When you place an order for new materials or hire a new employee, you know exactly how those resources are going to be used in your business. Surprisingly, that’s not always the case when an organization considers implementing a new ERP system. Management teams that count on outside vendors to suggest ERP solutions without first defining a very clear set of expected outcomes are destined for trouble.
Define outcomes first
To set the stage for ERP project success, take ownership and define the challenges you currently face, as well as where you want the business to go. While this process may seem a bit daunting, there are a few key steps to help you get started.
- Define strategic objectives for the company. Does everyone in the company know where you are headed and do they know how to support those objectives? If not, take time to write those objectives down and educate your employees.
- Define the primary goals for each department. Each department manager should be able to clearly articulate the contribution each department makes to support the strategic objectives of the company.
- Identify any departmental crossover or duplication. One of the more difficult steps is to evaluate the current and future state of your departmental structure. Does your org chart still make sense with changing business models? An ERP implementation is the perfect time to make changes in your structure.
Empowered vendor selection
With clear definitions, you will begin the vendor selection process as an empowered organization. ERP vendors and service partners should propose solutions that directly support your defined outcomes. You can quickly eliminate vendors who try to steer you in a different direction, and instead focus on those who are interested in supporting your plans.