The global COVID-19 pandemic induced massive change across the globe and in various areas of life. Most businesses were forced to take a deep breath. It provided them an invaluable chance to pause, assess, and eventually adapt to more efficient systems.
Among the many transformations that transpired during this deep breath was the advent, growth, and popularity of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems in various sectors. ERPs attempt to help close the communication gap and increase working efficiency when nothing is normal, and planning and preparation is becoming increasingly difficult.
ERP System Implementation Difficulties
Problems have arisen in the transition to these new systems that make one thing clear: Before taking the plunge, an additional measure must be considered. In other words, the minor transition of processes from an older to a newer system has proven to be much more complicated than it sounds.
The first lesson we learned was that selecting and implementing an ERP system is not a simple replacement process. As with any other process, change in one form or another is constantly met with some resistance.
ERP & Change Management
Businesses look at ERP implementation as an opportunity to become more agile and know more about their own performance and how each step they take affects their overall bottom line. An overlooked factor in their implementation project is that ERP and change management should go hand in hand. Otherwise, it will be much more challenging to achieve the desired new state.
Change Management Strategies
Change management is a critical approach that must accompany the process of selecting and implementing a new ERP system. Here below, we’ll discuss some of the most important change management strategies for ERP implementation:
Make Sure Leaders Fully Understand Need for Change
It’s easy to get used to and comfortable with a routine process. So when we talk about change, we need to make a clear case for it, highlight the potential for what can be achieved, and show the shortcomings that the change can address.
When deciding on selecting and implementing an ERP system, it’s vital to have all the leaders present and aware of why you believe this change is required. It’s also necessary for all of them to be able to share and negotiate their expectations, plans, and ideas on the ERP implementation project.
Assess Your Risks & Chances
Having an idea of what might come your way during this process can be a practical advantage for the future. You can take the time to listen to the team and find out about the possible threats and opportunities that the new ERP system can create in their view.
A list of these options can help you better plan for opportunities and make the most of them while preparing for the risks that may arise and minimizing their impact.
Have a Vision of Your Target
To fully realize your ERP implementation dream, you’ll first need to completely understand what you require from it and where you want it to take you. To form a clear vision of your desired future, you’ll also need to have a detailed and honest image of your present circumstances enabling you to plan for the process that’ll hopefully take you there.
Analyzing your current situation in terms of people, departments, processes, performance, etc., is a good place to start. Then you can plan a transition route for each aspect of your analysis. By implementing this roadmap, which will serve as a reference for your progress during your ERP implementation project, you will get your desired future on track.
A Clear Plan for Each Step
Choosing and implementing an ERP system takes significant time and energy and expends a noticeable chunk of your budget. It also involves several risks that need to be taken into consideration. Therefore, every step along the way must be taken with extra care and caution.
Change in any field is a tricky subject. So, if you are venturing into a transformation of this magnitude in your business, you must have an impeccable plan that considers all possible outcomes.
Facilitating the Transition
Business owners concerned with ERP and change management often get caught up in the excitement and buzz of the future they dream up. This leads to a hasty approach where the fact that it’s necessary to implement change cautiously and step by step is overlooked and almost entirely neglected.
It’s essential to keep in mind that if the conversion of your ERP system is not done correctly, the realization of your future dreams will not be possible. Therefore, the most important thing you need to do is to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible.
Ensure Effective Communication, Training Before & During ERP Implementation
Another easily overlooked aspect of ERP and change management is arguably the most obvious aspect: people. Despite the fact that the end-users of the ERP system are often taken for granted, they need the utmost amount of care and attention throughout the process. Because, after all, they’ll be the ones who’ll drive the organization towards their envisioned future.
As the leader in this process, you must ensure that communication among the end-users and those planning the project is effective and efficient. This will help detect and resolve issues that might arise right from the outset. Maintaining the same level of communication during the implementation and marrying it with efficient training of end-users will create a fault-proof rapport that minimizes errors and system failures.
Be Prepared for Resistance
Typically, people’s performance in any environment is directly related to how comfortable and accustomed they feel to their responsibilities and scope of duties. ERP systems often bring about changes in people’s routines, increasing or decreasing their day-to-day activities, which can be pretty startling.
Therefore, even if you’ve successfully planned and implemented your new system, you need to be aware that ERP and change management are rarely implemented without some resistance. To stay on the safe side of things, it’s advisable to plan ahead to manage them with as few hiccups as possible.
Need Help with ERP & Change Management
IMTS Global is on your side to make sure of the successful implementation of new ERP systems. Contact us for more information and consultation.