Pre - ERP Checklist
Step by step advice on how to inspire change
Step 1 - Find the main reasons for change
A successful ERP implementation depends heavily on the employees’ ability and motivation to change and adapt. The key to user adoption is letting your employees understand the benefits they will have in using the new system and how the compound benefits across departments will bring positive change at all levels. Reasons can be financial (Reducing costs, reducing lead times, improving quality and communication) based on context (Technological leaps, Market trends) or on business scope (The need to grow without hardware or technological limitations).
Step 2 - Involve everyone & assess feasability
A CEO’s perspective is very different from that of a CFO, a COO or a CTO. Unless your managers and their staff can commit to change, imposing a new ERP will most certainly bring mutiny amongst the organisation and cause you more harm than good. Involve every decision maker. Assess the time they can give to discuss the pains they have and what they are after. Are these due to lack of training? To process issues that need to be corrected? To your current ERP limitations? There is no need to change ERP if the cause of the problems are not related.
Step 3 - Build your Business Requirement Document
The BRD is the best way to document your company’s processes at all levels of the organisation. It is the document that results from an internal audit of both your current practice (AS-IS) and what you want to change in order to reach your objectives (TO-BE). The BRD is then used to have a common understanding of needs, priorities and timelines across your company.
Step 4 - Identify ERP Vendors
ERP’s can be purchased directly from the vendor, or from their resellers. Identifying ERP’s can be done by either word of mouth, through search engines or through niche forums. You should ensure the ERP’s identified have customer referrences in the industry you operate in. You then need to determine the nature of the ERP solution you are looking for, each holds benefits and issues. For example, an on-premise ERP requires staff to maintain and secure. A cloud ERP will allow your employees to be operational faster and at lower initial investment.
Step 5 - Request Information
Build and send a Request for Information (RFI) to your identified ERP editors and resellers. Include information about your business, such as the industry you operate in, your annual revenue, the number of employees you have and a summary of the functionality you are looking for in your next ERP.
Step 6 - Review and rank ERP's
Based on the criteria of the ERP vendor responses, assign a score to them: 1 being ideal, 2 being those that cover parts of what you requested in your RFI and 3 being disqualified.
Step 7 - Communicate back to vendors
ERP vendors and resellers put a lot of time and effort in analysing your RFI, make sure to thank them and let them know they have been selected or that the gap between your expressed needs and their functionality did not match and that you are looking for a better suited ERP. This will save vendors and yourself the time it would take to go through a commercial talk where they will try to convince you to buy an ill-suited product at discounted price.
Step 8 - Generic or process specific Demo
Send an email to your qualified ERP vendor(s) requesting them a generic demo of their system. This will help you have a feel of the system. The demo can be done in one shot, in which case your decision makers will need to assist and give their impressions on the aspects that matter most to them. If your decision makers need a throrough review of the ERP on their specific processes, it is advised to have build a case scenario and share it to the vendor / reseller so that the demo is delivered in that context.ie Procurement, Sales, Hr, Inventory, Services, General accounting, After sales service, Dashboards, Alerts, Reports, Security…
Step 9 - Determine finalists and RFQ
Let your ERP vendors and resellers know if they have been selected onto the final stage of the acquisition or not. Request a quote from your finalists and remember to have the BRD referrenced as the basis of the ERP’s required functionality. Do not forget to ask for a service quote too, with a detailed project plan of the implementation and pre requisites to successfully manage data migration, testing and training.
Step 10 - Review and sign the best fit contract
Signing a contract for an ERP must only be done if you know there are experienced consulting resources available during the period of your implementation. We recommend discussing and booking ERP consultants for implementation and training at least 4 weeks before the start date of the ERP licence start date. Your ERP service providers should also go through a qualification process to save you from implementation issues.