Successful enterprise resource planning (ERP) integration is a process that involves integrating the functionality of one or more business processes into another process. This integration aims to provide a streamlined method of communication and integration without sacrificing the overall organization of the enterprise. This is accomplished through the use of a process called enterprise resource planning. ERP is a software application designed to help an organization design, develop, and deploy an integrated business system that increases efficiency and decreases cost. ERP also offers a common database that can be used for tracking and reporting of business activities.
When learning how ERP integrations work, it’s important to take your time and not rush the process. Every detail is vital, considering this integration involves your business. Thus, here are the six steps for a successful ERP integration:
- Identify The Problem
ERP integrations are usually conducted to solve a particular problem within the company, so you have to make sure you have a clear idea of what you’re trying to solve. You should focus less on why you’re trying to integrate, and more on what you’re trying to integrate for. As long as you have a clear idea in mind, you’ll be able to solve the problems you’re faced with.
- Brainstorm The Options
When you’re shopping around for an ERP integration software, you’ll want to avoid purchasing the first product you come across. Build a list of different products, and compare their benefits and drawbacks in order to build a better idea of what different programs are offering you. Statistically speaking, 22% of ERP customers who have been surveyed reported that they bought the first product they looked at, while 33% didn’t even demo the product first. Jumping headfirst into a product without properly conducting research and demoing the product could damage your company and cost you more money in the long run.
- Data Migration
This step is extremely important as you have to sift through all the data your company has, and deciding what needs to be transferred over and what doesn’t. You don’t want to clog the software with data, especially data that isn’t entirely useful or important, so it’s vital to pick what is beneficial to your company’s future success.
Once you have identified the problems and transferred the data you deem necessary, the next step is to customize the software. This is important because you want the software to fit neatly into your company’s overall plan and work as well as it can within the parameters you have set for the said program. If you don’t customize the program to fit within your company, you might run into problems in the future that will cost you time and money to fix. Not to mention that if you take the time to customize the program, tailoring it to fit your needs, you’ll have a better idea of how the program operates at its core and that knowledge can be incredibly important in the future.
- Manage Your Team
Once you’ve solved the problem of what ERP will be helping you solve within your company, the next step is to evaluate your team. With this new program, it will take your team some time to adjust to the changes and learn how to operate appropriately with this new program, which can stunt their confidence and make them less productive. If you properly train your management team and show them every detail of how the program operates, they will be able to take this knowledge to the rest of the team and train them the same way you trained them. If you monitor the training and make sure it’s consistent across the board, you will ensure that everyone is utilizing the program correctly, and fewer problems will arise in the future.
- Program Tests
Once the team has been trained accordingly, and you know how the program is supposed to operate, the next best step is to conduct a test with the program. This is important to do before you fully implement this program into your company because it can help you sort out any remaining bugs that could potentially cause problems in the future.
Regardless of which ERP software you decide to move forward with, your team’s training is crucial to your company’s success, so while no one likes micromanagement until everyone completely understands the program, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the team. There’s no guarantee this integration will solve all of your problems, but if done correctly, you might see a change in your business results.