Choosing the right ERP platform for your business
Why bother with ERP?
Part 01 of this series focused on enterprise resource planning (ERP) platforms focused on the Why of ERP. Why should you bother? Why is it important to invest the time and money into implementing one? The answer was easy – it delivers measurable value when it is implemented properly and within the expectations of your business. However, there is still another essential step that should come before any business signs on any dotted line – the What.
What does your business need to prepare before implementing an ERP platform? What are the legacy issues and systems that have to be addressed, managed and overcome? What does your business need from its ERP to get the value discovered in the Why?
This answer is somewhat more complex.
Implementing an ERP platform is complex and intricate. It needs to be future-proof and sustainable while equally ticking the boxes of agility and flexibility. Planning should have the long-game in mind while simultaneously ensuring that the short-term is in hand.
For companies that are about to embark on a complete overhaul of their ERP system, the entire concept can seem overwhelming. What about customized applications? Where do legacy processes go? How will specialized apps and systems move across without compromising on their functionality? Can legacy systems even be moved? It’s a litany of questions that have to be answered before you can even begin to start squeezing the ERP orange to get to its juicy insides.
First, pull out that digital spade. You’re going to need to start digging.
Find out what you really need and expect from your ERP platform.
This requires involvement from several cogs in the enterprise machine:
- IT – what will their role be in implementing the ERP platform, maintaining it, and ensuring that it meets the expectations of the business? Often, the questions raised in this meeting will include the challenges of shadow IT, the limitations imposed by security, and the change management needed to get everyone on board.
- Security – this team wants to know how secure the platform is and what vulnerabilities it could potentially introduce. Security will also throw shade at IT thanks to the shadow IT issues that introduce security risks and that can potentially impact the overall security posture of the company and this ERP.
- Employees – what will the impact be on a process and operations level? People need to know how they will be supported as they adapt to a new system which can be the make or the break of an ERP investment. It’s essential to look at a robust and engaging change management program that takes away the element of ‘what is this?’ and replaces it with ‘I can’t wait to take advantage of what this offers’.
- Decision-makers – leaders, management, and the C-suite need to buy into the new platform and they need to sell it to every person in the company. If management can lead the way in terms of showcasing the value of the platform and engaging with everyone in the organization, then it will have a greater chance of long-term success.
The golden nuggets that emerge from these discussions should also lead you straight to the next important step in the process…
You need to revisit your processes.
Yes, that process used in accounting has been in place for many years, but do you really need it or is it just a throw-back that’s implemented out of habit rather than necessity? When you step into the arms of a new ERP system, it is the perfect time to revisit processes and remove those that no longer add value or limit the efficacy of the incoming system. Consider replacing them with fresh approaches or new methodologies that can make things move faster and more efficiently.
If you stick to old ways of doing things, you can risk bottlenecking your ERP or inhibiting the impact it can have on the business. If you want to lift, shift and replicate, then a new ERP may not be the right investment for you.
There is help if you want it.
You don’t need to lift the spade or change the process or assess the environment on your own. Investing in a new ERP comes with a lot of work and analysis, so use a partner that has the expertise and the tools to make the entire process a lot easier. Mint has extensive expertise in ERP implementation and is a trusted Microsoft Dynamics 365 partner, plus we have the ProActive™ Discover and ProActive™ Transform toolkits that are designed to make discovery, analysis, and ERP preparation as seamless as possible.
We’re ready to get our digital hands dirty and to dig into your business and bring out the golden nuggets that will shape your ERP success story.
Get in touch, we’ll bring the spade.