Implementing ERP and Your IT Department
You have done the analysis; you realize your business is growing and you know in order to keep up with the changing market and to foster continued growth, it is time for an ERP solution. You may have even figured out what ERP system is right for your business. Now what? Before you can start step one of an implementation, the most important thing to do is get everyone in your organization onboard and no department is more important in this census building exercise than your internal IT department.
If you fail to get buy-in from the IT department, your transition to an ERP solution can be fraught with issues. Some key issues to consider include:
While ERP software will help your company reduce time and effort in daily tasks, improve inventory management efficiency and the like, getting that software up and running takes time, energy, and resource investment. The entire company will feel the drain but none more so than the IT department. Ensuring you have an understanding and a commitment by the IT department for the additional effort needed, will help your ERP software implementation go smoothly and quickly. If your IT department is not on board, your ERP partner will inevitably end up spending billable time and effort getting them on board, not implementing your software. Making sure that your IT department is committed to supporting the ERP project and working with your ERP partner is a critical component to project success.
IT (and Company) Growth
Price is often the decision-maker when selecting an ERP software solution. Many companies resort to selecting the cheapest ERP solution they can find. Without taking into consideration the growth opportunities the right ERP will afford your company, you may be limiting your options and select the wrong solution for your business. As the IT department will be the most significantly impacted with increased bandwidth and growth opportunities – courtesy of your ERP – their thoughts and considerations should weigh heavily in the decision-making process. Moreover, your internal IT department will probably have good insight into the specific technical features that will be important to your business; they will be able to look beyond price and see the potential the technology could provide your company.
Communication is probably the most critical component of any software implementation, especially an ERP software implementation. Bringing everyone into the conversation, and especially your IT department, is crucial. Chances are, members of the IT department will have had some experience with software implementations in the past and can be a great resource in selecting and implementing an ERP solution. Along those same lines, they will probably be quite familiar with the needs and limitations in terms of technology and hardware requirements. Ensuring there is open communication with members of your internal IT department before, during, and after an ERP implementation will be another key component in the software’s success.
Implementing an ERP solution can help your company be more productive and foster continued growth. However, getting that software up and running takes time, energy, and internal resources. To help the process goes as smoothly as possible it is critical to get buy-in from your entire company, especially your IT department. Ensuring acceptance and commitment from your internal IT department will facilitate the implementation of the ERP solution and help avoid common software implementation pitfalls. Before you take the plunge, be sure your IT department is prepared for an ERP solution project.
For more information on ways to facilitate a smooth ERP implementation, selecting your ERP project team, and more, please visit our resource center.