After months of planning, your ERP system is up and running. Congratulations! But keep in mind that making the most of your new ERP solution will not happen on its own. What you do after going live is important to help you meet your goals and ensure your ERP solution is working for you.
A big part of our job at ERP Advisors Group is to help companies make smart decisions. We guide our clients through the decision-making process for an ERP selection and implementation — and we help them recognize what to do and what not to do along the way.
An essential part of a successful ERP implementation is the ground work: determining what type of system you need, and the stakeholders who should be involved in the selection and implementation. But these efforts aren’t everything. Once you’ve successfully implemented your system, the next steps you take are just as important.
Here are five tips to help you make the most of your ERP implementation after you go live:
- Take a break. Unless you are a company that has dedicated some of your staff to your ERP implementation, many of your employees have probably been working overtime on their regular jobs plus the ERP project. ERP implementation projects are intense—no getting around it. Take a break and celebrate everyone’s hard work.
- Spend time with the end users. During the planning phase, the end users should have been integrally involved. Now that the system is up and running, take a look at how those people are using the software. Is it working as they thought it would? Are they getting adequate post-implementation support? Do they need more training? Make sure your people are reaping the benefits of the software, and if they are not, spend time figuring out why.
- Look at what needs fixing. A new ERP system brings with it a new way of doing things. There’s no doubt that this might be uncomfortable for a while. It also might only take a couple of weeks of using the new system for users to figure out what else they need that they aren’t getting. Maybe there were a few things that didn’t go into phase one that should have, or perhaps there are processes you assumed users would put into place once the new system was live. This is the time to identify those missed steps and correct them.
- Look for opportunities to automate processes. With an ERP implementation, there are typically three levels: core business processes, more complex processes that add even more value, and top-level processes. This includes reporting, analytics and process automation. After you go live, look at how you can put processes in place to help you do things even better than before. For example, you might want to evaluate key performance indicators regarding days sales outstanding, assess how changes to billing processes impact cash flow, or identify your most and least profitable customers.
- Create your road map. After taking the steps above, we encourage our clients to create a road map for the future. It should lay out how to fully utilize the ERP and establish a list of best practices. This ensures that the system will be used as intended, and it requires putting a team in place to make sure the software is being put to work. That team should also keep tabs on how key employees acclimate to the new system.
Our job at ERP Advisors Group is to help you select a system that works for your company and meets the needs of your stakeholders, and post-go-live optimization is an essential ingredient of any successful ERP implementation. This is when you make sure everyone who needs to use the system feels comfortable doing so — and it is an opportunity to resolve any remaining difficulties or issues. If you skip this key step, you could risk losing the buy-in and support of the team that helped you implement the system initially.
If you need help to optimize your ERP system, assess the effectiveness of your training, or align your processes with the tools available to you in the ERP system, let us know. We love helping companies enhance their new platforms as much as we enjoy helping them prepare for successful ERP implementation. Click here to schedule a consultation.