You would like to develop an ERP project within your company, but you do not know where to start?
For your project to be a success, you need to follow several steps before deploying ERP (Enterprise resource planning) software in your information system. If it might sound a little worrying to plunge yourself into this, remember that one of the crucial steps is to find the best ERP tool adapted for you. However, don’t be scared! Odoo & Appvizer are here to help you with this step thanks to a complete guide on the subject:
So, how do you go about it? What are the steps to follow? What are the mistakes to avoid when deploying an ERP? And how do you choose the best ERP among all the offers on the market?
Appvizer will lead you the way and guide you step by step to successfully completing your project!
What is an ERP project?
How to implement an ERP step by step
- Advice to ensure the success of your ERP project
What is an ERP project?
An ERP project is a project management process in several stages. It goes from the definition of requirements to post-project, which revolves around the deployment of ERP software.
The main objective of implementing an ERP within a company is to manage all its information and operating systems.
The difficulty lies in the ability to match the functionalities available in the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software with the company’s needs and expectations.
It will be a question of choosing the specific modules in line with existing business processes, such as:
- accounting management
- financial management, with the quotation and invoicing part for example
- human resources management
- commercial management and customer relationship management with a CRM module
- production management
- distribution management
- stock management
- e-commerce management, etc.
How to implement an ERP step by step
Step 1: Carry out a preliminary study
As with any project, you should ask first yourself why you want to implement or renew your ERP software. What problems will its implementation solve? It is the very base of the process.
In order to define your objectives in detail, you should analyze for each department of the company:
- the processes
- the different information flow
- the collaboration between services
- the tools already used in your company
This audit phase allows you to identify your needs and the best ways to reach them. It allows you to create a global plan for your future project. This is what is precisely expected from the implementation of an ERP software in your company.
In addition, this project must be integrated into your business strategy because it includes human, technical, and financial considerations that are not negligible.
Indeed, an ERP project represents a long-term investment and a significant budget for a company. The audit allows guaranteeing the usefulness and the achievement of the objectives of this project in order to avoid any overruns.
Step 2: Putting a team together
Once the decision has been made to implement an ERP project, a project team must be put together to study and carry out the project. These two or three collaborators, headed by a project manager, are the key players in the project.
Here is some advice we can give you:
- Define the roles of each person precisely.
- Compose a mixed team in terms of skills: one person from the IT department, with technical skills, and one or two people from other departments to ensure that business needs are met.
This project team ensures optimal governance of the ERP project.
Step 3: Establish specifications
The technical and functional specifications are used to define a clear functional perimeter. It is the reference document throughout the project.
The ERP specifications must be detailed and as precise as possible. it does not just express needs, but:
- it provides all the key information about the company and its issues
- it takes up the analysis carried out upstream in order to present the flows, processes, and interactions between existing services and any possible blockages that may arise
- it lists one by one the expected functionalities and the benefits they can bring
This step is essential because it monitors the vendors’ performance for the duration of the project.
💡 This document is useful for the provider you will be working with, and to ensure smooth communication and avoid unpleasant surprises when setting up the tool.
Step 4: Choose the ERP software adapted to your needs
You know what you’re looking for, the features you need: all you have to do is choose the tool. Open source ERP software or in SaaS mode? Carry out a market study will be able to bring you the answer to this question.
Keep in mind that you do not only choose a tool, but also experts to work with!
Pay attention to the support offered and what it includes.
Find our best ERP software recommendations to improve your company processes.
Step 5: Implement the chosen ERP solution
This is at this step that the installation and production of the ERP tool take place. This may require an update of the infrastructure. For example, if you choose an open-source or proprietary ERP to be installed locally, you will maybe need to install a dedicated server to host all the data.
Opting for an ERP in SaaS mode makes your life easier: your database is hosted in the cloud and you do not have to worry about hosting. It is your service provider who takes care of it.
Then, the deployment makes the tool available to all users by integrating it into your information system.
Odoo, an open-source reference among ERP providers, provides a mini-book to help you choose the best ERP solution and implement it in the best conditions.
Step 6: Time to test the tool
It is necessary to carry out the global recipe of the tool to verify that it effectively meets all the needs that were posed at the beginning of the project.
Centralize user feedback to adjust certain elements and, if necessary, resolve any problems that may have arisen.
Integrating an ERP can be difficult. Do not neglect the test phase under any circumstances. This is what makes the solution work well in the company.
Step 7: Accompany the change
The success of your project also lies in the attention you pay to it after the installation and testing phase.
This begins with user training. This step takes more or less time depending on the complexity of the tool, the knowledge, and the computer literacy of the users.
It is then necessary to ensure the implementation of new processes and a new organization of work, including the sharing of information for optimal use of your ERP.
Work with your service provider and support teams to make any final adjustments in the weeks or months following deployment. This way, you can evolve the tool as new needs arise, as the company grows, etc.
Advice to ensure the success of your ERP project
Here are some mistakes to avoid if you want to ensure the success of your ERP project:
- rushing to complete the project: this is the best way to make bad decisions
- forgetting to involve all the stakeholders in the project and to communicate on its progress
- neglecting the adaptation to change phase: to facilitate the adhesion of all its users, collect their feedback, identify their blocking points, and give them the means to adapt their uses to the new tool.
And finally, always remember to:
- Set up a voluntary and committed project team, including key users from the very beginning of the project. That is to say, those who know the operational reality perfectly well.
- Male sure you have the support of your company’s management before the start of the project.
- Take advantage of all the expertise of your editor or integrator.
You now have all the cards in your hands!