14.02.2009

Starting An ERP Implementation

"What would be the three items you would take along with you?"

"Imagine that as a modern-day Robinson Crusoe, you are cast away at a remote tropical island. What would be the three things that you would take along with you?" I would guess that each person would give a distinct answer to this question. On the other hand, if we said "We are embarking on a journey of ERP implementation; what would be the three items that you would take along with you?", the answers probably would not differ too much. We will discuss here the reasons why. 

First and foremost, a proper ERP product will be required. For the organizations embarking on an implementation, the initial task should always be the selection of the appropriate ERP software. And for this, organizations should determine their requirements in an accurate manner and then start a selection process for the software product that will match up with their requirements. The requirements list is usually topped by the most troublesome problems faced by the organization, such as the inability to accurately track inventory, failure to determine materials needs in an accurate and timely fashion, not being able to meet deadlines promised to customers, not making optimal use of resources at hand, including equipment and personnel, lack of visibility into true product costs, not getting consent from customer in a timely manner, failure to obtain accurate profit and loss data, and inability to put together realistic budgets... and the list goes on. Organizations that want to overcome these problems will be looking for an ERP product that will meet their needs in short order, one that will be customized with ease and integrate well with other systems. Such an ERP system will be secure and the reports obtained from the system will allow the organization to perform better analysis, allowing it to execute more accurate forecasts. 

As the second requirement for your ERP implementation, you will be needing a competent project team. Let's assume that you decided on the ERP product that matches your requirements in the best way possible. This software will not magically install and configure on its own. For the ERP product to be customized in the best possible manner, a "Project Team" will be required, composed of team members from both the customer side and the firm providing consulting for the project implementation. The more in tune the members of the two sides are with each other, and the more they are able to work in harmony, the higher will be the chance for success of the implementation. The capability of this team to determine accurate and permanent solutions that meet the requirements, and the problem solving skills of the team during the analysis and design phases, will further determine the accomplishments of the project. 

And of course, as the third and final item, you will need hardware on which you will be installing your ERP configuration, which will most likely be in the form of a server platform. 

Dilara Gurdal 
RP Consultant