Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tips for Deploying ERP Applications

Acquiring the right ERP system for your institution is the first step towards smart school management. But, to make the most of it, one should also make sure that it is implemented properly. Here are a few tips for effective deployment of your ERP solution that will ensure successful return on investment.

  • Create an ERP deployment team: Creating a team will help in identifying the requirements, defining the scope, preparing for changes, discussing about deliverables and timelines, and for supporting and helping first timers to get a hang of the system. The team may be a mix of technical staff, administrative staff, coordinators, and teachers. Such a team may be more approachable for help than a team of outsiders. They will also be able to evaluate the solution’s performance and assess how far the goals have been met.
  • Set a budget: Plan ahead and set a budget for the process. Communicate the same with your vendor and move according to it. You may add on more features as and when you feel comfortable.
  • Step-by-step implementation: Your ERP solution should be implemented in phases. With the help of your team and the vendor, you may chalk out an implementation plan which will least hinder your daily routine and also help your staff to register the changes and overcome their inhibitions. Once one phase is in action and running smoothly, the next phase may be deployed.
  • Customize: Ask your vendor for tailor-made solutions to suit your specific needs, rather than trying to adapt your whole system to pre-planned solutions. It will save you needless complications and confusion.
  • Train your staff: Ask your ERP vendor to train your staff (both teaching and non-teaching) to operate the relevant modules. Hands-on training ensures effective deployment and aids in clearing any doubt right at the beginning. Training also ensures optimum utilization of the product. Workshops for updates and upgrades may be conducted as and when required.
  • Make the most of your vendor: Make use of the after-sales support and technical advice team of your vendor to resolve any issues or answer any queries that may arise while operating the system. Inform them of any procedural changes which may need to be aligned with the solution.
  • Communicate: Be in touch with your end users and ask them to communicate their reactions and views on the whole process. You may ask about the major difficulties faced by them while using the solution, or how the process may be made simpler. Critical points may be communicated to the vendor for changes and a better user experience.
  • Reward and recognition: Encourage your staff to use the solution on a regular basis. You may reward and recognize people who lead the way in using the solution for maximum output. You may also ask your staff to get creative and find new uses of the software. 
  • Evaluate: Assess with your project team if the objectives and goals set in the beginning have been met. A post-implementation audit will help in evaluating your success in achieving the established benchmarks.
  • Keep abreast with the latest: It is essential to update and upgrade your ERP system regularly. Acquaint yourself with the latest trends by visiting your vendor’s site, subscribing to newsletters, or by simply being in touch with your vendors. 
These steps will not only ensure a seamless integration of the solution in your institution, but also prove to be immensely beneficial in the long run. So, get ready to make the most of your solution!