Implementing an ERP for your business is one of the most important and beneficial decisions a company can make. However, before you implement it, you have to choose which ERP you want to use. And before that, you have to plan and analyze all the features you want the new ERP system to have. But even before all that, you have one key task to accomplish; getting your company interested in an ERP. These are the people who will be using the software and features, so they’re the ones you’ll want to convince. If they already have a multi-software legacy system in place, it may seem obvious to you that it needs to be upgraded/replaced – but for them it already works, so why bother? This is just one of the challenges you’ll need to overcome when trying to get your company interested in an ERP system.
Getting Your Company Interested; First Steps
Information gathering and analysis is already known to be one of the first steps in selecting an ERP solution. However, it should also be a major part of getting people interested in the first place. Find the employees who will be using this new software the most, then do your due diligence; find any pain points your current system has, flaws and weaknesses that would be addressed with an updated solution. These employees may not even realize they’re working harder instead of smarter, so tailor your research to areas that would benefit them. This could be anything from how Purchase Orders are processed to the customization of a customers specific needs.
ERP Interest Second Steps; Sell It
Once you’ve gathered the information necessary to point out how a new ERP system will benefit both your business and your employees, the more difficult stage begins; selling the ERP to your coworkers and C-level executives. Oftentimes you will be met with stubbornness or even ignorance in the form of hangers-on who don’t want to change “what works”, or others who automatically distrust new forms of technology for fear that they are gimmicky and worthless.
Your goal is to change their opinions; remind them that the horror stories they’ve likely heard about ERP failures are a small minority compared to the many successes you can find (which you should have found in preparation for this conversation). Explain that the difficulties inherent with an ERP upgrade or implementation (cost, time, training, etc.) are wholly worth it in the long run, with an impressive ROI that nobody can turn their nose up at. But remember to be honesy; sometimes an ERP implementation can have unexpected difficulties. Sometimes it may go over budget, or not have all the features you initially thought it would. This is why using an experienced consultant is instrumental to a successful ERP implementation, but before that happens you need to make sure you’re being open and honest with your team.
The Final Hurdle; KEEP them Interested in ERP
ERP selection and implementation can take a long time. Depending on the size of your business and the scope of the work needed, it can take anywhere from 3 months to over 12 to fully complete the project. In that time, many employees might lose their enthusiasm or get scared by the costs before seeing the ROI. This is when the foundation you built earlier needs to be reinforced. Keep people excited and remind them of the bright future ahead of them; greater functionality, more efficiency, faster processes, etc. Jog their memory as to why they wanted this in the first place, and keep pointing to the horizon where the benefits of their new system awaits.
ERP generally sells itself, but many people are hard to convince. Once you’ve taken care of your coworkers, the hardest task is out of the way. Now you just need to find the right ERP for them.
For more advice and tips on how to select an ERP for your organization, download our FREE eBook today. We outline the best practices and solutions for choosing the perfect ERP system that fits your needs.
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