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9 Tips for Selecting and Implementing an ERP System

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a complex undertaking requiring licensing and maintenance, not to mention considerable resources and time. The process consists of many layers, much like the harmonized singing of an old barbershop quartet. In an article for, Jennifer Lonoff Schiff gives us the rundown for selecting and implementing an ERP system. Can your enterprise sing a cappella?


1. Upper Management Support
2. Requirements List

The most important aspect of ERP is management support. This aspect will harmonize above planning efforts and should be sought out early. The requirements list also provides useful oversight. Careful attention should be paid to project scope and vendor requirements.


3. Mobile Users
4. Evaluating Options
5. Finding References

To harmonize underlying efforts, one must inevitably involve mobile users. Don’t be content to focus on desktops only. Sing those extra notes to get smartphone and tablet users on board. Furthermore, underpinning the selection of a system are crisp requirement definitions and crystal-clear priorities. Integrate existing legacy systems into the new operational song and refer to vender references to get in tune with customer experiences. Unhappy customers will reveal a substandard vendor.

The Lead

6. Customization
7. Change Management
8. ERP “Product Champions”

One temptation will be to customize the ERP system with flourishes, but keep in mind that unnecessary add-ons will only complicate efforts. Lead the implementation process with solid change management by appointing someone within the organization who can champion the cause of ERP. This person should be comfortable managing software systems while acting as a contact point for employees, user requirements, and training efforts.


9. Training

Finally, providing the backdrop for a successful ERP system is the training to make employees feel comfortable with the overall implementation of new technologies.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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