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03Aug

How Long Does it Take to Implement Fully Functional ERP System?

Gone are those days when ERP used to be merely a business management software in which only big budgeted companies invested. Presently, it has become an indispensable and integral part of the business that smoothens the daily processes and boosts the overall bottom-line.

ERP implementation is a major task that requires organizations to efficiently utilize resources and time to make sure that the software creates a remarkable ROI for the business. However, one question is usually asked by every person who wants to get ERP implemented in their organization – how long does it take for implementation? The answer to this titular question is – not fixed! There are multiple variables that determine the time slab. It is not necessary that the go-live date will be strictly followed; there can be inaccurate schedule!

So, how long does an ERP system take to get implemented?

This is one of the commonly asked questions that businesses ask. Well, determining the time depends on the size and complexity of businesses and the ERP software. From a couple of weeks to a few years, ERP implementation time is contingent upon the desired modules, deployment locations, data conversion, number of users as well as available resources.

Q. What is the process of determining the actual time estimate of ERP implementation?

Implementing an ERP software requires a structured methodology that is focused on strategy, people and process. Among multiple methodologies embraced by people, a good one will cover all the bases and allow businesses to handle unexpected elements without negative consequences.

Before implementation of ERP, as a business owner, you need to define the type of dashboard capabilities and reporting know-how required to be configured within the software. It is also crucial for the businesses to present the accurate number of users they have so that implementation consultants can identify added complexities. This will help them identify how many users are to be trained and to complete other ad-hoc tasks on time.

The first step to smoother implementation is choosing a good ERP software that meets your specific business requirements. If the team is extensive and users are many, and the company is spread all over the world, it may take years to get the implementation done. On the other hand, if it’s a small or mid-sized business located in one city, it may take a few days or weeks.

2. Increased worker’s safety

Every manufacturing process is different and this depends on the nature of goods that you produce. Presently, machines are the workhorse of almost every small and mid-sized manufacturing business. However, there are still some operations where manpower is required.

Certain assembly operations of parts and components performed manually can be a dangerous task, if not done meticulously. When such tasks are automated, it becomes easy for organizations to stay in compliance with government regulations and other workers’ protocols. Business owners can be assured that their workers are safe and risk-free. We can compare present scenario with that of a decade ago. Cell phones which we used years before are much different than the ones we use now.  

Q. How can you define the scope of implementation and how soon can a company expect to go live?

Implementation team ought to create a roadmap which includes previously defined timelines, goals, objectives, training procedures and team responsibilities. It is always good to ask your ERP vendor about will the solution reduce backlogs, improve on-time deliveries, improve production yields and more. It defines the scope of implementation and streamlines the operations.

In addition to this, the key stakeholders in the project should be given suitable role and held accountable for it. With positive behavioral elements in the project, there is less chance of the project running over the suggested date.

Many organizations review the capabilities of their software and train the entire team of users to understand every function of it and identify gaps if any.

Q. What to do for a strategic and successful ERP implementation?

There are cases when implementation process gets stuck in between. And one of its reasons is that organizations don’t know what they are looking for and what are the specific business requirements. Selecting a complete ERP solution is just a halfway. The next step is implementation. Let’s have a look at what are the steps to ERP implementation

  • Strategic Planning – Assign a project to the team, examine current business workflow, set the target, develop a project plan
  • Procedure Review – Evaluate software capabilities, determine manual processes, develop standard operating procedures
  • Data Collection and Clean-up – Convert data, collect new data, review all data input, clean-up data
  • Training and Testing – It is the next step – Pre-test the database created, ensure testing, train the users, perform final testing
  • Develop a final go-live checklist, it’s time Evaluate the Solution

Q. Is there any difference between implementing ERP on-cloud or on-premise?

ERP implementation planning is quite a cumbersome process. When we talk about on-premise ERP, undoubtedly here, implementation is a more time-consuming process as hardware such as desktop, laptop, CPU etc. are required. Vendors may take more time to get the hardware delivered and it may be a long process. On the other hand, cloud ERP can be implemented from anywhere in the world with no added procurement of hardware.

Q. Who predicts or decides the timeframe?

Sometimes the customer decides the specific date when the implementation should be done, and software should go live. More often, the team performing the implementation should schedule the project after having the idea of what work can be done by that specified date. ERP implementation timeline is also affected by the number of customizations to be done, size of business, location, multi-companies, and acceptance of default-free ERP by every department. It varies from customer to customer and software to software.

#These are the five things that your ERP implementation plan must have –.

  • Project team
  • Budget with cost forecasting
  • Change management
  • Training
  • A maintenance plan

Project team – While creating your project team, your main aim is to delegate the workload to individuals who are accountable for their work. Core four members are really very important who can be assigned the implementation tasks. First is the project manager who manages and cascades the tasks to others. Then, the application analyst who is responsible for cleaning and migrating the data. A developer and quality analyst to develop customizations (if required) and test before going live respectively.

Budget with cost forecasting – As per a survey done by Panorama research, the overall cost of ERP implementation usually runs over the budget (by 56%) in the organizations. Its major reason is that businesses consider only the license cost as a bedrock. However, there are so many expenses such as network upgrades, staff overtime, customization, data backups, training fees, and procurement of hardware that should be budgeted along with the license cost.

Change management – It goes without saying that no two businesses are alike. While the software gets implemented in your organization, you obviously need time for educating the end users so that they can manage the change. Therefore, it is always suggested to have an effective communication plan or organizational strategy with projected benefits to build a proper change management strategy.

Training – The implementation plan must have a room for training and guiding the employees so that they can leverage the software to its full potential.

A maintenance plan – ERP implementation is a time-consuming task that needs a clear maintenance plan. A well created and planned maintenance contract allows businesses to access the latest technology and advanced software functionality. With a team of support specialists, your questions will be never unanswered – no matter what the location is.

Wrap up

Businesses, whether small-scale or large-scale must invest in a suitable ERP solution, considering today’s competition. ERP developers strive hard to upgrade each set of functionalities to make the overall business processes streamlined. After choosing an ERP, the next step that is paramount is its implementation. Getting a successful implementation done is again a cumbersome task. However, if implemented properly, it can do wonders to enhance the productivity of your business. From creating a proper implementation roadmap to training the end users efficiently, the hierarchy needs to be followed cautiously.

If you are evaluating ERP solutions or are seeking information regarding implementation process, get in touch with us at info@optiproerp.co.in.