Replacing your ERP solution doesn’t need to be painful—at least, not using today’s cloud-based software. You may remember when you had your existing on-premise system implemented. The process was indeed complicated, not to mention costly and time-consuming. Considering it was your first ERP “trip around the block” and your software was as up to date as, well, yesterday’s technology, it’s no wonder the thought of a system overhaul is enough to send you into panic mode.
But your system needs to be replaced. Your team is done with the manual process workarounds, the late nights, and the overall frustration of making an outdated system work; your C-Suite is ready for more powerful reporting and boosted productivity. There’s no getting around it. So here are 5 tips for ensuring your ERP solution replacement is painless:
1) Tune Into The Pain You Know
If you start to second-guess your decision to bring your ERP system up to date, think about your present reality. Sticking with software that isn’t meeting your needs is far more painful! It’s important to keep this in mind as you transition from the old to the new. Investing in a solution that will work for you into the future—without the burdensome manual spreadsheets, data integrity problems, staff inefficiencies, and business systems that don’t seamlessly sync up—is worth its weight in gold.
Get more insights in The 5 Risks of Using An Outdated ERP Solution.
2) Know What’s “Now”
The technology and times have changed. On-site ERP systems that were built on yesterday’s technology were (and continue to be) cumbersome to get up and running and they certainly weren’t developed to keep up with the way we work today. Technology has changed too much: now, you have volumes of operational and financial data to process, store, and crunch; portions of your business may now be managed completely online; your employees work on mobile devices and expect to access their business software tools remotely and around-the-clock.
Cloud computing is the answer to these challenges and has changed everything. Today’s cloud-based ERP solutions are built on an extremely flexible and ready-for-change programming interface. They’re hosted remotely—managed, updated, and secured—by your software vendor and your users access their data and tools over the Internet. This makes system implementation, integrations, customizations, and ongoing support so much easier for you. And it makes post-ERP-replacement life feel like smooth sailing for your finance and accounting staff as well as your internal IT team.
Uncover more details in Modern Times Call For Modern Technology.
3) Manage the Change
Acknowledging it’s time to break up with your existing technology isn’t necessarily easy. Not for you or your system users. Even executives can fear facing the unknowns inherent in a technology replacement. Let’s face it: change can be painful, but it’s nothing some strategic change management can’t support.
In 10 Factors That Ensure a Successful ERP Implementation Project, you can explore all of the elements that go into preparing your system users and stakeholders for change, but the gist of it is that you need everyone to “buy into” how and why the new ERP system is going to:
- Empower individuals work more efficiently
- Support team and enterprise-wide goals
- Position the company for continued growth
It’s critical that employees are given ample training and Q&A opportunities—from both their managers and the software vendor—so they’re comfortable with their new user roles and work processes. Communication is key at every stage of ERP implementation, but when it comes to supporting employees before, during, and after your software “goes live,” it’s absolutely essential to success.
4) Partner With Experts
If your company has outgrown your existing ERP system, it’s fair to say your technology needs to become more sophisticated—and that means you could use some help determining “what’s next.” Work with a technology partner who has experience in your industry and with the types of challenges you face today. Look for a partner with a proven track record implementing—make that replacing—outdated ERP systems with cloud-based solutions. Armed with expertise and best practices, the right partner will help you assess your goals and budget, evaluate your options, manage your data, and choose the appropriate implementation methodology for your project.
If you want to learn more about replacing your current ERP solution, schedule a free consultation with us.