11May 2016

7 Tips for a Seamless Cloud ERP Implementation
BYKunwar Jolly
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Even after months of tedious ERP implementation process, most of the companies are not able to reap the benefits that other have achieved. The reason why they have totally different experience with their ERP lies in the way they have carried out the implementation process. Implementing a cloud ERP requires a vigilant planning, sheer dedication, sufficient time and commitment. Small and steady steps lead to the farther places. Here are a few things to follow for a smooth implementation of a cloud ERP in your organization:

1. Define a clear ERP strategy around your company’s need

The complete ERP implementation process depends upon the way you start it. The preliminary step is to identify your business objectives and company needs. Create a clear document of critical processes, bottlenecks and key performance indicators (KPIs). Start with one department and gradually plan the same for each department in your organization. This helps you create a clear road map for the implementation and define your expectations from the ERP system.

2. Involve key management and team representative’s opinions

A round table discussion of key management and team representatives will yield you critical real time scenarios. Your lower level employees are the key people that are involved in various process. Seeking their opinion on automating a particular process will provide you with on hand experience and problems. This will help you create an efficient and fool proof road map. This will also ensure there are fewer bottlenecks and arguments down the road, when they actually start using the system.

3. Keep a check on the budget throughout the implementation process

Assign a dedicated project manager for your ERP implementation process whose job would be to keep the implementation process on track and budget. Though implementation of a cloud ERP will not require investments in peripherals like servers, cables, etc. however at times, there are costs related to third part applications, depending upon any special requirements. Hence, make sure you assess the costs clearly before and while the implementation process.

4. Getting your employees ready for the change

People resist change. They are obsessed with their older versions and would repel the new systems. Before you even begin the deployment process, make sure there is enough awareness about the need and benefits of the system .Start with a training session for your employees and help them understand the software. This might take time but they soon they’ll get used to the new system. It is important that employees have sufficient knowledge about the new system and are convinced about using it for their workflows.

5. Taking the new ERP system for a test drive

Testing is a most critical step and you cannot afford to overlook it. The best way to test the new software to take it for a test drive along with your employees. Make sure that your daily work is processed on the new system as well as the old one, to prevent any loss of data. This helps everyone to know their roles and responsibilities beforehand. It also helps you strike out any glitches or bottlenecks. Ask your employees to report the issues they face while using the new software. Discuss the issues with your vendor to get them resolved.

6. Migrating old data to the new system

Previous ledger entries, sales data, purchase records, expenses etc. are a few things you would like to have in your system. Clearly plan out in the road map document that what and how much data is to be fed to the new system. Ideally, you would want everything in your old system to just show up in the new one, but the reality is, you have limited time, budget and headcount for this massive task. Pick your battles wisely. Communicate the expectations well in advance to your employees so that there are no surprises while they start using the software

7. Going live with your new system

There will be chaos in the hall on this day. Everyone would want to try their hands on the new system. There will be problems in the first days, which is perfectly fine. Give your employees sufficient time to get a hold of the ERP. A well trained and confident staff will prove to become a worthwhile investment. Assign a dedicated support person to address the concerns of the employees. Or rather have consultants from your software vendors handy.

Applane is a customizable cloud based ERP platform that helps enterprises and SMEs seamlessly automate their business functions like Sales & Marketing, HR, Operations, Finance etc. We have helped hundreds of organizations to cut their expenses by making them more efficient and agile. Get in touch with us today to get a free consultation about ERP and its benefits.