How to Conduct ERP Implementation?

erp implementation
Faiza Khalid
CIS engineer | Developer | Tech Writer

Are you wondering how to conduct ERP implementation successfully in your organization?

ERP implementation is as critical as the selection and development of the ERP software that suits your business needs.

But not many organizations do it right. According to an estimate by Gartner, 55% to 75% of ERP projects fail to meet their goals. You certainly do not want to fall in this ratio.

Read on as we explain how to undertake the ERP implementation process in your enterprise.

ERP Implementation

ERP implementation is a complex process of analyzing the current and future business goals, current business processes, and human resources.

It involves planning a new system to streamline and manage operations, introducing and developing the planned system, testing it for important KPIs, and deploying it for end users.

It also includes training end users to use it effectively and boost their productivity.

An ERP system integrates various business operations and offers a consolidated platform to manage human resources, finances, sales orders, customer service, inventory, etc. 

Effective integration and data availability are of utmost importance for a successful ERP implementation to meet its goals. 

You will undergo the following ERP implementation steps to conclude it successfully:

Building an ERP System Implementation Team

You will need a competent team to take up the process of ERP implementations professionally. The team can include a project manager, an ERP specialist, along with senior management from different departments that require ERP implementations.

You will also require software application developers for required system customizations, a data analyst to prepare and migrate your business data, and a QA engineer to test the working and performance of your ERP application.

Setting the ERP Implementation Scope

An ERP system can help with multiple use cases. You have to carefully outline the objectives of using ERP software in your organization. 

Identify the goals you want to achieve via an ERP solution. 

Your ERP project team will conduct a requirement analysis identifying the improvements required, for example, better visibility, data analytics, business intelligence, tracking of business operations, etc.

It will also identify the current limitations in terms of your business’s key performance indicators and plan future strategies through an ERP implementation.

At this stage, you also take into consideration the associated risks of introducing a new system in your organization. How well is your team prepared for this change? The associated ERP implementation costs are another major factor to consider. 

Selecting the Right ERP Software

You and your project team will make decisions regarding the ERP system that suits your business requirements. You can either opt for an on-premises ERP system or a cloud-based ERP solution.

An on-premises ERP software implementation will require installation, configuration, and maintenance of ERP software and hardware on your site. 

With cloud-based ERPs, you can rely on external vendors to install and configure your ERP solutions, etc.

Different ERP systems fulfill different requirements. Although all the prominent ERP system examples offer an extensive suite of ERP solutions like warehouse management, supply chain management, human resource management, etc., there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

There is a range of ERP solutions available in the market today. Oracle Cloud ERP, Microsoft Dynamics365, NetSuite, etc., are a few examples. 

You can opt for multiple ERP solutions from these companies, integrate them for better visibility and analytics, and increase the productivity of your organization.

Read more on the available ERP systems in our blog here.

You might feel that available ERP systems do not fulfill your specific business needs. You always have an option of custom ERP software development. 

There are also ERP solutions that allow you to perform extensive customization to them depending on your business goals. 

You will need a component team of software developers to perform successful ERP software development and customization.

These software developers need to be skilled in ERP development using web development programming languages, frameworks, and tools, including JavaScript, Python, Angular, Django, etc.

These developers should be familiar with prominent software development methodologies like Agile and associated tools like kanban, Jira, etc.

Your ERP solution customization process may include the development of APIs. Your development team should have skills in developing, testing, and documenting these APIs using tools like Postman. 

Decide the ERP Implementation Phases

Next, you will define your ERP implementation stages. According to your system requirements, you will outline business processes that are a priority. 

In this way, you will move forward with your ERP implementation plan in stages; customizing, configuring, and integrating ERP services wherever required in your organization.

Performing Data Migration

In parallel with ERP implementations, you can start the data migration process. You will need to extract, transform and load data from various sources like customer data, finance data, inventory data, etc.

A proper transfer of clean and only required data with no unnecessary and duplicate information will help in the effective streamlining of business processes.

ERP systems usually follow two approaches for data migration.

