When you figure out that uneven data and systems are bogging down your process manufacturing business, lack of connectedness amongst your different departments is hampering its performance, the need to access it from anywhere, anytime has never been as big, and that the operational inefficiencies have creeped in at every level, you know that it is time to deploy a Cloud-based ERP system for your business. It is not a difficult decision to make, for a Cloud ERP comes with an array of benefits to the businesses such as cost savings, mobility and scalability, enhanced data security, improved productivity, maximum uptime assurance, faster upgrade, and easier customizations, among others.
Deploying a Cloud ERP software solution indeed is not a difficult decision to make. However, the difficult part about this decision is its execution, as even after deciding to implement it, most businesses fail to enjoy the same advantages that other businesses have achieved. The reason is simple, and it lies at the core of ERP success- the deployment or the implementation strategy. Deploying an ERP system is a comprehensive, meticulous, and time-consuming process, which requires precision, commitment and careful planning. There are many factors that drive the success of a Cloud ERP implementation. Through this blog, which lists down eight tips for deploying Cloud-based ERP systems for manufacturing businesses, we aim to make this process pretty smooth and easy for process manufacturing businesses. Take a look at those tips here:
Tip 1: Define your business requirements and build your ERP strategy around it: First things first, you must determine your business requirements accurately. Most businesses fail to identify their needs, which adversely affects the budget and timeline for the ERP implementation process. Hence, businesses should analyze their critical business processes, their pain areas, and inflection points in order to identify the business requirements. The requirements should then be duly documented so that they can be later presented to the potential vendors. Once the needs are identified, businesses should build their ERP strategy around them. Clearly defined expectations, and the expected benefits from the new Cloud ERP systems help manufacturing businesses create a roadmap for successful Cloud ERP deployment.
Tip 2: Get the entire organization on the same page: Going for an ERP implementation is one of the biggest decisions a business usually makes, as it has far-reaching implications on the entire business cycle. So the first logical step while going for deployment of Cloud-based ERP solutions should be to make all the stakeholders a party to that decision. Getting all the employees from different rungs of the organization on the same page from the initial stages of discussion ensures fewer bottlenecks moving ahead, and a greater focus on important tasks. Additionally, this also prepares the businesses to deal with change management, as well as informed employees are more likely to be receptive and adaptable to the changes brought in by the new Cloud ERP system.
Tip 3: Select Cloud ERP solution & partner that meets your requirements: The next step is to find a Cloud ERP software solution and an implementation partner that meets your exact business requirements. The key to it lies in providing the most specific requirements to the prospective vendors, so that they can draft their proposals accordingly and cover your requirements. Based on the proposals received, you can create a shortlist of four to five vendors, and then scrutinize them thoroughly on different relevant parameters such as their industry/technical expertise, functional knowledge, background check, project management expertise, past record on delivering the implementation on time and within the budget, post-implementation support, feedback from the references, etc. Selecting a partner whose vision for implementation aligns with yours guarantees the success of Cloud ERP deployment.
Tip 4: Ensure tight control over resources throughout the deployment: Even though Cloud-based ERP systems do not require a substantial upfront investment, it is advisable that the businesses evaluate the exact expenses and set a budget before starting with the implementation process. Once the budget is locked, a firm check should be kept over it. It is prudent to have an internal ERP project team as well as a dedicated project manager to oversee the entire ERP implementation project and to ensure it remains on track as far as the budget and the timeline are concerned.
Tip 5: Define metrics for assessing the project: In order to measure the success of a Cloud ERP implementation project, and to check whether or not the implementation helped the business achieve its objectives, the organization needs to develop key performance metrics. These metrics are not just of great help post implementation, but also during the implementation process, as they help the businesses determine whether the implementation project is going in the right direction or not, and if there’s a need to take any corrective action.
Tip 6: Knowledge transfer: In continuation of the point number two mentioned in this blog, it is important for the organization to ensure that all its employees have sufficient information and awareness regarding the utility of the new Cloud ERP system. The general feeling amongst the staff should be that the Cloud ERP has been brought into the system to make their job easier and help the business succeed, and that it has tremendous benefits for them. Before the deployment process goes underway, and even when it is going in full swing, it must be ensured that the employees have complete knowledge and training about the new system and its usage.
Tip 7: Testing & training: Testing is again one of the most critical steps involved in the deployment of Cloud-based ERP solutions. However, most businesses often overlook it, and thus themselves script the project’s failure. To make the deployment project a success, it is recommended that businesses undergo several weeks of parallel testing, the executives undergo training, and execute daily tasks on both the old as well as the new system. This helps the employees understand their new roles and responsibilities and clear the doubts, if any, about the new system before it goes live.
Tip 8: Gear up to ‘Go Live’: That’s it! We are at the last step. By now, your Cloud ERP software solution has been configured and tested, your employees have become well versed with it after thorough training, and your business is fully prepared to take on it. Once all these boxes have been ticked, it is time to ‘Go Live’ with your Cloud ERP.
To sum up: You are now aware of the eight tips for deploying Cloud-based ERP systems for your manufacturing business. In addition to these tips, remember that only a clearly defined deployment strategy can help ensure the success of any ERP system. If you are looking for a strategic partner who can guide you through this entire process of implementing a Cloud ERP for your process manufacturing business, connect with us today. We are BatchMaster Software- a firm with over 30 years’ experience in developing best-in-class on-premise as well as Cloud-based ERP solutions for different process manufacturing industries.