How much time should be dedicated to ERP implementation? Aside from the vague answers such as “as long as it takes” and “it depends,” mid-size firms (25-150 users) can plan to spend 6-12 months rolling out their new ERP software. Keep in mind that ERP projects are actually business transformation projects and, therefore, the timeline really does depend on factors like the level of customization, business complexity, data integration issues, executive buy in and successful training.
Also be sure implementation is not an “afterthought” for your ERP vendor, who should be able to provide benchmark data from other organizations that they have worked with of similar size. They should also be concerned, not just with software functionality and process, but business needs that extend to non-software activities such as business process models and planning, organizational change management, and successful training.
With all that said, here is an outline of a timeline based on 9 months for a mid-sized company. All times are approximate and all activities are abbreviated in description.
Planning - 1 month
Design - 2 months
Development - 4 months
Testing - 2 months
Deployment - 1-2 weeks
Support - As Needed
For more detailed information about ERP Implementation and Timelines, please contact Parallel Solutions at (440) 498-9920. Our experienced staff can help assess your software needs for Accounting, Distribution and Manufacturing. We offer multiple ERP solutions as well as software for Warehouse Management, Time Collection, EDI Processing and Forecasting. Being a full service solutions provider offers you peace of mind, knowing that every aspect of your investment will meet your expectations. Our team will implement, train and support your company every step of the way.
When do you know it’s time for ERP software? Those proactively streamlining operations can draft ideal process models, analyze budgeting to plot out ROI and schedule implementation roll outs. In today’s fast paced global economy, however, not everyone has the luxury of proactivity. As the high water mark rises, is your company struggling to tread water?
Here are 4 signs that ERP is your life raft:
Excel is Everywhere
You’ve got data set drama -- HR, CRM, Accounting, Inventory -- all running on different platforms and none of them integrate well. Setting up a new customer involves 3 separate employees, about 6 emails, 2 phone calls and Excel documents. And that’s before anything needs updating.
Worse yet, you’ve got even more paper involved. Sales orders are backlogged for manual entry, which slows invoicing, by the accounting department, which enters it into the system that integrates with inventory as long as… you get the idea.
If watercooler talk turns to fantasizing about entering information at one time in one place, your company needs ERP software. That way employees can spend their time doing productive work instead of exporting and emailing data set updates between departments.
IT Struggles to Meet User Needs
The user community complains that current reports don’t provide necessary information.
The amount of custom patches, plug-ins and upgrades to maintain and partially integrate systems is turning into a jerry-rigged, costly nightmare.
If the network is more of a ‘netwant,’ it’s time for one final upgrade... to ERP. While the new system requires up front costs, the ROI will make up for the initial expense quickly. And you’ll be astounded how much business grows when IT can actually work with management on improving process, operations and information flow.
Getting Business Info = Scavenger Hunt
Preparing for a strategic business meeting requires a two week heads up so managers can hunt down key performance metrics. The answer to questions like “what’s our average time between sales and shipment?” is always, “I’ll get back to you on that next week.”
Business moves fast nowadays and competition requires spotting and resolving inefficiencies quickly.
Customer Service is Unravelling
“Please hold while I chase down your order and let you know when that promised item will be available.” No one wants to field this call. Your reputation is on the line, especially in this day and age of online reviews.
Streamlining operations and integrating internal communication is key to customer experience and satisfaction. Internal system failures rarely remain internal. When reliability and service start to suffer, it’s really the last straw and the final indicator that your system is deeply flawed. Getting your customer information -- sales, project, supplies and accounting -- together in one place means exemplary service. And customers expect nothing less in competitive markets.
If these scenarios sound familiar, call an ERP provider, stat. Of course, we think you should call Parallel Solutions at (440) 498-9920. Why? Our experienced staff can help assess your software needs for Accounting, Distribution and Manufacturing. We offer multiple ERP solutions as well as software for Warehouse Management, Time Collection, EDI processing and Forecasting. Being a full service solutions provider also offers you peace of mind as we help get your company back on track. Our team will implement, train and support you every step of the way.
Mary Jo O'Neill