These are the Columbus top 10 tips for ERP implementation. For more information go to www.columbusglobal.com
Transcript of the interview
10 Tips for successful implementation
1. Define Your Desired Results
Kapil Mishra "One of the key risks that customers face in implementing ERP systems is not being able to make an impact on the business bottom line",
Steve Weaver "When you are purchasing a new ERP system you need to understand your business, what you do, what you want to achieve, what your processes are, not what you necessarily do today but also where you want to go to what you ultimately want to be and what ultimately want to achieve".
2. Don't Automatically Reuse Old Workflows
Steve Weaver "Many people will buy a new ERP system without understanding their business and what they are effectively doing is spending an awful lot of money to replace a like for like system.
3. Map All of Your Business Processes
Kapil Mishra "It boils down to building a solid business case right in the beginning being very clear as to what are the bottlenecks in the processes, what are the areas that are a challenge today and which specific areas of the business need to be impacted. This is really a blueprint that should be in place before you start thinking about the IT component of the ERP implementation."
Steve Weaver "They need to map their business processes, they need to get the business stakeholders, the end users into rooms to document what they do and as importantly question why they do things."
4. Ensure you have a long term plan for your solution
Chris Mean "The best customers that we work with are the ones that think ahead and plan ahead. And plan in optimization stages where together we can partner how to then drive their business forward after initial go live."
5. Make sure you have executive level sponsorship
Brian Blood "Constant involvement of senior executives during the project process helps to mitigate the risk of architecting processes in the overall solution that are counter intuitive to the company's overall strategy."
6. Assemble the right project team
Chris Braisby "One of the big problems that we often face on projects is that when we are assembling a project team and the customer is putting that project team together then they often put the team that is available, the people that they can most easily spare and not the key people, the key decision makers in the organisation who can understand all the issues, understand where their weaknesses are and also where their current strengths are."
7. Try to standardise and avoid developments
Chris Mean "A common reason why an ERP implementation project might fail is that too many developments are identified and approved by the customer. We work very strongly with our customer to try and minimise those developments and one of the techniques you can use is to ensure you have strong board sponsorship about the direction of the project and you have good buy in from the key users about adopting a new solution"
8. Make user training a priority
Steve Weaver "Training your core team and training the end users on the ultimate software you are going to use is a necessity. It is generally towards the end of a project and many businesses set a go live date and the part that gets crushed in the timescales is the training and the end user exposure to the system, so the more investment you can make time wise in training ultimately leads to a better go live.
9. Focus on getting the right data into the system
Martin Clothier "The key things for data migration are start early, there are no magic bullets, define the migration as a separate project and chose the right people in the business to own the data and test, test and test again as part of user acceptance testing and good data management doesn't stop after go live, it's an ongoing process that needs to be defined."
10. Select the right partner and solution
Chris Mean "Choosing the right solution and the right partner for the implementation is key. Often you see people choosing a solution based on cost or even the partner based on cost as well and I think it is important to think how does that solution fit what your business needs? How does it fit your business needs for the future? And how can you work with the partner you have selected. Do they have the same mind set, do they have the same approach and ultimately can you build long term strategic business relationship with them."