The cloud beckons and you’re ready to take the plunge. Your growing company is struggling with outdated systems and you know you need a cloud based ERP system to simplify your processes and support your efforts to scale up. Hopefully you’ve selected NetSuite Cloud ERP (we think it’s the best) and Horizon Associates to manage your implementation (we are the best!). Now, how do you put together a team to guarantee a successful implementation?
You know that implementing a new ERP system is a major project and is fraught with danger. So, here are three keys to focus on as you launch your implementation.
1. Team, Team and Team
Any ERP implementation is a team effort. It is not possible to outsource everything to a consultant and it is insane to try and do everything in-house. As consultants, we’ve managed hundreds of implementations and know the steps thoroughly. Your internal team knows your business process. When the team has members of effected stakeholders, then the implementation progresses smoothly and no critical process is overlooked. Who should be on the implementation team. The executive sponsor is a critical member (see 2 below). The functional project manager can be an internal leader or an external consultant (your choice), The consultant’s team should do the system setup and customization and the internal stakeholders need to work with the project manager and consultants to complete each process review and implementation. For most groups, the following functions need a seat at the table:
Finance (tax, accounting, AR, AP)
2. Top Level Executive Sponsor
Given the implementation can make or break a CEOs career, we suggest that the CEO be directly involved. If the company is large then perhaps it is appropriate for the CFO to be the executive sponsor. Bottom line, this is a big deal and the more senior the executive assigned to work on the implementation the better.
3. Don’t skimp on the planning phase
Success or failure is often determined right at the very beginning to the effort. Implementing an ERP system takes time and a concerted team effort. Make sure you take the time upfront to review all processes, answer all the consultant’s questions, map out all the transactions, and capture all the necessary entities to include.