Although Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems are comprehensive and adaptable, there comes a time with business growth where you will likely need to upgrade your solution. Upgrades can be seen as non-strategic initiatives that are required to stay current to be supported by their ERP vendor. In some cases, businesses may upgrade due to a need for a more comprehensive solution and features, and other scenarios because the solution they are currently running on is no longer supported.
In this blog, we will go over 7 ways to ensure a successful ERP upgrade plan.
1. Look for opportunities
While upgrading to a new ERP version or ERP software there may be a number of opportunities to streamline processes and silos to ensure a positive impact on efficiencies and bottom line. It is important to analyze all aspects and look into all options available to ensure you will be getting the most out of your upgrade. Writing a pros and cons or wants and needs list can help to outline where improvements may be desired and where the current system may be lacking.
Often the frequent software users are not included in the upgrade process when these individuals likely have the most insight into pain points, inefficiencies or errors. We suggest including these individuals in the ERP project by asking if they feel the solution is lacking and/or what could help them to be more efficient.
2. Check out available modules and extensions of your current solution
Often during ERP Implementations, many modules are not added due to the company not needing them at the time, be sure to look into your system and what is available to see if there are additional modules that could be set up during the ERP upgrade project to fill the gaps you currently have.
Analyze exactly what the unused modules do to see if there is a benefit in configuring them to your organization. Additionally, if your business is upgrading due to features and capabilities the implementation of an ISV (Integrated Software Vendor) may be a solution rather than upgrading your solution overall.
3. Make sure information is up to date
It is important to take a moment to ensure things like policies, procedures and documentation is up to date as it has likely changed since first implementing your ERP solution. Review documentation, applications, and procedures to ensure everything is up to date and does not need any alterations or improvements. Having these updates can not only help efficiency, consistency and compliance, but also new hires and other business members.
4. Analyze processes, workflows and reporting
In addition to documentation being updated since the implementation of your software, often your business processes are another aspect that has changed over time. It is critical for success to factor in your workflows and make sure tools are being utilized. An ERP upgrade is the perfect time to see if workflows are fulfilling both business and audit needs. We suggest checking to see if new enhancements, modules, or features can help to improve the workflows in place.
When it comes to reporting it is important to make sure reports are up to standards and show the important business details needed. An upgrade is a great time to talk to management and those analyzing reports to see if there is something that would be beneficial if added. During the process of an upgrade, there are various aspects being changed; it can be more simple to notice inefficiencies than when completing one task by itself.
5. Establish a project team and plan
It is vital to have a plan in place and project managers who can help to ensure a successful implementation of the software upgrade. Choose individuals who want to be involved, have the appropriate skill set and will work well with the other team members. This will help to ensure processes go smoothly and the updates and changes needed will be covered.
Align the goals and objectives of the upgrade and the organization. This will help to meet business objectives and get everyone on the same page on why the upgrade is taking place and its importance. Outline a plan that is clear and concise and strive to stay within the:
- Project plan & objectives
- Infrastructure plan
- Project roles and responsibilities
6. Make training a priority
Once your ERP upgrade is complete, we suggest offering training to your employees on new features or refreshers for the system overall. This will help to ensure individuals are utilizing the system effectively. At BAASS we offer full training and events tailored to your ERP solution. With the right training, your team can use the entire ERP system effectively.
7. Follow up & evaluation
It is important to follow up with everyone who uses the system within a few weeks. Make sure that there are no outstanding questions, concerns or other details left open. Make it a point to personally follow up with department leaders and staff. A personal approach makes it easier for people to ask questions or ask for help.
We also suggest evaluating the solution more frequently, this will help to ensure things are continuously running as desired. By staying up to date with new updates and features it will help your business to get the most out of your ERP system while staying efficient and supported.
Learn more about our ERP Solutions:
Sage 300, Sage Intacct, Sage x3 & Microsoft Dynamics
BAASS guides businesses through a process driven by best practices, to ensure ERP upgrades are more than an IT project; leading to business transformation.
With an experienced team of business application, IT and design consultants, BAASS offers a comprehensive range of services including requirements analysis, management consulting, system design, HRMS, BI, configuration, software training and technical support in accounting, ERP, CRM, e-business, custom solutions and cloud solutions.