ERP Wizards 1. Riku Venno & Esa Vasara: Key to successful ERP implementation

Keys to a successful ERP implementation

ERP project is a challenging task for everyone, and many aspects demand careful consideration in different phases on it. This article provides you with tips on how and where to start building your ERP strategy.

What kind of symptoms indicates that a business might benefit from ERP?

When the company grows and starts new subsidiaries, the business processes become complex, and the manual workload multiplies. It creates a need to prove processes and better data transparency. The ERP system can help the company to see how they are today and how they will be in the future.

One of the first challenges that usually indicates that the company might benefit from an ERP system is the difficulty of managing the financial side in more than one country. When the company has multiple subsidiaries, they need a consolidated view of numbers. In that situation within the ERP, the books can be closed fast. The ERP system also enables automatizing processes and eases, for example, operating with multiple currencies, local legislations, credit card settlements, and cash matchings.

Growing and scaling also address the need for good data security and ways to manage the data. All the company’s data need to be in the same place. ERP is one solution to do this, but it is not the only possibility. Also, BI tools enable combining all the business data into the same place.

What to consider when choosing the right ERP?

The number one tip for choosing the ERP system for your business is to choose one platform that can respond to your current needs as well as your future needs. When you are growing fast, and your company is in a relatively early stage, it is crucial that the chosen platform can be adjusted even if your business model would change in the future.

For most companies, the ERP is a constantly evolving piece. So the project does not stop after the system itself has been implemented. Usually, the companies want to do configurations afterward when they see new development areas. Choosing the ERP system is a crucial phase of the ERP project because it is very difficult to change the system in the project's next phases.

Tips for choosing the partner for the ERP implementation

  • Look around a lot, discuss with other companies, and see what others have done within their ERPs. You can gain a lot of ideas from their experiences.
  • Call the references and check how they have been served by the implementation partner.
  • Choose the partner who has the most things to give your business and who is suitable for being a long-term partner. The partner should have technical knowledge of the system as well as knowledge of business processes. It is good if the implementation partner can also serve you other than ERP services.
  • Trust your instincts; personal chemistry is also important when choosing a suitable partner for the ERP project.
  • The cheapest deal does not automatically mean the best deal in the context of an ERP project. Remember that you are negotiating to get the best implementation!
  • Read more about NetSuite - a global cloud ERP

What to consider in the different phases of an ERP project?

The ERP partner has the leader’s role in the first implementation phase. They should know all the needed things about the ERP system, how the first phase should be implemented, and the customer’s business. After the first phase, the customer should take charge of the ERP project and take the attitude that the ERP project is done in close collaboration with the external implementation partner. Successful ERP implementation demands effort from both sides from day one. It is crucial that the customer and supplier are on the same team and going in the same direction.

People can know exactly how the processes work within the ERP after seeing it and trying it. That is why some changes need to be done agilely, even if they were not on the original plan. It is important to have some high-level definitions that work as the target of where you are going. It is also important that the supplier and the customer have agile follow-ups on how many hours have been spent on the changes to keep within the limits of the set budget.

One good approach is to build the platform up and running to the testing and iteration mode as fast as possible. This way, the customer can start iterating with their own data and see the results. The agile approach is the best way to get the end-users to understand how things are working.

Would you like to learn more about the topic?

The first episode of Greenstep's ERP Wizards season is now available on Spotify! In the Episode, Greenstep’s experienced ERP Consultant and Partner, Riku Venno, and HappyOrNot’s Director of Business Services, Esa Vasara, are cutting into how and where to start building the winning ERP strategy.

They share more tips, for example on how to approach the ERP implementation, what kind of phases the process traditionally includes, and who should be involved in the ERP project. Listen to the podcast episode on Spotify here, or directly through the link below:

You can also book a free 30 minutes sparring session with our ERP Consultant, Riku Venno.