As a company grows and matures, they eventually hit the inevitable stage where they have outgrown their current technology platform. Topping the list of technology requiring replacement is the ERP systems – the backbone of any business. A well-planned and executed ERP implementation can position organizations for future success and those organizations who fail to plan and execute according to that plan face a future of constant struggle with a system that will never properly position them for future success.
Below is an outline of recommended steps to follow to assess your legacy ERP and increase the chances for a successful ERP replacement/implementation.
What is your strategy?
Before starting a search for an ERP replacement, Organizations must take a step back and do a true assessment of their current technology infrastructure. Clearly assessing what is working well, what is the greatest source of pain/workarounds, and what are minor inconveniences that may turn into future roadblocks is the first step in clearly defining an organization’s true needs.
Next, you must define your mission/vision and where you plan to be in 1 and 3 years. Defining a clear future state will allow you to capture and build upon current technology which drives you toward your goal and implements new technology to best position you to satisfy your mission/vision.
As the gaps in technology are discovered, organizations need to additionally define exactly what functionality is need from a new platform. At this stage, it is important to think beyond basic functionality, bells and whistles, and features, and focus on how the chosen technology will enable your organization to succeed. While it is easy to get caught up in great features and the look and feel of a software package, it is important to focus on exactly how the system will enable the organization to succeed today and grow in the future.
Are you ready?
Last, it is important to determine how well-positioned your organization is to take advantage of the new technology. What changes in people, processes, and existing technology is necessary in order to succeed? What are realistic expectations for how quickly the benefits of newly implemented technology can be realized and acknowledging that success does not occur immediately at go-live. The adoption and optimization of new technology take time and by setting clear expectations, an organization will avoid frustration and the challenges of a newly chosen technology. Being sure your organization change management and change plan is established is pivotal to avoid ERP failure.
The hyper-fast pace of today’s business landscape places a great deal of pressure on organizations to act quickly and make split-second decisions. Organizations that can avoid the overwhelming pressure to jump into a quick solution and follow a detailed plan to assess their ERP needs will best position themselves to take full advantage of their technology investment.
If you are considering a change in your technology landscape and would like to discuss a plan to move forward, please reach out to me and I would love to discuss your goals.