Best Practices of ERP Implementation for Successful Deployment


An ERP implementation can have a profound impact on an organization. An ERP implementation can improve the efficiency and processes of an entire organization. ERP implementations are costly and complicated. They can also fail. According to Gartner, ERP implementations are among the most difficult IT projects to succeed with. Their failure rate is between 55% and 75%.

An ERP implementation is a high-risk undertaking. An ERP system with a great implementation can make any organization work. It will allow all functions, such as Warehousing and Inventory, Procurement and Finance, Budgeting, and Human Resources to communicate and help customers. Home Depot, Amazon, and Best Buy are just a few examples of great ERP implementations.

These ERP functions are the cornerstone of their success and have facilitated their superior performance over their competitors and peers. Amazon's dominance in the E-commerce space comes down to its reliable inventory, quick shipping from the warehouse, and integrated Ecommerce/M-commerce that allows you to see where your order is at all times and when it will arrive. Amazon's bot integrates seamlessly with its ERP systems, so it can see your order status and give you an estimated time of arrival.

Amazon's excellent onsite and bot drive chat support is dependent upon integration with an ERP system. This ERP system has order information, delivery information, and automated customer rating to reduce fraud. Artificial intelligence is built on the ERP system's foundation.

Similar to the above, Home Depot's mobile app and website can be used to tell you where an item is located when you enter. You can view your entire order history through the mobile app or web-commerce platforms. You can view all orders, no matter whether you bought the item in-store or online.

How can an organization ensure these results are achieved quickly within a fixed ERP budget? These are our top five recommendations for a successful ERP-driven digital transformation.

Concentrate on delivering a great MVP1 then repeat

Too many companies focus on perfection and don't take the time to make sure everything works. It is less likely than 20% that you will get it right. It is better to concentrate on the Minimum Viable Product1 and deliver it successfully, then work from there. We recommend choosing the shorter, more functional carve-out. A project plan with 90% functionality will take 24 months to complete and one that can be delivered in 6 months. A tight scope is essential. Customizations and adding more features can lead to project death. It took Home Depot years of effort and repetition to get there. Their earlier MVPs focused on providing the location of the product. Next, they added the Ecommerce orders to the app and integrated the in-store, mobile, and E-commerce orders into one platform. The goal of delivering everything in one go would have made implementation very costly, taken a lot of time, and cost the company a lot of internal funding. They solved a major customer problem by providing value to customers (showing where a product can be found in a store) and went on to solve other problems in future MVP repetitions.

Avoid heavy documentation and focus on system walkthroughs

ERP project managers have been trained to be light on documentation. Most people won't even read 200 pages of documentation. The design documents should be between 1-3 pages in length, highlighting key points and details that are repeated during system design sessions. Complex design documents will become redundant as the world changes rapidly.

To be Customer-Centric, involve multiple functions in System Walkthroughs

If a warehouse team doesn't have the same focus as a customer service team, they will miss the importance of end customers wanting to track information and mobile notifications with a photo of the package. They won't be able to provide this information. High customer satisfaction is only possible when all functions are customer-centric.

A dedicated team that includes your top people

Take your most talented people and place them on this project. Then, fill their roles with new employees to continue business operations. This is a difficult approach to finance and implement if you are embarking on a 2-year ERP project. However, it is easier to do when you use an MVP approach with a timeline of 5-8 months. Organizations make these two errors when it comes to staffing ERP projects.

  • Ask the most talented people to work on the project. This will cause friction, frustration, and burnout. The demands of their day jobs will also slow down the project and make it more difficult.
  • The B-grade team is on: It is obvious that a team of B-grade people or less-than-best people will have a lower than optimal outcome. It's only right that the project will transform your company.

Change Management is the process of embedding ERP implementation within an organization

Let's first discuss what everyone does to change management. They bring in a Change Manager, who starts a communication emphasizing the new system is coming. He also keeps everyone updated on the status of the system. This approach is not supported by us. It is important to engage the project team during project implementation to gain buy-in. This is where part-time comes in - while it may not work for the core team, it can be used to engage the extended organization early on. For their input, invite a wider team to participate in sessions like conference room pilots or system walkthroughs. They don't have to decide which ERP features will be added, but they should allow participation in the validation and testing of the system. Each bug they discover leads them closer to buying in, as they know the system better than a newsletter. Newsletters are a bad approach because they promise great solutions and then set high expectations. Engagement via system walkthroughs and testing is a benefit because people can actually use the solution and are able to see it in action.

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