The 6 phases of implementing ERP systems

Adnan Patel
| 2/18/2021
The 6 phases of implementing ERP systems

You want to know what you’re getting into before investing in an ERP system.

WHAT IS AN ERP SYSTEM IMPLEMENTATION?

An ERP implementation is the setup, customization, data migration, and training involved with getting up and running on a new ERP system. 

To back up: ERP stands for enterprise resource planning – which means pulling together all of your main business processes using software or technology. 

While there is now cutting-edge technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning embedded into today’s ERP systems, basic ERP technology has been around for decades. 

Crowe has actually been implementing ERP systems for businesses for more than 40 years.  

The main concept has stayed the same: Integrate your business processes and make them more efficient. But the technology and capabilities have changed. 

Now, there are several ERP systems to choose from, including NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics™ 365. And there are several industry-specific features available in ERP systems now, so that you can set them up to meet your business needs a lot faster. 

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ERP IMPLEMENTATION PHASES 

Whether you’re using an ERP implementation consultant, working directly with NetSuite, or relying on your internal team to handle the project, you’ll need to break up your ERP implementation into manageable phases.

1. STRUCTURE

Before making a purchase or even researching the software, you’ll first want to identify what your greatest needs are. Which business processes are slowing you down, taking up the most labor, or standing in the way of growth? Once you know what you need, it’s easier to find the solutions and keep everyone focused on achieving the desired results. 

Next, identify the project team. Who will be responsible for what? Who is the decision-maker? Who should step in if there are problems? 

Identifying use cases and any applicable add-ons or accelerators early on could significantly reduce the timeline and cost for your ERP implementation. For some industries, there are already ready-made customizations for ERP systems, meaning you can spend a fraction of the time and money on tailoring the system. For example, Crowe offers an accelerator for staffing companies and parts distributors that allows them to start using an ERP system suited for their needs right away.

2. ANALYZE

In this phase, you’ll review a proof of concept, solution design, the specifics of any use cases, the plan to convert data, and plans for customization and integration.  

Basically, this is the time to identify the methods used to get all your information into one system and your strategy for setting it up. Confirming that you’re confident with the strategy and that everyone understands it is a worthwhile investment of time – much better spent up front than after any effort has been wasted. 

At Crowe, we know how important this stage of the process is and take the time to help our clients truly understand each aspect of the ERP implementation before we get started. 

3. BUILD

Beginning to see the progress of solutions being developed and data converted can be exciting. However it’s important to also take the time to pilot and test one area before moving on to another so you can troubleshoot problems and make improvements before moving on.

4. CONFIRM

As the ERP system setup progresses, testing continues and more data is converted. Now is a good time to focus on end-user procedures and training.

5. DEPLOY

As the ERP system is up and running, staff training and procedures should be finalized, and data conversion should be complete. A plan for how staff and technology will continue to be supported for years to come must be put into place.

6. IMPROVE

Once you begin using the ERP software as a central system for your business, you’ll start to uncover more capabilities and benefits. You’ll continue to see more opportunities to use the ERP software to make your business more efficient and profitable.  

Crowe can be there every step of the way to respond to your questions and needs, as well as pointing out new ways you can make the most of your ERP software. 

THERE’S NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO INVEST IN AN ERP SYSTEM.

The technology is better than ever, and millions of businesses have paved the way – figuring out the pitfalls so you don’t have to. 

But that certainly doesn’t guarantee that your ERP implementation will be smooth and easy. Crowe is here to help you plan for each of the ERP implementation phases so you can start and end the process with confidence. 

Dynamics is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. 

Have questions about ERP implementations?

Interested in a 30-minute demo? Please don’t hesitate to contact our team of ERP implementation specialists.
Adnan Patel
Adnan Patel
Principal, Consulting
Steven Parker
Steven Parker
Managing Director, Consulting
Alejandro Alvarez
Alejandro Alvarez
Senior Manager