  • A transaction-driven process where the legacy data is extracted and loaded into a file which is in turn loaded using the input functions provided by the ERP system.
    • Active data is usually extracted and loaded into the new ERP system using a transaction-driven approach.
  • A table-driven approach transfers complete tables without any selection criteria. As a result, it is a more costly approach for data migration. 

Your data analyst will employ various tools provided by the ERP systems you plan to implement.

For example, SAP provides a file storage system, Legacy System Migration Workbench, Business Objects Data Services, etc., for efficient data migration.

Your team can use tools like Azure DocumentDBAWS Data MigrationInformix by IBM, etc., in the case of a customized ERP system development.

Testing the ERP Implementation

After ERP configuration and data migration, you will test your ERP system. It will include various procedures like programming tests, user tests, performance tests, etc.

A comprehensive QA routine will ensure that the ERP solution is implemented as per your requirements. Make sure that the ERP integrations meet all the requirements as outlined in the initial phase. 

Developers will conduct technical tests, including unit and integration tests to ensure the code, by ERP vendors or developers, is without any faults. 

User testing by in-house team members will ensure that system meets all the functional requirements. 

Training Your Teams

Before your ERP system goes live your employees and team members must know how to use it efficiently. You can prepare training materials in collaboration with ERP experts and developers.

These training guides will help your team to understand the complete functionality of your ERP system and hence use it effectively.

A feature-rich ERP solution is of no use if users are unable to use all of its operations and enhance their productivity.

In the case of using a third-party ERP solution, you will make sure your IT team is trained enough to handle any technical issues that may arise.

Deploying the ERP Software

When your ERP is fully configured and thoroughly tested for its functionality, and your team is prepared to use it, it is time for your team to deploy the ERP software.

You can deploy it in stages where high-priority modules are deployed first followed by the low-priority ones.

A few things to make sure of while deploying your ERP software will include; synchronization of your hardware, testing all the business reports, testing the access control for different teams, verifying data migration, testing operations with static and dynamic data, etc.

Evaluating and Maintaining the ERP Implementation

You might things that ERP deployment is the last step of ERP implementation, but it is a continuous process. You will continuously monitor and evaluate the ERP implementations.

You will set KPIs to monitor your ERP operations effectively. This will help you gauge the improvement in operations, team performance, customer satisfaction, etc.

You will also evaluate if ERP integration improves your data analytics capabilities, business intelligence, and hence the future decision-making process.

Your IT team in collaboration with ERP developers will keep up with the latest updates to the ERP software and ongoing maintenance of the system.

Ready to Invest in ERP Implementation?

ERP systems come with numerous benefits; improved productivity of teams, the efficiency of business operations, better decision-making, etc., are just a few.

As a business CEO or CTO, it is the right time for you to invest in a consolidated platform that integrates all your core business functions, providing all the right information to your team members at the right time, thereby, increasing their productivity and hence your business profitability.

There are numerous enterprise resource planning systems available in the market. You can choose one suited better to your requirements. 

However, no ERP system can integrate as is with your business operations. Most likely you will need some customization and configuration to use an ERP system effectively.

A team of ERP system professionals can help you better in selecting the right ERP for your enterprise and also its successful implementation. 

DevTeam.Space can help you here via its field-expert software developers community. These developers are vetted for their software development and deployment skills and have built great software products for a number of businesses, including ERP solutions.

You can either partner with these software developers for complete custom enterprise resource planning software development or for customizing a ready-made ERP solution for your business.

Write to us your initial project specifications via this quick form, and one of our account managers will get in touch with you at the earliest to discuss in detail why our developers and managers are better suited for this job and how they can help with your ERP implementation project.

FAQs in ERP Implementation

1. What are the steps of ERP implementation?

ERP implementation consists of requirements discovery and planning, ERP design, development, configuration, testing, deployment, and maintenance.

2. What is the ERP process?

The Enterprise resource planning (ERP) process includes the use of a unified and integrated platform for streamlining and managing regularly occurring business tasks. These business processes can include finances, supply chain operations, human resources management, order processing, etc.

3. What are the benefits of ERP?

Some of the benefits that businesses enjoy from ERP implementation success include better reporting cycles, boosted cashflows, better inventory management, better supply chain management, enhanced customer satisfaction, improved employee performance, etc.

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