Best practise in ERP
ERP is not a one off fix to a project which will soon end but is an on-going process that needs to be monitored continuously and the ERP strategy which the organisation uses needs to be changed accordingly as not all ERP systems are all the same. It is also worth noting that CFO’s, CIO’s and ERP project managers’ differ in their perception towards best practise within ERP. However, ERP has been around long enough for a set of accepted ERP practises to emerge. Here are some of these practises:
Bring in support from all necessary parties
A number of CFOs, CIOs and ERP project managers mentioned in a survey that the key factor in implementing a successful ERP System is to get the senior management involved in the decision making process. Senior management are the ones most qualified to handle difficult decisions as and when problems inevitably occur. Getting Stakeholders on board is also good practise; if you make the success of a project the responsibility of everyone then everyone will work to make the project a success. It has become common practise to take advantage of any other resources, which the company has at its disposal, which may assist the ERP process. This may require passing on some of the responsibilities to the Information Technology department or the Software Development department.
Early initiation of Data conversion process
Carrying out Data conversion early is a factor commonly overlooked by CIOs who would prefer to cover this step much later on once the specifications have been finalised. It should be noted that prolonging the data conversion step is contrary to the recommendations set out by many professionals such as Feemster and McCredie but it is understandable why many companies do not see this step as an initial high priority since data conversion is expensive and companies would most likely want to wait for a more solid solution to emerge before taking this leap.
Reassigning team members
Effectively reassigning team members is a factor most overlooked by CFOs in attempt to cut back on costs. Failing to assign staff with the appropriate skillset results in poorly qualified staff being forced to juggle the organisation’s ERP workload. This ultimately leads to inefficient usage of ERP resources. Falling back on temporary staff in an attempt to reduce costs can be appealing but it is important to note that each ERP System is unique and that temporary staff will most likely not possess sufficient skills to carry out tasks efficiently and training them would not be an efficient usage of resources since the temporary employee would most likely have left the organisation before they are able to become fully competent in using your system.
It has widely become accepted that whenever staff are going to be using a system, they should receive the appropriate training to help them make the most out of the system that they will be using on a daily basis. Training on working as a team should start before the ERP system is implemented. Once the system has been implemented on-going, in-house training in the form of team working as well as how to use the system should take place for at least 6 months as this will give staff the opportunity to learn by using the system.
Failure to train staff ultimately leads to the company paying wages to staff that are incapable of carrying out basic ERP tasks without constant supervision and is one of the most common reasons why ERP projects fail.
Best practice thoughts from Epicor