ERP is an acronym for enterprise resource planning and software that is developed so that organisations can improve and become more efficient in terms of implementing and introducing a system which allows you to manage your day-to-day operations and activities effectively. If you do think about those day-to-day operations for your business, then this is your project management, human resources, accounting, procurement, and risk management. So basically, an ERP system allows you to manage each of these resources in a centralised area.
Also, it allows you to share data across each of these areas, allowing you to save time on basic areas of the business where you can then focus on the future of your business in terms of growth and scalability.
How ERP Works
Before selecting an ERP system, you should identify your business needs, such as the areas you want to streamline, the data you need to collect and analyse, and the functionality required to achieve your business goals. Effectively, an ERP system will affect your business as a whole as it will manage your key resources in one centralised area. So we must consider and understand what problems must be solved and how the system will affect your employees as the key first step of the overall implementation process.
So the business processes need to be analysed to see how it is going to match the new software system with our current ways of working and trying to gauge and understand precisely what the current problems are from an employee perspective and how any issues can be solved through the introduction of an ERP system when managing the key resources.
Risk management is a massive point that can be deemed highly relevant regarding your success rates. So one of the main points of failure in the ERP implementation is the business not recognising the risks associated with this. So they either don’t look at the time or into the future regarding what will likely happen due to ERP implementation. Failing to recognise the future can lead to many problems.
The next point to clarify, which comes after the actual implementation of an ERP system correctly, is your ability to gain management buy-in where the implementation of an ERP system is going to take place by the correct leader with the right style of leadership; someone who is deemed inspiring and has a bit of influence over your employees so that you can ensure that they are going to buy into the overall plans and the future of the ERP system. So treating this as a digital transformation initiative is essential to ensure that you get your employees’ onboarding and support during the whole process.
So the key area you want to consider as a manager or leader directing this overall process is how you will ensure your employees see value in the new ERP system and how they see that this system will be brought in to prove beneficial to not only the business but to them as well. So this will be down to you on how you can devote time and effort to showing your employees the benefits of the ERP system’s future, effectively ensuring that you can get them on board through the implementation process.
As you are introducing a new system, a new approach, a new way of doing things, it is going to be crucial that your employees understand exactly how to use it.
So the training and onboarding element of the system implementation is one of the most critical factors for your success.
You need to know how to thoroughly understand how to use this system to ensure you get the most out of it. So really investing in your teams in terms of whom are the employees going to be affected most by this system, who will be using the key areas of the system ways in which you can do this by appointing key individuals, key leaders, who can learn and adapt to this system and drive it on within your workplace so that anyone who has any issues or queries regarding the system itself can contact these individuals where they can solve problems before they escalate any further.
As mentioned, training support is going to be a massive factor in terms of how successful you are going to become. And this will lead to your organisational change management capabilities. Because ERP systems take such a large percentage of your business and actually cover a large basis of your business processes, this deems it at a higher failure rate than others, where it is going to affect the large majority of your employees and your workforce.
This can be highly different in companies that have built strong cultures and haven’t changed how they have worked for some time. So as mentioned, there are many challenges which you are likely to face when implementing new systems and processes within your company, such as resistance to change, where your employees neglect or fail to get on board with your plans or decision-making.
There are also effectively different methods in which you can deal with this resistance. You need to make sure you have suitable leadership and management strategies and that you have what it takes to guide this transformational journey.