Proper implementation of ERP software ensures large part of successful utilization of software for the benefit of user and efficient working. Most of the time optimum utilization of ERP software is not possible simply because of improper ERP implementation. Implementation process is not a simple activity as it involves crucial decisions, important selections and rejections which if not done with complete and correct information may lead to the failure of whole process and eventually incomplete or almost no utilization of software capabilities.
Selecting most suitable ERP software for the organization is the first and primary step in the implementation process that has to be taken after gathering complete information about the company's working along with problem areas and matching them with the facilities and options provided in different ERP solutions. Customization is necessary to mould the software in perfect shape to match the needs of the company but too much dependency on it may not be viable for proper working, apart from this customization also increase the cost and implementation duration of the software which casts negative impact on the whole process.
Planning step by step approach for implementation of the software is next important step in implementation process. This includes setting up the time schedule and dateline for the project to take off. Implementation strategy is one of the most important decisions that have to be taken in this step. Most proper and suitable strategy shall be adopted that is suitable to the requirement, size, location, employee status and culture of the organization.
GAP analysis plays a crucial role in defining proper and optimum utilization of the ERP software. Even if everything runs well and goes according to the plan lack of GAP analysis can spoil the show at later stages. When ERP does not fit the bill of requirements and employee expectations, it starts loosing the trust and faith of the users which creates confusion and sometimes legacy system and ERP run parallel in one organization. Even the best ERP fulfills less than 80% of requirements of an organization with its main software, rest all is matched only through GAP analysis.
Building trust amongst employees by proper change management and training and also by creating awareness about the new system is a must before switching over to the new system. ERP integrates different processes of the organization and automate most of the processes with minimum human intervention. In some cases the change in the working style brought in by the new system can increase unrest and can make workers uncomfortable with the new system. This shall be handled with care to keep employees motivated and relentlessly putting their efforts to help in absorbing the new ways of working and style.
Testing and post implementation phase shall be done by involving even the lowest executive of the company not only to do perform their task but to get them acquainted with the capabilities of the ERP software and clearing their doubts that might be haunting in their minds. Skilled and trained IT team will ensure smooth working of the software and will reduce dependency on the ERP vendor.