How to successfully implement your ERP the first time
One of my colleagues told me that when he was five years old, he spent an afternoon assembling a robot. It was the late 60's, and his metal Lone Ranger lunchbox sat on the kitchen table empty. A flash of excitement came over him as he envisioned turning his lunch box into a robot who would do his chores and make dinner for his mother. He would be a hero!
In an instant, he started feverishly gathering parts and enthusiastically shoving them into the lunch box. His excitement grew as he prepared to set the robot upright on the floor to see it go. With wide eyes, he carefully placed his rattling robot on the floor, and waited.
In just a few moments, his stomach sank. He had been a fool to think the random parts would come together to build a working robot without a plan for how it would all work together. It was a lesson he could apply throughout his life. As ERP implementations go, we take a methodical approach to avoid “The Lunch Box Robot” scenario. We need to comprehensively understand what a business requires end-to-end, without premature focus on the front-end interface. This ensures that when we “stand up” the system, all the parts will work together beautifully to support the business.
At Columbus, we tout our need to focus on the “analysis phase” in ERP implementation, to ensure we get our client’s end-to-end processes right. Disconnected components rattling around in the system will not get the job done.
Five tips for a successful ERP implementation:
- Trust the approach and have patience
- Thoughtfully define your ERP goals
- Focus on communicating the processes and interdepartmental handoffs within your organization
- Let your partner guide you through a proven methodology to measure twice and cut once
- Don’t spend your investment of time and money building a lunch box robot!
All too often implementations fall short of expectation. We mitigate the inherent risks associated with implementing, upgrading and replacing ERP systems. In other words, we're not building robots here, just best-in-class ERP implementation.