employees can fully participate and are well-informed on updates to the processes, it’s the ideal time to roll out an ERP Implementation.
With constant communication, employees will better understand the reasons for the transition. Based on a 2020 report, all organisations that communicated with employees before ERP implementation consider their projects a success.
Evaluate the state of your organisation. If you are going through an internal transformation, are understaffed or restructuring. You may want to delay the implementation until positions are filled or when your team is not overwhelmed with tasks to allow employees to participate and learn about the new processes thoroughly.
ERP implementation is a demanding and tedious process. It’s a risky move, but with enough resources, the right system and the right solution provider, it might be the best investment you can make.
With over 3 decades of experience, Eurostop’s team of software engineers are equipped with the skill and knowledge necessary for successful ERP System implementation.
Ready to elevate your business operations? Reach out to us for a free consultation.
Read up on the Features Needed for Retail ERP Software here.