One of our recent webinars topics focused on ERP readiness, where we presented our list of the eight steps to take in preparing your organization for an ERP project. There are always common questions and concerns we hear from our manufacturing and distribution clients concerning ERP readiness: Is now the right time to undertake an ERP project? Can our team can handle the demands of the project? Will we be successful with a new system? Is the investment in an ERP project worth it?
Many clients ask us to team with them on an ERP readiness assessment to work through the answers to these and a lot of other questions. Each business and project environment we encounter is of course unique and therefore presents equally unique circumstances. However, when entering into an ERP readiness assessment we typically ask our clients to consider the following eight distinct steps, which were covered at length in the webinar:
- Executive Support – Your executives should support and be in alignment with your project’s strategy, vision, cost and its risk to your company. They should also be on board and consistently informed with how the project is funded and what resources will be requested to conduct the project. An ERP project should take priority as one of your company’s top initiatives and be a top-of-mind topic for your executives.
- Strategy – The proper metrics need to be in place to measure the progress and performance of your project. Also, pre-implementation tasks should be planned and your staff chosen for conducting those tasks. Your overall strategic goal should be business process improvement with ERP, which leads to better business performance.
- Project Management – A strong ERP project management plan is the most influential factor in separating the successful projects from the unsuccessful ones. It is also important to have a Project Manager who understands your business, who can lead your team and go into the project with management skills and experience, as well as good interpersonal skills.
- Project Team – Determine how your project will be structured, from your executives to your site teams. Consider if you are staffing with the best resources for each position, and whether those people will be able to lead business process changes in their area.
- Organization – There are many components to properly organizing your project, such as understanding the ROI, setting the ERP project priority, getting executive support, and establishing and educating your team. These components are often missed but essential in a project charter, which is your project’s reference point and the key to starting your project with a strong foundation.
- Business Processes – Do you have the right business processes in place today? To find out, organize your project and go through a current state analysis, get educated on what is possible with today’s ERP systems and vendors, and conduct a future state re-design of your processes.
- Data – Have a well-defined data conversion strategy and set of requirements, and align data to key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Project Governance – A proper project governance model will determine the route by which your issues and concerns are escalated and decisions are made. Without a governance model, people in your project are likely to struggle with making critical project decisions, and this can cause unplanned and costly delays.
As you proceed in looking at ERP systems, it is important to take the time to evaluate software vendors and their systems to find the best fit for your needs. Equally important is to look internally and evaluate the level of ERP readiness among your ERP project team and throughout your company. This webinar seeks to help you understand why these eight steps are necessary, and how they help to address those common questions and concerns.
To access the recording for this webinar, “Ready for ERP? 8 Steps to Preparing Your Organization”, and several others, visit our On-Demand Webinars page.