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It’s a well-established fact that ERP systems can be difficult to implement. During the process, a business’ core system is changed and any mistake or loss of data could jeopardize the overall health of the organization.

Several issues stand in the way of effortless implementation. Poor requirement gathering, a failure to focus on end users, underestimating the experience required for implementation and implementing the system all at once could all lead to issues.

In order to minimize any potential issues, it’s best to work parallel to an enterprise software implementation methodology. This is a system that enables a specific and tailored approach towards the process. ERP implementation simply cannot occur through the selection of a one-size-fits-all solution, and so its best to take an approach that’s planned and built for your business only. The best-fit ERP system will have to be chosen, following the selection of the right partner with the right implementation process.

So what should you be looking for in the realm of implementation practices? A few major factors separate effective methodologies from ones that will produce mediocre results, and it’s well worth mulling them over before you begin the process.


What to Look for in Your Partner’s ERP Implementation Methodology?

Studies show that 70 percent of ERP implementations fail, and there are many reasons why this could happen. However, what’s clear is that a large number of these point towards a failure in the selection of the right vendor and the best-suited implementation methodology.

An effective ERP implementation methodology is characterized by several key essentials:

  1. A dedicated implementation team: whenever an entire team is dedicated to ERP implementation, the process can occur faster and in a more tailored manner. Some service providers will make one or two individuals available for the completion of the task. Very often, this human resource will be insufficient to address the main challenges that could arise during implementation. A good ERP implementation team should feature a project sponsor, project manager, account manager, integrations consultant, a solutions architect and a technical consultant. 
  2. On-site assistance: technology has enabled many companies to handle implementation in a predominantly remote manner. Such an approach, however, isn’t always going to deliver an optimal outcome. On-site assistance during certain phases of the project provides a much clearer scope of challenges and the main issues that will have to be addressed while the implementation is taking place.
  3. An implementation change management plan: the team will determine the steps of ERP implementation and delegate tasks to the right professionals. There should be plans in place for determining the implementation costs, data migration, deadlines, trainings, testing and the evaluation of the implementation success.
  4. Technical support: an implementation methodology should address some of the common technical steps and challenges you will face along the way. Some of these include software installation on the platform you already use, data mapping and migration, software configuration changes and acceptance testing.
  5. Educational opportunities: good ERP implementation methodologies also focus on the end users who will be working with the system once it’s in place. Your partner should have well-developed training opportunities. Customer user and administrator training, as well as webinars and ongoing educational opportunities are all required for a successful implementation.
  6. Customization considerations: the right ERP implementation methodology will highlight the amount of customization required to configure and deploy. A very highly customized system will be costlier and it’s not always the answer. Some businesses have very unique and specific requirements but this doesn’t apply to all companies implementing a new solution. Hence, individualized methodologies tend to yield the best results.


The Benefits of a Proven Implementation Methodology

With the combination of the right partner and the perfect ERP implementation methodology, you’ll get to enjoy a number of benefits - not limited to a smooth implementation.

A good methodology is rigid, yet flexible. It’s tailored to your specific needs, allowing for software implementation that’s error-free and less time consuming than in the case of a generic approach.

The amount of customization can be modified. As we’ve already explained, customization can end up being quite costly - especially when it’s not needed. However, a tailored implementation methodology takes in consideration your organizational specifics to yield the best results in terms of customizing the system and the deployment approach.

ERP implementation methodologies also put a lot of focus on testing and training. Comprehensive testing prior to going live identifies problems and allows for a smooth roll-out of the new system. Typical workload testing is insufficient and experienced partners know to test for the company’s specific workload and workflow. Through professional and tailored implementation, regulatory compliance and data safety are both guaranteed due to the experience and the background of the team handling the process.

Training is also key, and one of the benefits of having this done by the implementation team is that a hands-on approach yields much better results. A presentation isn’t sufficient to tackle all the challenges users are going to face, so it’s better to be able to identify the organization’s needs for further and more detailed training, and then have the implementation team deliver on this.

Sapphire Systems is a business with the experience and the background with a wide array of clients to ensure implementation success regardless of the company’s size or industry. All processes are handled with minimum disruption while providing technical skills and know-how for guaranteed project success.

Sapphire has also worked on the development of free software selection and implementation masterclasses. These webinars provide essential information to organizations interested in changing their business management software but being clueless about where to start. Register for the next one today for free and find out more about ERP implementation.

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