When you make a decision as big and important as buying an ERP system, you want to be sure everything goes right. You need support from all levels in the shop to get the right ERP system and for it to work as well as possible. This support is a big part of avoiding implementation failure.
This is the second in a series about ways to avoid implementation failure. The first was about the importance of setting goals.
Management buy-in is more involved than you may think. Before you can get an ERP system, you need someone from management to sign off on it. However, you also need their continued involvement throughout the process. If they’re kept in the loop, they’ll know how much your shop needs to spend to get the right ERP system and what it will take to get it up and running. After you get your ERP system, you need management to make sure everyone is trained on the system to get it fully implemented. Of course, it’s also important that the shop’s employees support it as well.
You need management to get the ERP system and to make sure it can be used well, but you need the folks on the floor to make sure the system actually gets used. One of the best ways to make sure they use the system is to involve them in the whole process. The shop floor employees know what will make their jobs easier and what will slow them down. That means that they know what features the software needs. If you involve them from the beginning, you can also make sure they know this software isn’t about replacing them; it’s about making them more efficient. People are more likely to embrace new software and the increased efficiency it can provide if they aren’t worried about being replaced.
The most successful implementations have an implementation team or point person within the shop. This team is ideally made up of people from management to the shop floor, and even the people who object to getting an ERP system. If your shop decides to go with a singular point person, you’ll need to be sure they get input from all levels within the shop.
With a variety of viewpoints going into the decision, you can be sure your shop is getting a system that will make your shop more efficient and fix the problems you want to fix. Being on this team is a commitment. The work starts by deciding if your shop needs an ERP system and ends after the implementation is successful. However, even after that, they might check periodically to make sure the ERP system is on track to meet the goals set. Because of this commitment, it’s important to get people who are willing and able to put in the time and effort.
In order to have a successful ERP system implementation, your shop will need buy-in from management, folks on the floor, and from your shop’s implementation team or point person. Change is often scary, and implementing an ERP system can be a huge change for your shop. However, if you make sure to get buy-in from every level of the company and keep the shop up to date along the way, your shop will have a successful implementation.
Read on to learn more about how implementation doesn’t have to be scary.