Implementing an ERP

Author: Paul Henriques in: Implementations

April 7, 2021

Implementing an ERP: Better Productivity is Near

Modern manufacturing can leave you wondering many things, like:

  • How can I compete with global businesses?
  • What can I do to improve my profits?
  • Why am I losing these sales?
  • Who can help me improve my company?

The answer to these questions is often a Great ERP. A complete ERP system is your first step toward increased productivity and profit.

Now, implementing an ERP can be a challenge. And while a veteran Implementation Project team is there to help you all the way, it is good to know what to expect. So here is a summary of what to be ready for when implementing an ERP system.

For a more complete look at the OnRamp implementation process, see the OnRamp Implementation Guide.

Human-Resources Assemble a Team

Begin by putting together a team consisting of:

  • Executive Committee – steers the implementation towards completion of the business case
  • Project Manager – leads the implementation and assists with tracking and scheduling milestones and check-in points, and communicates with your ERP about changes that your company would like to see in the ERP
  • Ops team – composed of business unit leaders and subject matter experts (SMEs), the ops team train and direct data migration

Finance-and-Accounting Plan the Implementation

With a team ready to go, set the goals that you want to achieve with the implementation and communicate these openly with your ERP vendor and your Executive Committee. As an ERP implementation is usually a company-wide project, try and get buy-in from all persons and all teams.

Write out your goals so there can be a clear baseline for what will become your implementation KPIs. This can also help prevent any delays or false starts due to poor communication.

When you are defining your goals, always be as specific as possible. Your ERP vendors first job should be to simplify your business and give you a competitive edge, so goals should be defined in more solid terms. Like:

  • Decrease Shipping Errors
  • Decrease Excess Inventory
  • Improve Vendor and Client Communications
  • Decrease Cycle Times
  • Improve Warehouse Management

OnRamp has met with great success at all our clients in helping them improve all these things and more. But knowing what you need, exactly, can ensure that you start with that best foot forward by cleaning up the bulk of the inefficiencies first.

Engineering Build and Migrate

While building a new server to host your new ERP system and your data is easy, migrating can actually be one of the most difficult. This is, after all, the core data of your business.

The migration is a multi-stage process that involves finding the data, finding persons that can help identify what is and isn’t useful, cleaning the data, and then moving data.

First, move static data, then move long-term dynamic data, and finally short-term dynamic data.

Once the servers are ready to receive your data, move it over according to the plan agreed to by the Implementation Manager and your Project Manager.

The important thing for migration is that you gather your data and get it ready to be moved into the new ERP.

Planning-and-Scheduling Test and Train

With your data in the system, you can test the system, test your data, and start training your employees on how the ERP works.

You can also check out our Online Help page for videos and guides on how to use OnRamp.

Maintenance-Management Go Live

With your data migrated and your staff trained, you are now ready to go line.

With your SMEs and Project Manager ready, and their roles and goals defined, you are ready to push that button and start a new way of business that increases your output while decreasing your costs.

Quality-Management Post Implementation

The first few months of any change can meet huge problems, so implementing a whole new way of interacting with your company is no exception.

Keep and eye on your KPIs

While the first few weeks may see a drop in in the KPI values, ensure they are improving to where you want them to be by engaging the persons responsible quickly to address any issue before it becomes a major break.

Lead by Example

The best way to ensure that the holes are filled and the edges are filed down is to engage with the staff. From the CEO down, everyone should show their commitment to the new way forward.  Show your stakeholders the vision of where you want to be to help them overcome any fears of change and anger over fumbling with new technology. Explain that your new, more efficient, way of doing things within the ERP improves your company, which creates job security, which opens up new avenues for promotion within the company.

Staff Ownership

This should get you to the most important part of an implementation: employee buy-in. When the employees “own it”, they themselves will look for ways to improve it, leading to a virtuous cycle of growth. And the best way to quickly get the “buy-in” is with great training and support on what you need from them to keep performing their jobs.

Follow the training and support with regular updates and proper rewards. Praise early adopters and hold dissenters accountable. Be sure that everyone knows how seriously the management believe in the new ERP. Celebrate the wins and the milestones so that your staff are just as happy with the news as you are.

Customer-Sales Conclusion

Implementing an ERP brings new energy to any business. Moving to OnRamp ERP will bring many benefits to your company. By cutting waste you improve your efficiency and productivity, which is the best way to hone your competitive edge and improve customer satisfaction.

Our team at OnRamp is here to help you through it all. Our mission statement is:

We know manufacturing and whatever it is you make; we want to help you make it better.

By this time next year, your only wonder will be “How did we do things before OnRamp?”


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