7 Steps for Pain-Free ERP

As a large-scale deployment involving considerable resource investment, ERP implementations are rarely straightforward, with a web of stakeholder interests often delaying projects before projects even get to tender.

Hardly surprising when you consider the number of influencing touch points that Microsoft Dynamics AX will ultimately have upon operations.

To help make this process smoother, and get the most from your future ERP system, take a look at these 7 steps for pain-free ERP:

1.       Outline Business Requirements

Sounds obvious, but it is imperative that businesses take a moment to consider ‘what do we really want from ERP?’ Is the deployment focused around helping the business scale up to meet growth requirements, or is there a need to grow functionality, such as moving into multi-channel operations?

2.       Identify Risk Factors

As ERP integrates the full spectrum of business operations, there is always potential for complications to occur, particularly when existing systems run on disparate platforms, and are rooted in an on-premise infrastructure. By considering this at an early stage, precautions can be taken during the deployment process to mitigate risk and keep ERP projects on time and on budget. To help identify risk factors, it is important to evaluate poorly performing areas, those operating on primitive infrastructure, and the most critical components within operations.

3.       Map out workflows and areas for improvement

To help get the most out of ERP, it is beneficial to look at where it is most needed. If certain process workflows are efficient, there is little need to completely replace them. You should only use Microsoft Dynamics AX as a means to enhance functionality. As ERP connects channels and departments, it is important to consider the effect each silo will have on the wider business.

4.       Preparing for the impact of ERP

To hit the ground running once the solution is live, it’s crucial to promote the project internally. Ensure everyone has bought into Microsoft Dynamics AX. Help them to plan future activity with the enhanced functionality they will soon gain. This can be complemented by Dynamics users training to help them adopt ERP seamlessly once it arrives.

5.       Match project scope to budget

It is important to align ERP ambitions with project budget; there is little point in planning for certain advanced functionality if it does not fit into your designated budget. By working through priority areas, ERP experts can help mould the project to get as much functionality as possible for your budget.

6.       Define specific success criteria

At this point, businesses need to begin quantifying the desired and anticipated results from ERP. If Microsoft Dynamics is to reduce distribution costs through streamlining, define by how much? By calculating return on ERP investment, it will be much easier to justify expenditure and receive buy-in from senior management.

7.       Deployment logistics

As all businesses operate differently, the way they adopt Microsoft Dynamic AX will vary. To ensure as little disruption to wider operations as possible, consider which employees can be lost to the project deployment. The use of internal and external capacity, and if implementation is to be phased or not, must be reviewed to get the required ERP environment.


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