If you’re thinking about implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) into your business, you need to first conduct an ERP assessment.
While 34.24% of organizations implement ERP solutions to shift away from legacy systems, any implementation is a highly complicated task that requires all levels of your business to be involved.
Here’s what you need to know in order to successfully complete your ERP implementation assessment.
In order to understand how valuable conducting a needs assessment in ERP can be for any successful ERP implementation, let’s break down the scope, benefits and key steps involved.
Looking at the Full Scope in Assessment of ERP
A successful ERP Assessment will comprise an overview of your entire company, specifically the business requirements not being met with current systems and processes.
A readiness assessment is not a deep-dive analysis, but rather a top-to-medium-level view of what is currently working for your company, what challenges you’re facing and what improvements can be made with advanced ERP technology.
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Benefits of a Thorough ERP AssessmentA thorough ERP assessment makes sure your company is ready for an ERP implementation or upgrade and helps to plan out the process. Since investing in a new ERP platform is a major decision, an assessment helps ensure your company will get the most out of the system it chooses. A less obvious benefit from a complete ERP assessment is learning how to deal with current roadblocks to implementation.
Assessment Benefits in Detail
ERP Fitness Test
Pairing the word “fitness” within a technology assessment could sound a bit odd, but finding out exactly how prepared your business is when it comes to handling the implementation of a new or upgraded ERP system is important information to have.
Several factors may be evaluated for readiness, such as:
- Business size
- Current IT department size
- Type of business
- Projected growth
- In-house ERP leadership
- Types of ERP modules needed
A well-executed ERP assessment gives valuable insight into what your company may need to change in order to implement new technologies.
Current ERP Evaluation
This benefit is pretty straightforward. If you are already using an ERP system to run your organization, an ERP Readiness Assessment will also take a look at the system you’re currently using for efficacy and longevity.
Discover What You’re Missing
Finding out where your company is facing gaps in meeting organizational needs is probably the most instructive part of an ERP Readiness Assessment.
Learning the areas in your current system and business processes that could truly benefit from an ERP overhaul and, even more of note, what advanced technology is now available in the world of ERP, (for example, the latest cloud ERP technology) is high-priority information.
This might go without saying, but an ERP Assessment done by a vendor or ERP provider would include an estimated range of implementation costs, licensing and support over time.
Ideally this would include a ballpark total cost of ownership paired with some high-level estimates showing how productivity, automation and the ability to keep up with the competition will offset this major investment.
Another overlooked benefit of a formal implementation assessment is a roadmap with projected time-frame of the project. Time is a resource most companies won’t want to waste, and how much will be needed from various departments is key in the decision-making process.
Any kind of major change to the way an organization conducts its business includes risk. A good ERP risk assessment will not only take into account what problems could arise during an ERP transition, but also what contingency plans should be in place.
Have you scheduled your ERP Risk Assessment yet?
The right ERP implementation team can make all the difference.
6 Key Steps to an ERP Readiness Assessment Checklist
When your company is seriously considering an ERP solution, be prepared for the ERP readiness assessment to go over the following:
Step 1: Business Overview
Before ERP software is even discussed, a good ERP vendor will take a look at your company as a whole.
First, the company’s culture and current methods of both organizational and team communication is uncovered. Then, current challenges will be addressed and recommendations on how a new ERP system is able to improve upon those challenges will be given.
Step 2: Current Process Flow
This step will map out how your business currently works in a step-by-step way, (most often visually) to show how your particular products and/or services are produced or delivered.
Interviews may be conducted with process owners and department heads to get a sense of how the puzzle fits together.
Step 3: Current Systems and IT Infrastructure
This step covers how your IT department currently supports your company and what current systems are in place to support the processes in Step 2.
Step 4: Current Systems Effectiveness and Access
Data will be collected on:
- The age of the current system
- Current user licenses and structure including limits
- If the current system is able to adapt for expansion and global reach
- The accessibility of your data systems
- Visibility into key performance indicators, financials and processes
- Visibility into the supply chain including operations, production, order status and shipping
It is here that gaps in efficiencies will be discovered and bottlenecks in processes and technology will appear.
Step 5: New ERP Feasibility and Improvements
This step will go over how ready your company is for implementation success and what might be improved in order to get there. At this point a software demo is expected, as well as a general overview of any new processes or concepts that will be integrated.
Step 6: Implementation Requirements
When implementing a new ERP, certain resources must be gathered.
They include having a realistic budget in place, what data you’ll need, designated roles for in-house IT and a dedicated implementation team. This team usually consists of an ERP champion from senior staff as well as a chosen team lead (or leaders) from each department in an organization.
These might include participants from:
- Inventory Management
- Customer Service
Step 7: Recommendations and Roadmap
After all previous steps are complete, the assessors will have a good idea of the current state of your organization as well as key areas of concern.
A detailed plan with a timeline, specific software recommendations and how the suggested ERP will help you innovate to reach a stronger, more efficient future state should be presented.
Getting the Right Help with Your ERP Assessment
At Corning Data, we have decades of experience helping businesses successfully implement ERP solutions, as well as conducting efficient and in-depth ERP assessments
If you’re interested in getting an ERP assessment yourself, talk to us today.