How to Plan for ERP Implementation

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An ERP system contains software and hardware needed to implement this system.
An ERP system contains software and hardware needed to implement this system. (Image: computer for work image by lidia_smile from Fotolia.com)

ERP, enterprise resource planning, is used to integrate all processes and information of an organization into one system. An extensive study of ERP is required before purchasing an ERP program and implementing it. ERP can be used in any type of business, large or small, and it covers all important functions of businesses. Prior to implementing an ERP system, businesses should recognize that careful planning is the key. The better a company plans for this implementation, the faster it can be implemented. Speed of implementation offers advantages to the business.

Study what ERP is. ERP is designed to handle and integrate all business processes and activities into one system. It is vital to understand ERP and of what it is capable. An extensive study of ERP and the company produces a smooth transition into the implementation of an ERP system.

Compare ERP software packages. ERP packages vary by vendor, and it is important to choose a vendor that will provide exactly what your company needs. An ERP package includes hardware and software to implement an ERP system. Finding the right system helps implementation occur much smoother.

Prepare an ERP checklist. This list is used when choosing the right ERP package. It should contain information regarding the business problems and how an ERP package will solve them. It should also list resources within the company and if the company’s resources are sufficient for operating an ERP system.

Determine what is affordable. Most ERP systems are costly to purchase and implement. Many companies fail to recognize that the maintenance costs of an ERP system are even more higher than purchasing the system.

Determine who will implement the package once purchased. A company can choose to have a member of its staff implement it, have the ERP vendor implement it or hire an ERP consulting firm to do it. Making this decision is often based on price. Hiring an ERP consultant is the most expensive option, but typically provides the best and fastest results.

Begin the implementation. After all details are considered and the system is purchased, implementation of ERP begins. The process is lengthy for most companies and can take 18 months or longer to fully implement.

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