What is the real challenge of an ERP?
A clear and central answer: improve business performance.
It’s about taking advantage of technology to streamline operations and enable employees to be more efficient. The improvement of the company’s performance will have to be reflected in its results and the satisfaction of its staff.
Neglecting this vision before implementing an ERP is the main factor of failure for this type of projects.
Both vendors and buyers of ERP systems tend to focus on product features, and this is a mistake.
First, they must analyze and map the activities, to highlight the malfunctions and improvements necessary for the proper functioning of the activity.
This preparatory exercise helps set clear objectives and align product functionality with these goals and reliable indicators of success.
Change management will be objectified and the expected results will be clear to staff who understand the reasons for this change.
Organize the team
The success of an ERP implementation or change project is closely linked to the establishment of a multifunctional team that adheres to the objectives of the project and is motivated by a high-level sponsor.
All functions affected by this change must have a representative in the project. The multidisciplinary team must understand the project’s issues and adhere to the objectives of management. This is an essential condition for successful change management.
The ERP provider is part of this team, it must be integrated with the company for the duration of the project and not considered as a third party that must solve all the problems and motivate users.
Culture of success
The team must have a clear vision of what the project will bring to their service and the business in general.
This team needs to understand the product and understand change management.
It becomes the reference team, who knows the issues, measures successes and shares the vision.
Sharing the vision involves a considerable and sustained effort of communication, through various channels ranging from technological platforms such as e-mails, intranet, dedicated sites, to traditional sharing platforms such as staff meetings and specific meetings.
It is useful to combine communication campaigns including slogans, visuals and informal meetings to mark each successful step of the project, for example, the implementation of functionalities in a first department that corresponds to the objectives and to the key performance indicators.
This culture allows for participative management that strongly limits resistance to change.
A lasting success
An ERP implementation project brings lasting change to the company’s business.
Success is sustainable when the implementation of ERP eliminates waste, improves user satisfaction and productivity, optimizes resources, and manages business growth based on standardized and adopted processes.