Tony Harris - June 24, 2020
4 Essential ERP implementation best practices.

Whatever the size of your business, ERP implementation is a critical project. A successful implementation will move your business from a tangled mess of siloed processes to a streamlined system that acts as a single source of truth, enabling better reporting, superior decision-making, and improved collaboration across your organization.

But achieving this isn’t easy. According to Datix, 64% of ERP projects go over budget, and 74% take longer than expected. In this article, we’ve brought together four ERP Implementation best practices that businesses we’ve worked with have used to ensure the success of their project.

Did you know you can generate a full-featured, documented, and secure REST API in minutes using DreamFactory? Sign up for our free 14 day hosted trial to learn how! Our guided tour will show you how to create an API using an example MySQL database provided to you as part of the trial!

Create a REST API for your ERP Now

Table of Contents: ERP

1. Carefully Manage Your Schedule and Budget

An ERP implementation project requires substantial internal resources to complete, and – as mentioned above – most projects go substantially over-time and over-budget. Managing your schedule and budget requires a keen understanding not only of project requirements and the resources needed to achieve them but also the other day-to-day demands on your workforce.

Early in the project, you will need to:

  • Define what a successful ERP implementation project means for your organization – how will you track and measure this success?
  • Create a plan, timeline, and budget that encompasses the entire project, including data migration, training, testing, go-live process, and project evaluation.
  • Form a project management team that includes key stakeholders from across your organization.

Often, delays happen when the load falls unevenly on skilled members of your team, resulting in bottlenecks. Investing in appropriate resources can help. DreamFactory is simple enough that your team can create APIs without using code, substantially reducing the drain on your most skilled engineers.

2. Start Moving Data Early In The Implementation Process

Many businesses wait until later in the implementation process to move data over to the new system, relying instead on trial data for testing and training. However, this process can take longer than you may think. To ensure your data quality is high, it must be checked carefully. Your team needs to remove errors and duplicates that may have crept in, and prioritize the data that is most important to your business. Some data may not need moving at all.

This need to carefully check data, coupled with the benefit of real-world data for testing your system and training your employees, means early data migration is highly beneficial to ensuring your project is completed successfully and on-time.

3. Connect Legacy Software using APIs

An ERP system is only as useful as the data it has access to, and without integrations with the key tools your teams rely on, your system lacks visibility into these areas. Your objective should be to create a single point of reference, enabling users to get access to data and information from a wide range of systems without leaving your ERP. This reduces the need for multiple sign-ins and means you can train your staff on fewer systems. 

Unfortunately, connecting legacy software or software without a supported API isn’t easy. Some businesses resort to manual entry, but this is not only time consuming, but it is highly likely that mistakes will creep in. The average benchmark for error rate in manual data entry is 1%, which means that with a small set of 10,000 pieces of data, you’ll have 100 errors. Creating a single source of truth is impossible with inaccurate data.

DreamFactory enables businesses to move data from one system to another using an API, avoiding these costly mistakes. Schedule a Q&A session with a member of the DreamFactory technical team to find out more about how DreamFactory can help ensure a successful result for your project.

4. Invest Resources Into Training: ERP

Implementing a new ERP system is about more than just software. Your teams will need to adjust to new workflows, processes, behaviors, and even roles. Adjusting to these changes takes both time and training and should not be left to the last minute.

You should:

  • Scale training across the company – when only a few people understand your ERP software, one person leaving for a new role can derail your entire project.
  • Use face-to-face training. eLearning is useful to supplement in-person training but does not allow you to vary the pace and style of training according to the recipient’s needs.
  • Create process and role-specific training plans for different sets of users.
  • Use real-world company data so that your training simulations accurately reflect the processes that your teams will be following.

Training is an ongoing process, not a one-and-done event. Your training plan should reflect this by stretching beyond your implementation project.

Did you know you can generate a full-featured, documented, and secure REST API in minutes using DreamFactory? Sign up for our free 14 day hosted trial to learn how! Our guided tour will show you how to create an API using an example MySQL database provided to you as part of the trial!

Create a REST API for your ERP Now

How DreamFactory Can Help Your Business Use ERP Implementation Best Practices

DreamFactory is an open-source API management solution that is trusted by thousands of businesses around the world. It offers a quick, simple solution for integrating a wide range of tools with your ERP system. With DreamFactory, your team can get multiple APIs running in just a few hours, reducing the strain on your development team and enabling you to start testing and training using real-world data.

Contact the DreamFactory team today to find out how our platform can help you complete your ERP implementation project on-time and on-budget.