7 Steps for Successful ERP Implementation

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The implementation or installation of an Enterprise Resource Planning System is a major change in an organisation. To ensure the success of this approach, you should proceed systematically and carefully.

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7 Steps About Successful ERP Implementation


It is software that integrates some functional components of the business, such as production management, sales management, logistics, human resources, accounting, management control, payroll and etc. The modules and  their functions are handled over a single database system.

01. Ponder Upon Right Questions

Why we need to implement an ERP System? That is the question! Want better centralize information between services and thus ensure better overall visibility? Or would you improve productivity ? It is important to ask you, taking into account the software already in your company. The migration to an ERP is a real evolution strategy that requires precautions both human and technical. And the cost and implementation time are not negligible. Moreover, subsequent steps depend on this crucial phase of reflection and definition.

Satisfy yourself with best answers. Do not left out with any ambiguity in your mind. 

02. Identify Referents

Before going further, select the people who will accompany the installation of this ERP in your company. "In a small company of about 100 employees, between 20 and 40 people are generally concerned with the implementation of such a solution," according to Eric Valion, ERP Market Director at Cegid editor. But only two or three people must be designated as related applications. Generally, this is the business leader, the chief financial officer and a business representative with knowledge of the culture and the company's history. This will have a key role because it will introduce internal users and be their referent. Further training, including individual assistance can be offered by the provider you choose.

03. Launch a Tender

The solution is to select your provider to opt for a tender. It is imperative you establish specifications as precise as possible. This document will result the choice of the package in question. "This is not a book of expression of needs, nor a 200-page document, but a repository that defines the role of each and the requested features," said Claude Cordier, Marketing Director products and services from SMEs Division at Sage Management software company.

04. Find Your Required Package

The needs in terms of functionality are not the same from one sector to another. You must investigate whether, in the market, there is a software package developed for your industry . Many publishers (Sage, Cegid, Divalto, Ines, SAP...) offer ERP increasingly segmented. And some have even greater creative positioning and develop specific ERP to business sectors. This is the case of Capwan company, based in the Rhône-Alpes region, which specialized in the wine sector and offers tailor-made to its clients (see box below). For Claude Cordier, marketing director at Sage products and services, the implementation of an ERP "packaged", that is to say, general, is a way to "reduce the cost of deployment and development.

The features allow meet the main needs of SMEs. "The simplest solutions lead to steering your company through an application accessible from the Internet. As standard features you have used to ensure the commercial management of your business, monitor your production, manage logistics, treat the financial part, but also administrative, such as the recovery of your bills. Training is so rudimentary, and data sharing through file transfers, e-mails and uniqueness of information. If your choice (dictated by your industry and services involved in your company) is focused on a more sophisticated tool, the implementation will be done on a longer time and will require great synergy in the long term between your teams and the company responsible for the integration of the solution.

The cost of an ERP can vary, depending on the number of workstations installed, the service level selected and the range of services that will cover your package. It takes on average a budget of between 5 000 and 20 000 euros.

05. Extend Your ERP

Once the chosen ERP service providers, up to the implementation of the software solution. The site can last between nine and twelve months as part of a small business, according to Marie-Laure Galland, CEO of Capwan. "The main cause of failure is the lack of involvement of the management. The teams from SMEs must also get along well with the provider, and it requires a lot of communi cation," she explains. For Eric Valion (Cegid), among the causes of failure, "forgetting to develop a specific interface is common." Keep an old software package that does not fit the new ERP is usually fatal. The words of the implementation of an ERP is the right definition of the project to the base according to clearly defined objectives, excellent communication between integrator and society, and careful monitoring.

06. Made Last Adjustments

Before tipping ERP, perform a test in society. Then, referring back the user-reviews to make final calibrations. The data will then be transferred to the new tool. It is possible to hire trainers. Thus, some publishers sell man training days in the original package. Although e-learning is becoming more widespread, please bring a trainer in this situation, for the best support  of your employees in this major change.

07. Measure ROI (Return On Investment)

Productivity gains and access to a centralized real-time information (e.g. inventory visibility) trigger optimal responsiveness to employees of SMEs. According to industry experts, it must really have a minimum year before the estimated real return on investment.