Before implementing or choosing an ERP package the first step is to identify the exact reasons for moving to a new ERP system. The client's corporate and cultural needs must be well understood so one defines what problem we are trying to solve. Also the incentives for moving to an advanced ERP system must be reasonable and quantified. Incentives may include reduced lead times, increased inventory turns, enhanced customer satisfaction, better vendor performance and tracking, reduction of defects, increased flexibility, resource utility, increased reliability and accuracy of information and better decision making capability.
The management heads as well as the various departments have to be convinced that their organization requires adapting to a new ERP system. They should have the clear idea of the extent of change that is expected post implementation of an enterprise resource planning package. They should not only be convinced of the need for change, but they should also be willing to accept the change.
After the stage has been set for a new ERP package, the current business functions need to be analyzed. The various business functions in the as is system need to be enumerated. The current processes need to be well documented and the statistics must be recorded. On completion of this analysis, the focus must be directed towards visualizing the business functions as they should be in the desired system.
The next step is to choose the best suited ERP system for the business. There are several enterprise resource planning packages available in the market. The most popular package as identified by market research may however not be the most ideal package for a clients business. Thus based on the analysis done so far of the as-is system and the desired system, one has to choose the package which best meets the business needs while balancing the investment in terms of price, resources and effort as well as the timelines within which the implementation must be done.
Thus after having shortlisted some enterprise resource planning packages based on broad overviews, one has to look closer and analyze each package to weigh the benefits and the shortcomings. Each package must be judged based on its presence in the global and local markets, the industry the package specializes in, the price, modularity of the components within the package, ease of customization of the package, success case studies of the package implementations, etc.
After having finalized the ERP package on thorough evaluation, one needs to arrange for the various hardware and setup that is required for the ERP implementation.
Lastly, the functional and technical consultants must be finalized to make sure the ERP implementation is being handled by competent professionals.
These are all the measures that need to be taken before directly jumping into the implementation of the enterprise resource planning system.