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Kicking Off and Implementing an ERP System: What Questions Do You Need to Ask?

Many companies are replacing on-premises systems or embracing ERP for the first time, which is exciting but also overwhelming. Get the information you need to proceed with confidence by asking these questions first:

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Many companies are replacing on-premises systems or embracing ERP for the first time, which is exciting but also overwhelming. Get the information you need to proceed with confidence by asking these questions first:

As companies become ever more data-driven, ERP systems are essential. They provide an integrated platform for organizing, accessing, and analyzing massive amounts of information. Once companies have data at their disposal they can apply it to every strategic decision and make complex maneuvers with confidence.

A recent survey showed that 15% of respondents are actively planning a cloud ERP deployment, and another 34% are seriously considering one. Many companies are replacing on-premises systems or embracing ERP for the first time, which is exciting but also overwhelming. Get the information you need to proceed with confidence by asking these questions first:

1 – What Is the Problem We Are Solving?

ERP can solve many problems – data redundancy, inaccurate inventory, poor reporting, manual inputs, etc. Instead of striving for across-the-board upgrades, identify exactly what problems ERP is intended to solve. Proceeding forward, it’s crucial for you and your implementation partner to focus on the central issues rather than letting minor problems create distractions and waste time.

2 – What Benefits Will This Project Produce?

ERP is a significant investment, so there needs to be a compelling business case. Again, ERP offers a lot of advantages – improved efficiency, deeper insights, better communication/collaboration – but you need to identify which benefits drive the most value, then explain that value to employees. Demonstrating how ERP makes work easier and more effective for individuals helps to create buy-in.

3 – Which Resources Do We Need?

ERP vendors handle the heavy lifting of implementation, but companies invest internal resources as well. There needs to be a project leader, sufficient staff working under them, realistic budgets and targets, and support from the C-suite. During the kickoff phase, evaluate which resources are in place and what to add before the implementation starts.

4 – What Benchmarks Will We Use?

An ERP implementation can go off the rails if it’s not tracked and managed carefully. Benchmarks indicate how much progress is being made, but every company defines that differently. Some are more focused on keeping costs in check while others will want the project to proceed as quickly as possible. Define what benchmarks will define success/failure before, during, and after the implementation.

5 – What Constraints Exist?

Issues totally unrelated to ERP can hold back the implementation effort. These include regulatory mandates that must be followed, resources that could be in short supply, or outside initiatives that require the team’s attention. Recognizing these constraints upfront and planning around them is crucial. For instance, by what date does your ERP need to be up and running so you can focus on other things? Consider how your implementation will fit into your broader business objectives and where that might create challenges or opportunities.

You probably have more questions, and it’s good to be asking these questions before you embark on the journey to choosing a new solution. Contact blumshapiro to get the answers you need to make the right decision for your company.

 

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