Great job! You have read our previous article talking about the importance of finding the right ERP system specifically for your food business, realized you are not reaping all possible benefits from your current ERP system and now you want to change replace your ERP provider. That’s a great first step into optimizing your business processes and getting the most out of your IT systems. In this article, we want to give you four tips to successfully replace your current ERP system.
First, right from the start towards an ERP upgrade or replacement it is important to ensure your company has executive commitment towards this change. There needs to an agreement on executive level upon the direction of the ERP system, why change is necessary and when the timing for this change is right. While most companies try to improve their business over time, it is important to consider and discuss the expectations that will arise both internally and externally when deciding to replace the current ERP system in place. What are the main drivers behind the change? Is the organization trying to speed up innovations, save costs or something else?
Be certain to thoroughly look through and compare the different options you have to replace your current ERP system. Ideally, you don’t want to repeat this entire process again so you will need a strategic partner that shares and can help with your long-term focus and goals. During this process, carefully take the time to select the right partner for the new ERP system deployment. As mentioned in our previous article, it’s incredibly beneficial to look into solutions specifically build for the food industry. However, do also consider on what platform these solutions are based. Ideally, you want to have a solution with an extended vertical focus to meet your specific requirements combined with a solid and proven foundational platform. Previous experience with similar organizations and deployments is another major plus. Because while a platform may look great, a bad implementation process will still result in a costly disappointment.
As the saying goes, luck favors the prepared. Successful deployments are often after an organization invested significant time and effort into the preparatory phases. Before the actual deployment, think ahead about the desired future state of the organization, new job structure, and charts of accounts. This preparatory process is not something where you should try to reinvent the wheel. Instead, utilize the knowledge and expertise from the final selection of your potential implementation partner. Another valuable preparation aspect revolves around mastery of your data. Processes like data cleansing, conversion and mapping often requires more time than expected initially. Highlighting again, the importance of scheduling enough time for your preparatory work. Ultimately, process transformation should be part of your preparatory work because with more streamlined and standardized process workflows in place, your entire ERP replacement process will go a lot smoother.
Once you start with the ERP replacement process, be sure to continue to check with the scheduled time and budget. In case things exceed the planning, changes can be made. It is important that the organization commits the right resources to the project, with dedicated experts as functional leads, for reporting, security and testing. As an organization, testing throughout the deployment phases can help detect errors early on and limit the time to correct them. Robust, end-to-end testing plans are advised and should focus on workflow, security roles, data conversion, among other things. If you’re working with the right implementation partner, they should have templates available to assist you with this.
The entire replacement process of a new ERP system is certainly no small task, but with these tips it does not have to turn into a major headache. Instead, you can work together with your new ERP partner towards a successful implementation to optimize your business, get the most out of your IT system and enable your company to grow.
Once your new ERP is in place, you want all your employees to embrace the new system. This requires a thorough adoption process. Read all about the 9 conditions for the best return on your new ERP system.
Interested to talk with one of our experts about the possibilities of a new ERP system specific to your company? Please get in touch!