Six Tips for ERP Implementation Success
We understand that launching a new ERP (or Enterprise Resource Planning) system successfully can seem like a daunting challenge. With careful planning, launching an ERP system doesn’t have to be difficult. In our experience, we think these six top tips are crucial for a successful ERP go-live:
- Test, test and test again
Throughout the implementation process, you’ll need to conduct a series of tests including unit tests, process tests, system integration test and user acceptance tests. All of these are essential and designed to ensure the configuration, the process and any integrations work as you would expect. We strongly suggest involving users from each part of the business to get some early training and exposure to the new system. Since these users probably know the processes better than anyone else, they’ll be ideal to check that everything is working correctly.
- Practise makes perfect on data migration and switch over
As the old saying goes, ‘practise makes perfect’ and the same goes on the data migration and switching-over to a new ERP implementation. The key is starting early. Data migration should be considered at the start, not at the end of a project. This should provide plenty of time to devise a strategy for data migration and switch over. Getting this right will provide an opportunity to deal with dirty, incomplete or duplicate data, which you don’t want in your production environment and to plan the right time for the switch over.
- What data should I migrate?
There’ll be a point in the process when you’ll need to draw a line as to what data will be migrated, but most important is to decide what data you bring across. We don’t advocate bringing everything across from another system. The rationale for doing so is usually for comfort rather than sound operational reasons! Choose your data set carefully and spend time cleansing, and testing the data imports as it is unlikely that all the data is going to go in the first time round.
- Back that System up!
A crucial point in the ERP project. Don’t even think about leaving this off the plan! Everything in the legacy system and the new system if that is up and running needs to be backed up before any migrations take place, just in case the worst was to happen! We use Spanning Backup with many of our customer’s Salesforce environments, as this provides both data and metadata backup. Make sure that the backups are tested for restoration too!
- Production Environment
Define what you need to make sure the production environment is ‘ready’ and replicate this in a sandbox. A sandbox environment which replicates the production environment is the best way to validate and test that the new system is going to operate as per the user stories / requirement. This means you are making sure that the infrastructure is set up to handle the new ERP system and that it’s configured correctly with the users and necessary security features and anything else that you have specified.
- Training for the Users
Commonly, most implementations, not just ERP implementations, fail to meet expectations due to the end users not being trained correctly. End users will need to know how the features and function of the system works to enable them to do their jobs and detailed training will be key to this. Our top tip is to involve them in the project early. Get their input, listen to their feedback, get them testing early developments, and work with them on user acceptance testing.
There you have it, six top tips for making your ERP implementation a success.
Need some help with your ERP system or looking to replace your ERP? Our expert team has valuable experience that can help get you started. Book a FREE consultation here.