Priorities for an ERP Selection

Sufficient implementation preparation during ERP selection increases the chances of a successful ERP rollout.

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Companies undergoing ERP selections should not just worry about what system to implement. The selection process should really focus on equipping the organization for the change that accompanies implementation. Sufficient implementation preparation during ERP selection increases the chances of a successful ERP rollout.

In addition to selecting the ERP software, the ERP selection process must include determining the future state, picking the right elements and involving the best people.

Determine the Future State. A system selection serves as an opportunity to receive input from employees to determine the direction for the future. Encouraging feedback during selection prepares employees for the future state organization and gives them a stake in the decision-making process. Collectively developing an overall process improvement vision gives people visibility into the future process. Agreed-upon future business processes can be a framework for scripted case demonstrations. The scripted use cases allow the key people in the organization to visualize the future. As processes are documented during selection, they can then be followed during implementation as test scenarios.

Pick the Right Elements. Outlining a robust plan for the ERP project during selection allows the organization to develop a realistic total cost of ownership (TCO) budget and a timeline for the ERP system implementation. The potential system integrators (consultants) should be included in the budgeting discussions to produce an accurate implementation budget. Open discussion ensures that all elements are accounted for in every area of the organization, including travel, team space, training, internal resources, change management, hardware and software.

Involve the Best People. System integration requires a team of internal employees to help design the system to fit the company’s needs. The selection process gives insight to those most excited about the new solution. This helps leadership identify the best internal people to steer the implementation. Asking for employee involvement in producing the future state vision and selecting the ERP solution will result in greater acceptance throughout the organization.

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