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ERP implementation process and steps to follow

by AndrewSmith
ERP implementation

The implementation of an ERP is a process that most companies will go through more than once. The detailed study of the data and the needs of the company (blueprint) will mark the path to follow within the implementation project.

ERP implementation process and steps to follow

Any self-respecting implementation must be supported by a well-defined project with solid pillars. There are different methodologies and implementation techniques, depending on the size of the company, the complexity of the processes and the chosen software. However, some common phases that every ERP implementation process like Business Central Implementation must go through can be highlighted .

  • Analysis : during this phase the company must define the project and the requirements that this new software must meet during the time it works in the company.
  • Design : everything related to the main applications and functionalities of the ERP will be developed . In addition, the main processes of the system will be configured and the migration of data from the old software will begin.
  • Implementation : This phase is crucial within the entire project. Here the installation of the software and the start-up of the new program will be carried out.
  • Post-implementation : during this stage, adjustments to details will be made, an attempt will be made to improve the system in each problem that may be found and finally the final analysis of the project will be carried out.

How do companies perceive the implementation phases of an ERP system?

Although companies outsource the implementation of an ERP, the supervision of each of the phases is essential for the success of the project. The analysis and design stage is probably the one that will need the most vigilance, since the organization must ensure that it transmits a true image of the company. Modifications made after the system is already installed in the company will significantly affect the cost and productivity of the organization. In the following video, Paco CTO of Geotexan tells us what the implementation phases are and how it is being reflected in the implementation that they are carrying out.

Just because there are phases doesn’t mean everything goes according to plan. Getting the implementation done on time and meeting expectations takes a lot of effort, dedication and time. In the ERP 2022 Guide  you will find 5 crucial aspects with which to maintain the implementation of an ERP as planned.

How long does it take to implement an ERP system?

This is probably the most frequently asked question of ERP vendors , however, there is no easy answer. The contract you make with your supplier should contain a section that establishes the approximate schedule of the project. You should always bear in mind that this planning is usually an estimate, since inconveniences may arise that slow down the functional application of the system.

The implementation time will depend mainly on the type of software chosen, the difficulty of the company’s processes and the necessary modifications to adapt it to the company’s demands. Therefore, if an on-premise ERP has been chosen , the implementation time will mean a project of between 6 months and 1 year. On the contrary, ERPs in the cloud ( cloud ) have a faster and more intuitive application, so implementation times are usually shortened to a few weeks.

Methodologies for managing an ERP project

There are several ways to develop an ERP solution to meet the needs of a company. The choice of the appropriate methodology depends on the size of the organization, the level of customization required, the available budget and, above all, the complexity of its processes. The choice of provider will be largely conditioned by the methodology with which the organization considers it best to work.

The time required for the implementation of an ERP is usually much longer than that of other ICT solutions. Taking this peculiarity into account, the ideal would be to collaborate with the supplier throughout the design process. The agile methodology could be the most appropriate choice in these cases.

To begin with, the provider would not deliver the complete program, but part by part so that the company’s employees, or at least a group of them, can try it out. This opens the door to introducing modifications on the fly, without having to wait for the software to be delivered. It would be possible to incorporate functionalities that were not initially agreed upon, improving the quality of the program and its usability.

However, one must be careful with the continuous implementation of new tools. You can make the mistake of lengthening the process unnecessarily , entering an endless cycle of prototype deliveries and continuous improvements.

Risks derived from the installation

There are many risks to take into account in the implementation of an ERP for any company. All these risks must be contemplated and analyzed by the personnel of the contracting company before beginning the implementation. These risks include:

  • Software that does not cover the basic needs of the company.
  • Faulty data migration.
  • Lack of employees involved in the project.
  • Exorbitant hidden costs.
  • Unrealistic implementation schedule.

The implementation of an ERP (Dynamics NAV) represents a drastic change and a large expense for any company. Many current organizations have even been forced to slow down their implementation processes for economic reasons. The lack of consideration of all the factors related to a new implementation can lead any company to lose large amounts of money that is difficult to recover. In the ERP 2022 Guide  you will find some keys for your company to save money during the process of implementing the new ERP.

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