You’ve been assigned the task of looking into an ERP solution for your process manufacturing company and are overwhelmed by the herculean task before you. Because of the time and monetary investment, you want to ensure that the process leads to a successful ERP search and implementation, with minimal hiccups along the way. Planning and forethought will enable the process to go smoothly. ProcessPro has helped companies just like yours through the ERP selection process, and we recommend the following steps to lead you well on your way:
1) Develop Project Team and Identify Final Decision-Maker(s)
Stakeholders, comprised of the best and the brightest from a cross-section of departments, need to be part of the project team to provide subject matter expertise and advocate for their specific manufacturing needs. Team members should be excellent communicators with the appropriate skill set to facilitate and share feedback from department members but, most importantly, serve as advocates for the positive change the new ERP solution will bring. The team also identifies an ERP Administrator to coordinate the effort, as well as identifies the final decision-maker(s) to eliminate ambiguity.
2) Determine Critical Needs
The selection team is tasked with determining your company’s top critical business needs, prioritizing well-defined operational functionalities necessary for the present and future. Some possible areas of focus include:
- Compliance requirements and government regulations
- Real-time functionality and reporting
- Lot tracking ability, automation of inventory transactions and MRP functionality
- Scalability to support future growth, adaptation and innovation
Identification of your organization’s competencies and deficiencies are vital to aligning ERP functionalities that will most effectively meet your company’s critical needs within a new ERP solution.
3) Calculate Budget and Timeline
Crunching the numbers is necessary to provide realistic expectations for ERP selection and implementation. The budget is determined by calculating costs for hardware, software, training, and support, as well as future charges such as maintenance and upgrades. Determining a deadline for selection of a new ERP, in addition to a projected timeline of implementation, is necessary to provide a starting point for discussion for ERP vendors and is integral to the vetting process. These calculations determine what your company is willing to invest for an ERP solution and must be determined early in the selection process.
4) Develop Search and Selection Criteria
Finally, the team must determine the criteria for the search and selection of the ERP based on previously determined critical needs, budget and timeline for implementation, as well as other aspects. Some other possible considerations include:
- Industry-specific knowledge, understanding and experience
- Request for Proposal (RFP) utilization
- Pertinent references
- Vendor demonstrations
- Return on Investment (ROI) calculations
- Customer service and support during implementation and beyond
Following these recommended steps will help to ensure an efficient and successful selection of an ERP solution provided by an ERP partner that is aligned with your company’s priorities and desire for long term success. Contact us to find out how our expertise can move you from ERP selection to successful implementation and beyond.