Implementing ERP Systems: Three Approaches

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Approaches To Implementing ERP Systems


Three Approaches To Implementing ERP Systems

There are three common approaches to implementing a new ERP system:

  1. Enterprise-wide full installation - This approach was very common in the early days of ERP installations as, at the time, many large corporations were trying to quickly become Y2K compliant. The biggest challenge companies encountered was getting all their employees to cooperate and accept a new software system at the same time. If you are leaning towards this method of installation, make the transition easier by clearly outlining the ways that the new ERP software will be an improvement over existing software. Provide training for your employees to increase their comfort level with the new system. If your top level staff members are solidly behind the new ERP system and you take the time to help transition your staff to the change, you will go a long way towards helping your company achieve a successful ERP installation.

  2. Unit by Unit - This is common approach among large or diverse companies where there are not many common processes across business units. Management will locate a particularly open-minded and flexible team and install a pilot ERP installation in that department. Some process that don't vary much across the company, such as financials, bookkeeping, and HR may be installed across the entire enterprise, but the pilot department has its own separate ERP system and database, or "instance". Once the company feels comfortable with the success of the installation, the pilot team is used as an in-house customer reference to sell other units on ERP. This process can be somewhat time consuming, but does often lead to increased employee acceptance of the new ERP application as they hear testimonials from peers on the benefits of the new system. More departments may be added over time with their own discreet instances of the ERP application, or the company may try to consolidate them into a handful of different instances or perhaps even into a single ERP instance for the entire enterprise.

  3. Key-Process Installation - Smaller companies often opt to focus on a few key processes for their initial ERP installation. For instance, they may decide to start out using the ERP application's financial module and add other features as the company grows. Traditional ERP software often caused problems down the road for this type of installation since they required choices to be made at the time of the initial installation that could not easily be changed at a later date. Although this is certainly a viable approach, it's worthy to note that an ERP implementation is not really successful until it is in use by employees. Time must still be devoted to training employees on new features as they are implemented.

In smaller businesses and start-up companies, usually the best approach would be to implement an enterprise-wide full installation. This would minimize any later retraining of personnel, minimize the need to rebuild history, and eliminate possible future integration issues with external applications, all while brining full cohesiveness and control to the organization from day one.

Although the ideal configuration would be one ERP system for an entire organization, many larger organizations usually create an ERP system and then build upon the system and external interface for other stand alone systems which may possibly be more powerful and perform better towards fulfilling an organization's needs. Usually this type of configuration can be time consuming and requires significant labor hours.

For more information on CYOP's open source ERP solutions, please contact us or signup for a FREE Business Process Assessment.

Open Source ERP Professional Services

CYOP employs a proven project management methodology that includes a detailed requirements analysis to effectively discern feature/function requirements before any development efforts begin which minimizes deployment time and necessary re-work.

The CYOP planning process includes development of a basic Functional Design, a Gap Analyis to determine custom development efforts, a Data Migration Strategy to ensure data from current systems can be effectively migrated to the new system, and a Systems Interface Design to describe any external systems that need to be integrated and how that will be accomplished.

CYOP's Project Implementation Roadmap combines a coordinated technical programming and development effort with sound project management to effectively bridge the gap between the client and the programmers to ensure business objectives, and not just a programming exercise, are achieved.

CYOP leverages free open source software to build for our clients an application that is highly customized for thier business and that they OWN. Because the finished application is owned by the customer who has full access to the souce code, there is no vendor lock-in and the application can never be obsoleted since with a large community of open source programmers able to ensure ongoing development and support.

A key component in the implementation of any ERP system is the training of personnel and ongoing support. Users must be effectively trained in any improved revised business processes in addition to system feature/function. Common ERP training programs tend to focus on general system functions. Then, employees go back to their desks and don't know what to do. CYOP's ERP training focuses on working with the individual company personnel to make sure they know how to do their jobs, so once the new ERP system is live, employees already know what to do.

Additionally, a sound support process and infrastructure ensures personnel have a way to escalate any questions or issues and that any bugs are promptly addressed.

ERP Consulting & Implementation

Professional ERP Services

CYOP's services combine the best features of open source software with the best features of Software as a Service (SaaS), enabling organizations to effectively own, control, and further develop and modify as needed, their own ERP software application without the large expenses of hardware acquisition & maintenance, software licensing, data center facilities or an IT staff.

The CYOP team has extensive experience in enterprise computing and has successfully implemented dozens of ERP solutions resulting in increased revenues and growth for our clients.

By leveraging open source ERP software with CYOP planning, implementation and support services, even a smaller businesses can afford an enterprise-class ERP solution with no capital expenses, no hardware to maintain, no software license fees, and no need for on-site technical personnel. On-premises solutions are also available if desired.

CYOP specializes in OpenERP and Openbravo open source ERP solutions. We have a great Odoo PLM ("Product Lifecycle Management") solution for manufacturers using Solidworks or ThinkDesign CAD; and, we can also integrate robust eCommerce and point of sale (POS) options for clients that operate in the retail and restaurant industries.


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