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ERP Implementation Guidelines for Beginners and Experts - A Guide to ERP Implementation

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An ERP implementation guide entails all the necessary details of steps those are to be taken for a successful implementation. ERP implementation is intimidating for many organizations as huge money and time is at stake and its failure may dump chunk of it into a waste box. Organizations need to understand the power and shortcomings of a single unified system before stepping ahead for the implementation process. Sometimes over expectations or lack of trust in the system are the lone reasons for unsuccessful ERP implementation.

Before going for ERP selection management of the organization shall identify the problem areas of the organization. No two organizations have identical working environment and also the problem areas, even if they are working in the same industry. The identification of the problem areas set a benchmark for ERP selection as ERP software which does not provide solution to these problems is not the right choice. An exhaustive analysis of present working shall be drawn on paper to make everyone involved in the implementation process understand the present scenario. The selection of right and suitable ERP according to the needs of the organization also requires deep and exhaustive study of options and solutions provided in the ERP solution and selection process shall be guided by keeping in mind that very less customization is possible with ERP software.

There are three types of popular strategies for ERP implementation. Big bang rollout, in this entire organization shifts its working on to the new system on a given date. Second is, phased rollout, in this working of organization is shifted on to the new system step by step, phased rollout is carried out in three different ways like module by module rollout, rollout according to divisions and rollout according to geographical locations. Third method of implementation is parallel rollout where new system and legacy system work simultaneously either following a phased rollout or big bang rollout.

Big bang strategy is cost effective and fast, training the employees is less time consuming and problems during the changeover are condensed. But in this strategy problems are more pronounced than perceived, employees get very less time to test the new system and few small but important changes may get overlooked in the rush. Phased rollout theoretically appears as the best but practically the kind of urgency, commitment and focus required for implementation falls apart due to extended period of implementation process. Parallel rollout is the most expensive rollout and feeding of data in two systems is not easy and cannot be done efficiently. Parallel rollout is very unpopular due to extra costs but in some cases it can be most suitable strategy and that is why it is mentioned in guide for ERP implementation.

Every methodology has its own advantages and disadvantages and practically there can not be a generalized guide for ERP implementation which can ensure sure success for every organization. The selection of methodology shall be based on the exhaustive study that was done in pre-implementation phase to chalk out the problem areas. This study can clearly denote the problems implementers will face while shifting on to the ERP and methodology which has best solutions to these problems or can handle these problems without slowing down the implementation process or incurring extra cost is the best bet.

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