Information technology transforms a company’s ability to complete business operations. A common large-scale business application is an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Because ERPs have different modules that cover certain aspects of a company’s operations, such as accounting, human resources, or production, the implementation can be somewhat intense. ERP implementation is typically the responsibility of business owners and managers. A few tips to follow during this process are to select the right vendor, plan for future operations, allocate personnel for the implementation process, focus on quality, and follow through until completion.
ERP implementation requires business owners managers to select the computer software application that best suits their company’s operations. Different systems exist, each with their own benefits and drawbacks. Owners and managers may need to request a demonstration or the opportunity to visit a client already using the system. This helps new companies understand how other businesses use a particular system and receive feedback on the ERP application. Using this process, owners and managers can then create their own ERP implementation plan.
Installing new software can involve replacing current or out-of-date hardware systems. Owners and managers should carefully decide the sequential order for implementation to ensure the company can continue operations without too many major disruptions. This process may also involve seeking the opinions of department or other operational managers to determine how they will plan to shift tasks or activities during ERP implementation.
Because large organizations and publicly held companies commonly are ERP users, they may have an internal information technology (IT) staff. These employees can work with outside vendors to provide access to current systems and transfer information as necessary to the new system. Business owners and managers, however, must be able to allocate these employees so other portions of the company do not suffer from the lack of IT help. ERP implementation may also require the IT staff members to visit other locations within the organization, requiring further allocation of employee labor.
Similar to any business task or activity, ERP implementation needs to focus on quality. Installing a good quality system in a shoddy manner can reduce the system's effectiveness, reducing the benefits it can provide to the company. Along with a quality implementation process, companies should also focus on following the entire project until its completion. This includes correcting minor issues that arise during implementation involving the ERP application, such as user access, backing up or storing electronic information, and adjusting the system for future changes in technology.