6 best practices for a successful enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation

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This blog was originally published by Tribridge. Since then, Tribridge has become the DXC Eclipse practice within DXC Technology.

In this fast-paced digital era, the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution will enable your business to connect with, control and capitalize on the data you generate each day. When ERP is implemented correctly, extraordinary benefits can be realized. However, all too often, things get off track due to unrealistic expectations, incomplete planning and lack of focus. What can you do to ensure your ERP implementation is a successful one?

Here are 6 best practices that are key to achieving long-term return from your ERP investment:

  1. Be patient: Realize that a successful ERP implementation does not happen overnight. Proper planning and preparation are necessary and can take time. Investing time and resources upfront in order to get it right will save your business time and money in the long run.
  2. Define business strategy and desired outcomes: This step is the most critical. Business leaders must establish a vision and define the desired outcomes. Perhaps a key objective is to shorten the month-end close process, increase inventory turns or scale operations to support revenue growth. Defining a business strategy sets the course for positive results.
  3. Establish measurable goals: Define goals and metrics to measure progress throughout your ERP implementation, such as reducing time spent on forecasting by 20% or completing the lead-to-opportunity process in less than 10 steps. Concrete goals also provide a basis for making trade-off decisions about how best to deploy scarce resources. Choose the functionality or approach that best achieves the goals for the money or time spent. Goals should be revisited throughout the project to ensure the implementation remains on the right track.
  4. Map the customer journey: Most businesses will ultimately want a new ERP system to help employees deliver a more seamless customer experience. To accomplish this, you must invest time in mapping the current state of your customer’s journey and identify links between your internal processes and the customers’ experience. Identify proven and potential friction points for specific improvement.
  5. Maintain leadership commitment: An ERP implementation requires ongoing leadership involvement across your organization. In addition, support from subject matter experts and end-users from diverse functional areas is equally beneficial. Support from the top down sets the tone and goes a long way in improving user adoption when ERP goes live.
  6. Keep focus: Deploying ERP can be overwhelming, so focus on implementing essential features first and avoiding the ‘kitchen sink’ approach. Implementations that deliver new capabilities in a series of releases often result in improved adoption, a superior new system and less business disruption. Prioritize improvements for your most inefficient or error-prone processes. Keeping this focus will save time and money.

Bob-Riddel-headshotBob Riddell is Senior Director, Business Consulting at DXC Eclipse

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