Common ERP Implementation Strategies
Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP) make business work. They allow you to see the big picture so you can move your business in the right direction. However, just having a solution is not enough to lead your company to success. Your success will largely depend on your implementation strategy.
You need consider your implementation strategy as soon as possible so to maximize the benefits. No single blog post can fully explain every strategy, but here is a quick guide to get you started.
Big bang Implementation happens all at once. You install every module on every computer system in your entire organization in a single night. While there are some pre-implementation tasks, there is no turning back once you changeover to the new system.
Big bang has its supporters and critics. Most people claim the risk factors as their main reasons to not use a big bang. However, you can set up your ERP quickly and more cost efficient with a big bang. If you choose this strategy, be prepared for temporary reduced productivity as your personnel get used to the new system.
With phase rollout, you install components over time rather than all at once. Your company moves from your legacy system to your new one in a series of predetermined steps. You can complete these steps using one of the following formats.
- Phased Rollout by Module – With module rollout, you install ERP modules one at a time. Most people typically start with the core functions and then add other modules based on their needs and hierarchy.
- Phased Rollout by Business Unit – Business unit rollouts make the changes based on the needs of your business units. ERP implementations happen department by department.
- Phase Rollout by Geography – This format works great for companies with multiple locations. Also known as pilot adoption, each location or department implements the new system when they feel they are ready.
As with big bang, phase rollout has its own fair share of pros and cons. Phase rollouts let your company ease into the new system, but they also make your network and infrastructure more complex and error prone. You also risk data loss as ERP modules exist to work together as a single unit.
Also called parallel conversion, parallel running, or parallel cut over, parallel adoption is the least risky of the three implantation strategies. With this strategy, you run both the old and new ERP system at the same time, and then phase out the old one.
Parallel adoption is slower than big bang, but faster than phased rollout. On the other hand, it has a smaller learning curve that big bang, but it is more difficult than phase adoption. However, cost is parallel adoption’s main trade-off since you need twice the resources.
Which of these ERP implementation you should use depends on your business goals and needs. There is no one size fits all solution here. Every business is unique and requires a unique implementation based on careful planning and analysis. For advice on which is right for your business, contact us today, and we will help you devise a strategy that will lead your business to success.