ERP integrates various business procedures of the organization into one; therefore, system implementation is a long and risky procedure. There are many steps involved and every organization should plan each step carefully before investing in it. The organization should plan each stage of implementation which includes defining the needs for the new system, search for vendor and pre-evaluation stage, evaluation, project planning, GAP analysis, system reengineering, training, testing and post-implementation stage.
The main advantage of ERP is that it helps in improving efficiency and eases the work processes, and it should be fulfilled after the process.
Defining the priorities - The organization should make the list of priorities to be fulfilled by the new package.
Pre-evaluation stage and Vendor selection - In the pre-evaluation stage the organization will define requirements and make the list of vendors who can meet the requirements. In second stage, the packages which are not needed will be eliminated.
Identify the right package - The organization should analyze a set of vendors to identify the right vendor. The stage is critical as one can define the criteria and evaluate the ERP packages.
Planning - In the planning phase the company determines the deadlines to complete the project and a team is defined that will take care of the implementation process. From the start of the project to the end of the project the full process is designed and the roles of the team members are assigned. The team members should include top management members who can take decisions in case of critical situations.
Risk analysis and defining the crucial path - It has been found that organizations going for ERP implementation get on an average 80% of satisfaction and 20% of the issues remain unsolved. The organization should be prepared to go for system reengineering and resolve critical issues to avoid problems which may result in breakage of system.
Business process reengineering - The new system may bring major changes in business processes and therefore, the team should be ready to adopt the new changes. Most of the organizations spend on ERP to reduce expense although cost should not be the only aim.
ERP enables the organization to get instant reports of various transactions, improves business opportunities, speeds up production cycles and provides current record of everyday activities. During implementation, the organization should ensure that ERP fulfills the requirements.
Testing - Testing is a phase when the system works with real users and data, and it provides accurate information with a high efficiency. In testing multi user systems are tested for performance and system overloads is checked. The security of the system also comes under the same section.
Training - One of the most critical stage is training because without training employee may not find it easy to use the new system. Many new users are afraid of new system and to make the process comfortable it is very important for the vendor to provide appropriate training to the users. Teams consisting of people, who are ready to adopt the new change, learn things and have a proper knowledge of functionality and handling new technology, can help the process to become easy. User acceptance signifies the implementation procedure is successful.