Due to the unification of concepts and orientation in the issue, we will look at the basic purposes that ERP software brings, what it is used for and why its deployment in every company is justified.
Basic functions of ERP system:
- Complete records of customers, suppliers, materials, warehouses, orders, framework contracts, employees, simply complete records of all data that need to be recorded,
- Planning of production, capacities of workplaces, collection of worked times and performances,
- Purchase, receipt, warehousing operations, logistics operations,
- Shipping, delivery, invoicing,
- Complaints, repairs, tracing of materials and responsible persons
- Connection to all systems used in the company today, for example: accounting, Nesting, CAD, CAM.
So you plan to deploy an ERP system, you have chosen the ideal ERP for you, now all that remains is to implement it. You know that implementing ERP can be a daunting process. Unfortunately, you also know that ERP implementation failures are common and that you will need to plan, adhere to, and control the implementation process for this project to work.
The implementation process varies depending on the size and focus of the company. The implementation plan will help you create an implementation technician. A joint effort and combination of your production information and the experience of the implementation technician creates a plan that you will be able to manage and evaluate during the implementation.
The most important steps to proper implementation
- Analysis of current processes in the company.
- Identification of key employees for each group of processes.
- Determination of a new process map with the help of the experience of the implementation technician and ERP software.
- Identification of key users, employees responsible for different areas of management and planning.
- Start a test installation of ERP software.
- User training.
- Practical training of users.
- Transition to a sharp version of the ERP system.
- Enhanced technical support during the first months after implementation.
The implementation process is set up in order to maintain as many original processes and procedures as possible, so that employees are not forced to change their routines. The evaluation of the original processes and the proposal of new ones aims exclusively to improve the original processes. Redundant steps that the software performs automatically are often removed.
The most common threats to successful implementation
- Incomplete cooperation of the company’s management with the implementation team.
- Disinformed users.
- Inactive users in the test phase of implementation.
- Low user involvement, underestimation of one’s own importance in the process or unclear position of the user in the process.
- Simultaneous endurance of users on old methods of registration during the sharp operation of the ERP system.
1. Incomplete cooperation of the company’s management with the implementation team
It happens that the owners or managers in the companies leave the implementation exclusively to the implementation team of the ERP system supplier. This procedure prevents proper implementation, as the delegated powers of employees are often insufficient to adjust strategic procedures.
Strategic planning is the key to setting up the system, because the system should reflect the near future and the company’s plans in its growth. The owner or employee of the company who works with this vision and plan is therefore needed in the ERP configuration process.
Another example of practice is users who are not motivated to change. They are insufficiently aware of the benefits of implementing the system for their work. The implementation technician is not able to make users need to focus on training or implementation to the fullest.
The natural solution is for the manager to set the company’s culture and employee awareness so that they are aware of the benefits for the company and their position. Approach from the position of authority is expected and a firm point of responsibility should be the superior, who leads his team to better results and simplification of their work.
2. Disinformed users
The basic premise of many future users is that with the implementation of the new system, their work will multiply. This is often really true. However, only if users are not satisfied with the system and partially replace it with other tools such as manually created tables, or if the ERP system is incorrectly implemented.
However, this myth is unfounded, because the ERP system replaces all processes with a single environment and interconnects data that is entered into the system only once. Customer information is entered once and is entered automatically at each subsequent step. The specific gravity information of a particular material is entered only once and is reused. The data is carried by the system itself without user intervention and always correctly.
Minimizing the number of inputs results in a reduction in error rates and a significant reduction in the time required to record.
Such misinformation can cause employee dissatisfaction or even fluctuation. The solution is to openly discuss the information with the supervisor, the implementation project manager and the implementation technician.
3. Inactive users in the test phase of implementation
During implementation, the testing phase begins with the installation of the test environment so that all users can freely test the acquired knowledge directly in the software and thus reveal weaknesses. Subsequently, it is possible to consult them at further trainings, automate processes, get acquainted with the system, all without the risk of creating errors or incorrect data in the sharp version of the software.
Another reason is the financial burden. During implementation, technical support is free and requests can be processed faster and at no additional cost. The trial period must be used to the full.
Users tend to complain about the volume of their day-to-day work, which is not reduced immediately by implementation. The argument is logical and cannot be avoided. In part, it can help plan implementation during a less exposed period, when there are fewer contracts in the company, or support employees by taking away some of the duties or allowing paid overtime.
The other side of the coin remains that with the right personal time planning and the right motivation, the user only needs to spend 30 minutes a day during the test period to verify their acquired knowledge from the training and thus sufficiently practice their future work in the system. The right balance needs to be determined from experience individually.
4. Low user involvement, underestimation of one’s own importance in the process or unclear position of the user in the process
The vaguely defined rights and obligations of the position in which the user works mean that the employee himself is not able to clearly identify where his position is in the process, what other processes he is dependent on, or what processes depend on him. This condition often causes an underestimation of one’s importance in the production, control or management cycle.
A clear definition of the processes, in particular their owner, the executor, the follow-up processes and the means available to carry out the operation, will cause questions to be answered unequivocally and quickly, which would otherwise lead to reluctance or even refusal to participate in implementation.
The last point in which the identification needs to be done is at the point of determining the key users of the system for each process. However, it is ideal to deal with such mapping internally on an ongoing basis. Subsequently, the employee’s position is definable, it can be given a name and it is also transferable to a substitute, or it is easier to fill in case of employee turnover.
5. Concurrent endurance on old methods of registration during the sharp operation of the ERP system
During the test period, employees continue to work according to previous established procedures using old tools. At the same time, they try to learn how to work in an ERP system so that their work is faster and simpler.
Some users remain in dual mode even after the sharp operation of the ERP system is deployed. This condition is very dangerous because it slows down processes for other users. There are several potential reasons.
The most common reason is rejection of change or lack of self-confidence in the new system.
If the testing period is underestimated and users leave their testing and experience to a period of sharp operation, they will be forced to create incorrect records in the sharp version. This situation has a huge impact on the cost of technical support, time delays and overall dissatisfaction with the system.
The solution is not to rush the transition to the sharp version. We end the implementation plan in OSMOS sro by testing users. Testing mainly involves checking the practical skills of users, just to maintain the consistency of the database and full functionality in each job position.
The implementation plan is a simple sequence of operations. Follow-up, measurability and structure will reduce the volume of potential problems to almost zero. Implementation is an integral part of the Bemet ERP system.
ERP system are not licenses, but a complete solution. Our product is the digitization and simplification of processes with the help of Bemet ERP, an exceptional system designed by engineers for engineers.