For over three decades, Transformers have captured the imaginations of kids around the world. And for good reason. With just a flick of the wrist, these action figures morph from robotic superhero to intergalactic weapon or supercharged vehicle. It’s a total transformation, achieved in seconds, to meet a daunting strategic objective – universal peace. No planning, expertise, or education required.
If only real-world transformation projects – like rolling out an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to run your business – were as quick and effortless. Imagine if you could simply push a button to deploy a comprehensive ERP solution that integrated global financial processes. Consider the strategic benefits: 360-degree visibility into the business, smarter decisions, faster closes, enhanced compliance, improved cash management, and higher operational efficiency, just to name a few.
Crack the Code: ERP Means Education, Resources, and Planning
Unfortunately, business transformation is far from child’s play. A company-wide implementation of an ERP system requires extensive planning, expertise, and education – along with symphony-like orchestration. No single blog can cover all the details of such a large-scale, far-reaching project. But here are a few guiding principles that can help ensure a successful ERP solution that achieves your intended business goals.
Bring Your A-Game: Best Practices for ERP Success
First, identify the right champions. Because you’re dealing with a company-wide strategic initiative that spans all functional business units, you need the active and ongoing participation of senior management and business experts. These executives and key stakeholders must not just buy in to the project, they must take ownership.
Second, develop a carefully-crafted project plan based on best practices. This plan should establish an enterprise-level governance model that goes beyond IT and includes all business units supported by the ERP solution. It should also provide a global template that defines how the software functionality will support standardized business processes and meet the needs of key stakeholders enterprise-wide.
Third, launch a formal change management program to smooth the transition to the new system. The program’s objective is to build broad-based support for the project by communicating its benefits, as well as its impacts on existing tasks and processes. The program should outline a comprehensive communication plan aimed at easing user acceptance – using workshops, for example, to discuss the pending changes and integrating digital media to foster trust throughout the change process.
Next, actively monitor the execution of the project and its impact on operational performance. No amount of advanced planning can prepare you for all contingencies. So be prepared to manage escalations, risk, template adjustments, and local requirements.
Finally, consider reaching out to experts beyond your organization. Few business transformation projects are as sweeping as an ERP deployment or require such a comprehensive skill set. Relying on the proficiency, guidance, and support of a trusted advisor can deliver immeasurable value – and turn your ERP solution into a game-changer for your business.
Case Study: How to Execute a Winning ERP Game Plan
Volkswagen Group Sales India recently deployed the finance and controlling modules of SAP ERP to integrate financial processes and improve transparency across its automotive dealerships. Working with SAP Education, the group assessed and monitored project impact, ensured participation of business experts, trained end users for a successful launch, and learned how to use implementation accelerators and global templates. The result? The company deployed a sound and sustainable solution, reduced total implementation time, mitigated risk, and accelerated time to value.
To learn more about the SAP ERP deployment at Volkswagen Group Sales India, click here