The 10 steps to deploying an ERP

The process of setting up an ERP is long and decisive for the success of an implementation project. Mismatch with the needs of the company, incomplete functional scope, expensive infrastructure… There are many pitfalls to avoid in order not to penalize your activity.

From the initial analysis of the company’s needs to the start of production, DL Négoce explains how to successfully set up your ERP in 10 steps.

1. L’audit préliminaire
2. Le choix de l’ERP
3. Le cadrage
4. La reprise des données
5. Le paramétrage
6. Les tests
7. La formation des utilisateurs
8. La mise en production
9. L’accompagnement
10. La mesure des résultats

1. The preliminary audit

Before implementing an ERP, it is essential to define the objectives and challenges of the project. Often forgotten, the preliminary audit nevertheless makes it possible to take stock of the existing information system, detect signs of obsolescence of the current management solution, to define the precise expectations of the company and to initiate change management under the right conditions. The success of the ERP project depends on this analysis.

This study phase before the implementation of an ERP consists of 3 parts:

The technical audit

The technical audit answers the question: do my current tools still meet the needs of my business? The objective of this phase is to know if the management solution in place is capable of satisfying the growth and development objectives of your materials business. It consists of an analysis of the software package and the material infrastructure that surrounds it (server, workstations, scanner/scanner, mobile terminals, etc.).

The users

The success of an ERP project is strongly conditioned by the involvement of the teams in the transformation. 70% of digital transformation projects fail primarily because of employee resistance, according to a McKinsey study. The users of the future management solution are above all employees, with specific needs, uses and expectations. It is crucial that they are an integral part of the project.

Functional audit

The functional audit makes it possible to identify in detail the various business processes and to mark out the operation of the trade. Produced by a project manager, it highlights the processes to which the ERP will have to adapt: ​​general organization, product management, commercial management, logistics and supply, inventory management, accounting, etc.

Good to know: The 3 parts of the preliminary audit are essential to the drafting of an ERP specification. By answering a set of very specific questions, you define all the stakeholders of the project, you know where you are starting from and what the objectives of the solution change are. Next come budgetary considerations and the definition of an implementation retroplan. To know more : How to write a specification for an ERP?

2. The choice of ERP

Open source ERP, Saas mode ERP, on-premise offer, cloud hosting… Depending on the results of the preliminary audit and the criteria set out in the specifications, it is now necessary to choose the management solution that will be deployed. A few tips for finding your way around multiple terminologies…

Know the available solutions

  • Generalist or profession : where a generalist ERP meets basic expectations and guarantees a certain reliability, the business ERP offers a functional scope adapted to your sector of activity, with specific management modules, easy handling and appreciable fluidity.
  • Accommodation : local server, private cloud, public cloud… Faced with changes in work habits and cybersecurity issues, you must secure your data and your activity, in accordance with market regulations.
  • Hardware infrastructure: ERP Saas mode (Software as a Service), open source or on-premise… installation and maintenance costs of each option are radically different.

Read also : How to choose the right ERP in 7 steps

Choose the right partner

Keep in mind that beyond a single technical solution, ERP is also a tool created and supported by an integrator. Thus, you choose both a software and a real partner on a daily basis. It must be able to accompany your growth, follow your evolution and that of your field of activity, while offering you strategic competitive advantages.

3. Framing

The framing phase takes the form of a project meeting, also called a steering committee. This is a reference team within your company, employees designated as representatives to strengthen cooperation on implementation.

This step allows you to:

  • Define the project teams (integrator service provider and internal to the company)
  • Present the responsibilities of each (who does what?)
  • Establish a 1er project retroplanning
  • Make the restitution of the audit to validate the understanding of the processes and the needs and present the possible recommendations

4. Data recovery

There data recovery or migration is a key phase in the implementation of an ERP. This is when you will define the scope of the data that you will integrate into the future management solution. Companies also take advantage of the change in software to clean up their database, delete what needs to be deleted, expand product sheets, add units, etc.

This step also allows you to update your infrastructure, according to the prerequisites of the ERP selected and your updated hardware needs (server, computer equipment, mobile devices, etc.).

5. Parameterization

The configuration phase consists of creating the technical environments that will host your new ERP: configuration of each user’s workstations, configuration of printers and other peripherals, configuration of the server if you have not opted for a Cloud or hosted mode, configuration of user access rights, networks, security, etc. The editor will also configure the functionalities and modules that correspond to your needs and business processes.

This setting can be done remotely, but most of the time requires technical intervention on site for everything related to the hardware part.

6. Testing

Once the software has been configured, it’s time for testing. They are crucial to validate the ERP environment implemented, before the final deployment of the solution. In the event of functional discrepancies between your needs and the functionalities offered by the editor, we can carry out additional developments to completely adapt the solution.

The test phase must concern all future users. They will be on the front line during production: their feedback is a gold mine for correcting errors and personalizing the experience of using the ERP.

7. User training

After the corrective stage, it is time to train all users. It takes place a few weeks before the start of the new ERP. The program is adapted according to the profile of the user, according to the position he occupies in the company and his needs. A storekeeper will not be trained on the same subjects as a counter salesperson or a field ATC.

A well-done training is a training that accelerates the integration of ERP in the uses of employees, where the benefits of the solution are perceived, understood and valued by your teams.

8. Going live

D-Day has finally arrived! The ERP is in production, all users are trained in the new tool. During this phase, the publisher of the management solution is on your premises and accompanies you for a few days to be available to users during the first hours of use.

One or more project managers accompany you in this start-up phase, to ensure that the handling is done correctly and that the processes are respected, without slowing down the activity.

9. Accompaniment

Daily and long-term user support is essential. It generally continues for 90 days after start-up. Users have privileged access with the project manager(s) who have managed the project from the start.

At the end of the first 3 months, the publisher comes to measure the adhesion of the trading teams to the new ERP tool and make adjustments or additional training points if necessary.

10. Measuring Results

Last step in the implementation of an ERP: measure the return on investment. Once the software package is fully operational, it is necessary to quantify the benefits generated by its implementation, in terms of productivity, cost reduction and performance. To do this, you must refer to key indicators of project success, which you will have followed throughout the project.

The measurement of results is very important and must be carried out continuously. The longer you stay on standby, the better you are able to spot any deviations from the set objectives. By raising these issues, you help your service provider to improve its solution and to offer you changes that are always in line with your needs.

Our advice for successfully implementing your ERP:

  • Map out all of your needs and processes to choose the right business solution and develop it over time;
  • Involve your employees, who are also users of the management software, from the draft of the ERP implementation project. Their feedback and their participation from the specifications to the functional tests are essential.
  • Do things in order to promote a seamless production launch, which does not slow down trading activity;
  • Rely on an editor who is an expert in your business to provide you with the advice and support of a genuine partner.

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