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Spilling the Tea: 3 Things You Should Know Before ERP Implementation

Have you implemented ERP in the cloud? There are many people who are first-timers to the ERP implementation experience, and more still who are new to implementing cloud ERP.

The global pandemic spotlighted the need for organizations to invest in digitalization to meet the changing needs of the workforce, remain competitive, and be prepared for another pandemic or future events. ERP systems touch nearly every part of the business, serving as the heart and soul of the business. Transformation can be costly, but it’s more expensive to stick with legacy systems that do not meet the needs of the business.

One of the challenges is connecting with customers who have travelled the same path and understand the risks and rewards of implementing new technology. If you’re looking for someone to spill the tea – that’s where we come in. Here are considerations and guidelines revealed in our latest webinar on ERP system selection.

Secure Your Implementation Partner Early

LCMC Health CIO Tanya Townsend said in a conversation about ERP system selection, “One thing to keep in mind with total cost of ownership (TCO) negotiations and contracting with the top ERP software vendors is that they require you to have an implementation partner. When you’re having conversations around the various implementation phases, understand that who you choose for your implementation partner is a huge part of the negotiations.”

Working with a partner with deep industry knowledge, proven implementation methodologies, and certified solution specialists with a track record of success will ensure you select the right solution, negotiate the best possible contract, have the right governance, and apply best practices and risk mitigation.

Find the Right System

ERP systems are not one-size-fits-all. There are benefits to an ERP system specialized to your industry, but avoid an overly unique solution that requires specialized skills to manage or is costly to maintain. A vendor with solutions proven to improve and automate processes and workflow in your industry is essential. Use feedback from industry experts like Gartner and KLAS to see how similar organizations have fared in their projects.

If your organization is moving from an on-premise system to the cloud, don’t feel stuck with your current vendor, but also, don’t rule them out due to your organization’s current setup limitations. In most cases, the customer experience is different in the cloud than on-premise, so it is helpful to talk with customers who upgraded from your current ERP and hear how their cloud experience differs. Whether you plan to stick with your current vendor or move to a new one, the project would likely be similar to a new implementation versus an upgrade.

If you feel your current on-prem system isn’t keeping up with your needs, its important to look into and compare the new capabilities your cloud choices come with out-of-the-box, and whether the ERP will be able to scale with your business.

Set Your Priorities

While the technology itself may feel like the largest consideration in a transformation project, it’s your organization’s readiness for change is the largest indicator in success. Historically, change management is the first line item to be cut during an implementation, but it’s a mistake to view change management as just an add-on activity. Rather, helping people navigate change and new ways of working is critical for sustainable success. Organizational change management practices, such as those powered by Prosci research, data, and concepts, should be baked into the project plan to allow for proper awareness and communication at the right stages to allow your team the proper time to absorb the change and how it will affect them.

Thinking about starting your ERP system selection journey? Watch our on-demand session to learn more tips and tricks to system selection success: A Fresh Perspective on ERP System Selection.