10 Quick Tips for a Quick ERP Implementation
1. Know why you are implementing the ERP : Every organization has different reasons and needs for an ERP. In a College or University, you might be needing the ERP to have better control over your academic process or you might be needing an ERP to make your financial management more effective. Like this there will be different objectives that you might be needing to achieve with an ERP. It's good to make a list of these objectives and discuss all this with your vendor and team well before you start the ERP Implementation process.
2. Make a Perfect Team : Choose the most prompt, motivated, result oriented, fast, computer / email savvy members of your staff and divide them and make them in-charges of each module or few modules as per their knowledge and domain. You can broadly divide them in the 3 segments of your campus as Academic, Administrative & Financial. It should be known to all who are the in-charges and all other staff members should give them full support for implementation process.
3. Give Proper Responsibilities and set Milestones : No team or in charges will be able to execute if they are not given responsibilities and clear milestones and timelines to complete the tasks. You will have to set deadlines with your team so that work happens in full speed. A delayed and slow implementation makes everyone in the organization lazy about the implementation and this hampers the overall implementation process.
4. Data is the Key : Data Entry of your non digitised data from papers, old records or documents will take time and additional resources and manpower. Plan for it before implementation. Data Migrations in the ERP from your old software(s) or from your digital data sheets etc. will help you in quick implementation. Discuss its possibilities with your vendor prior to the implementation. Keep a team for verification of all data that is getting entered or updated in your new ERP to avoid any data discrepancy or loss of work and working hours of your team. This verification process should be a regular activity so that any wrong entries are controlled before too much of it is done in the system. This will assure you on accuracy of your data in your new ERP.
5. Give your requirements First : When you take the demo of an ERP from any vendor your GAP analysis and planning of customization requirements etc. gets started with the vendor before starting the implementation. It's always better to have a detailed GAP analysis before the implementation with the vendor and see if the vendor is ready and able to accommodate your needs and expectation into his product or not. If this is not done before implementation then in 90% cases the ERP implementation is going to fail.
6. 3rd Party Integrations : Discuss before the ERP Implementation on all 3rd Party integrations needed by you with your new ERP in your College and University with Bar Code Scanners, Biometric Machines, RFID Machines, Time & Attendance Machines, Bar Coded I-Cards, Library Cards, Smart Cards, Rapid Access Terminals, LED Screens, SMS Gateway, E-Mail Broadcaster, Payment Gateway etc. These things sometimes become a bone of contention between the ERP Vendor, the 3rd Party and the College/University. With IFW Campus ERP 2.0 we have a clear policy of 100% Free Integrations for all 3rd Party Integrations for the comfort and ease of our clients, but it's better that you from your side make the 3rd Party Vendors talk to your ERP Vendors first to avoid confusion later.
7. Keep Systematic Checks and Balances : During the Implementation process and also after the implementation you have to make sure that someone from the top management is checking the core reports of all modules on a regular basis. It's a human tendency that if no one is checking or evaluating the working on ERP then motivation to work on the ERP with a systematic approach will die down slowly. Soon you may have a case that modules which were in working or in Live state earlier will get down to closure slowly. So, it's better that you set up responsibilities, checks and balances for it in your own best suitable way to avoid this to happen.
8. Conduct Review Meetings with your Team : Just like you conduct review meetings with your all teams in campus on different topics on a regular basis, it's important that you do the same for ERP during and after the ERP Implementation. This will help you to take action on any kind of delay and negligence by any one. Also, you will be able to analyze the difficulties of any department in implementation process. The faster you take action on these things the faster will be your ERP Implementation.
9. Honour and Reward the best performers : With so many modules in an ERP and so many departments in your campus it's not possible that all of them have the same speed and smartness to get their respective modules LIVE. Some will be fast and some with be slow. It's always good that you honour and reward the best performers who are able to make their modules LIVE first. This will give motivation to other to speed up things for rest of the modules too.
10 . Be Nasty if needed : We had a client where the top management stopped approval of leaves by the staff manually as per the old system. They clearly released a notice that all leaves will be approved on ERP only. Now this pressed a panic button in all staff members and everyone involved in Employee Attendance and Payroll etc. had to speed up things and get all data and policies sorted in the ERP for the staff to allow them to apply for leaves. Also all leave approvers and sanctioners too had to promptly attend to all such leave requests and take quick actions. Now we are not saying that you should be nasty, but something this helps in Quick ERP Implementation.
Thanks for reading this. Your suggestions and comments are eagerly awaited below.