Steps in ERP System Implementation (Part 2)

After going through the First Step (choosing ERP products / software), the next step is to choose partners to implement. In general, companies need outside help in implementing ERP systems, which in this case acts as an Implementor or Consultant for the ERP products we will use.

Often we also get the question whether it is possible to implement using internal company resources? or always have to use a consultant from outside the company. Everything is very possible by considering the following points.

In the ERP implementation process there are at least 3 changes that occur.

1. Technology changes

The use of the new system will certainly change the technology adaptation that will be used by the company, this must be a concern by seeing whether the internal team already has sufficient knowledge or experience in the new technology that will be used? for example the company plans to use SAP as a new ERP system, and out of 5 IT / MIS teams, no one has mastered SAP, the company will need outside help in the implementation process.

2. Change in Business Process

In general, ERP system implementation will touch almost all parts / departments, because that usually there will be a change in the way the company’s operations work (see the discussion about what is ERP and its use). Changes in the way work / business processes are sometimes minimal, but in general there are quite a lot of changes. This makes the company must consider whether the needs of outsiders who will help ERP implementation only help the technology side (point 1) or the company actually needs outsiders who can help improve the existing Business Process.

3. Change in Corporate Culture (Culture)

Both changes above, especially changes in Business Processes will result in changes in the way work, which in turn will force a change in the company’s work culture. For example, before each department only focused on the interests of their respective departments, then with an integrated system, it was seen that all had to work as a team and had to think about the interests of the company rather than the interests of only one department. Culture change in ERP system implementation becomes the most challenging compared to other changes, sometimes if not taken seriously can have fatal consequences. Example the user / user does not support system changes because it is considered more difficult to use.

By looking at changes that will occur when implementing an ERP system, then after choosing an ERP product, the company must consider the 3 things above, whether the company can make the above three changes using internal resources or need outside help / consultants.

If we need consultant assistance, then we clearly understand consultant assistance for any of the 3 fields above. The next step is the consultant selection process. The consultant selection process in our opinion is no less important than the ERP system selection. In studies of ERP implementation that fail or face many challenges, usually the prospective user (client) is the most often cited as the reason for the failure of implementation such as the management does not support implementation, or users who do not support.

But based on our experience, the consultant is also not uncommon to be the cause of the failure of implementation. We will try to share details of the causes of failure in a special section. Of course, with all due respect to our fellow consultants, we do not intend to accuse let alone speak ill of anyone, but let this be a lesson so that we as consultants can always learn from every project we do.

Bearing in mind the following tips from us in choosing a consultant:

1. Make sure the ERP consultant masters the ERP products they represent, usually this can be done by interviewing the team that will lead the project, or looking for experience information from the team in working on the ERP project of the product they represent.

2. Make sure the consultant understands the industry of your company, for example a consultant who has been handling Bank or financial companies, may not understand your business’s retail process. That way it is not wise to choose a consultant who does not understand your industry, because usually they do not understand what your industry challenges are, so it is not uncommon for them to find it difficult to provide recommendations.

3. The commitment of the consulting company, if the two points above have been fulfilled, make sure you can get the commitment of the consultant team that you interviewed will be involved in the project.

4. The following points can be valid or very dependent on each consultant. We must really think carefully if you choose an ERP product that is locally represented by only one institution. We must look closely at the continuation of the institution, because the company will be in contact with consultants for quite a long period of time, as long as we use the application.

5. Because the relationship with the consultant will be very long, it becomes important to build relationships both institutionally and personally with the consultant. If we feel an obstacle, you really have to consider the election.

(continues to section 3 – ERP implementation steps) about how to process ERP implementation after choosing ERP products and choosing consultants.