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Plan to succeed

Successfully implementing ERP the first time requires a structured methodology that is strategy-, people and process-focused. This is the only way to manage the risk effectively. A good methodology covers all the bases, but when the unexpected pops up, as it usually does, you will be prepared to handle these exceptions without severe negative consequences.

One very common mistake is not having your employees prepared to use the new system. The consequence here can range all the way to total failure, but they are avoidable. Evaluate your business strategy and ERP plan before you commit to software acquisition and installation. Doing it right the first time is the only cost-effective way to go. Many people out there wish they had paused to evaluate their direction. The following questions do not cover every possible contingency, but should be helpful to stimulate thought and discussion.

    1) How do we want to run our business?
    2) What business problems need to be solved?
    3) Do we know and understand our priorities?
    4) Do we fully understand our as-is condition versus our could-be/should be processes?
    5) Have we carefully defined an action plan for pre-implementation preparation activities?
    6) What tasks will be accomplished and when?
    7) What are the missing links in our current system and our software of choice?
    8) What are the real costs, benefits and timetable going to be?
    9) Do we have an executive-level ERP champion to provide the necessary link to top management?
    10) Who will implement ERP and make it work?

ERP and supply chain management systems implementations are, in fact, projects without an end. After all, the supply chain is, to a large extent, the very life blood of a manufacturing company. For the well-prepared, new supply chain management systems based on ERP have become significant competitive differentiators. Implementing ERP can become a mind-altering experience for those involved. Following a sound methodology will greatly increase your likelihood of success the first time. Yet, it will not guarantee your success. Only you can do that.


ERP vendor has to address all these issues in order to ensure that there is ERP implementation success. If everything goes as per the plan then there are no chances of a ERP implementation failure.