3 critical factors for successfully implementing an ERP system

When selecting and implementing an enterprise resource planning system like Dynamics NAV, several decisive factors must be explored and incorporated to ensure the strategy works. The complex array of features in the planning program can create a logistics nightmare for those trying to use the system to the greatest degree.

Here are three essential factors to focus on to implement a streamlined and cost-efficient ERP system:

  1. Focus on the key needs
    An ERP system places many advanced and complicated functionality tools at the manager's disposal. As such, it can be easy to spend too much time focusing on the trees instead of the forest. Instead of trying to squeeze the most out of every single feature, ProjectManagementTimes recommended managers spend 80 percent of their time ensuring the 20 percent of the features that actually drive business.​

    Financial concerns should drive the system's implementation by serving as limiting factors to what features should and should not be used. This way, the cost element does not become overshadowed by the vast numbers of applications the system provides.

  2. Realistic budgeting
    With financial concerns at the forefront of the system's implementation, be sure to include cost considerations for the very real likelihood of delays or missteps. Most businesses tend to operate under a best-case model with the expectations that their employees will be proficient and knowledgeable enough to accurately utilize any system. However, the complexity and scope of ERP means that there is an extremely good chance that something will go wrong during implementation. Instead of leaving the project underfunded halfway through the process, managers should ensure that some wiggle room exists in the ERP implementation budgeting just in case something goes wrong. ERPFocus recommended boosting the cost estimates by at least 35 percent to guarantee the project has sufficient funding.
  3. The right team
    Even though the ERP project should serve a core business function, the company's IT project manager should be intimately involved with the system. An IT employee well-versed in the business application of the system is an ideal project team member, however some companies may not employ an individual with these particular traits. Instead, managers should ensure the team members know the ins and outs of the technical side of the system, as well as the business side.

While implementing an ERP system and successfully utilizing the program can be a frustrating and time-consuming process for many companies, by focusing on a few key needs, crafting a realistic budget and building the right team for the project can help keep employees on the same page to maximize the system.

To discuss Microsoft NAV solutions for manufacturing, join the Microsoft Dynamics NAV for Manufacturing LinkedIn group.

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