You are “live” with your new ERP system. You’ve spent many months executing to a tightly controlled project plan, so now what do you do? Hopefully, your plan addressed some post-implementation activities to help ensure you met the business objectives of your new ERP.
Most companies move to a new ERP solution to address gaps that prevent them from meeting business objectives, such as:
- The current ERP solution capabilities are outgrown.
- There are multiple ERP solutions making it difficult to efficiently run and report on the business.
- Business benefits are not being achieved with the current ERP solution.
- There is a need to automate several manual processes.
Here are 5 “best practices” for you to consider after your ERP solution has launched to help you achieve the initial objectives for your new ERP solution.
1) Post-Implementation Support
When you finally “go-live” with your new ERP solution, it is important that an adequate level of support is still available from the project team to assist with adapting to the new processes introduced to the organization. Hopefully, testing, training, and education were part of the ERP implementation project plan leading up to the “go-live” date, however, you should plan for a minimum of one full month of post-implementation support using a formal structure with the existing project resources to adequately evaluate the acceptance of the new ERP solution and document any problems that need to be addressed.
2) Communication and Post-Training
Constant communication will ensure the organization understands what is occurring with the ERP implementation after “go-live.” A well-informed organization will function more efficiently if they understand what is occurring and can assist with problem-solving if needed.
3) Measurement of Business Benefits
Most organization will prepare a business case for an ERP project. It is important after launch to ensure the original business case is achieved. A performance measurement framework should be established to document expected business benefits as part of the post implementation review process. This measurement framework should include establishing and measuring key performance indictors (e.g. KPI’s) for significant business processes to assist the organization in focusing it activities around key value drivers.
4) Continuous Improvement
For any organization to grow profitably, it is important to focus on continuous improvement activities. As part of the post support activities, establishing a business processes improvement plan is critical. After all, this was one of the main reasons you probably made your ERP investment.
5) Organizational Alignment and Change Management
ERP implementation plans are typically ”light” on the impact to people in the organization (i.e. people, processes and technology). Senior management and the project team need to understand than an ERP implementation is more than just the use of new technology. Understanding your staff and the changes they will experience from the new solution is critical to reaping the benefits of an ERP investment. Involving your HR team, or a change management advisor, to help prepare the team for the changes they will experience is important to go live success and effective ongoing use of the ERP solution.
By incorporating these “best practices” into your ERP implementation project, you can survive and thrive with your new investment.
If you or your team are planning to launch or have recently implemented an ERP, contact us at Answerport to objectively evaluate the project. We will provide value by helping you achieve the success you expected. Answerport professionals can evaluate the implementation and determine an action plan for moving forward. Please let us know how we could help by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 414.289.9100.
I’d like to hear from you on successful implementations or lessons you’ve learned from your project. Please share your experiences by emailing me at: email@example.com.
About the author: Tom Swinsky advises clients on software application strategy, planning, selection, and implementation. Prior to joining Answerport, Tom was the Director of Supply Chain Operations at a major food distributor and had prior consulting experience as a Consulting Principal with a large global consulting firm. Tom has led the software selection and implementation efforts for several different ERP solutions for both small and large companies over the past 25 years.