SAP Systems have become one of the most advanced ways to digitally transform your organization. Implementing these systems in an organization is not a difficult task as these are highly configurable, adaptable and can support various processes and their variations. However, these certainly forms the core of the business, have data that non-SAP applications do not have and hence, can be used effectively with non-SAP applications. But implementing SAP alone is not enough for an efficient functioning of an organization. Therefore, it is important to make sure that these systems are implemented correctly and drive real business transformation.
There are certain practices that one must follow while implementing and using the SAP systems. Some of these are as mentioned below:
1. Keep Your Business Processes Updated
Make sure that the business processes used in your organization are up to date. A business with outdated processes will not be able to serve your international customers or allow you to compete in the market. Make sure to keep the processes updated as per the latest trends such as mobile access, alerts, and business intelligence. An agile and responsive business processes are crucial to give you an edge over your competitors.
2. Define Clear Requirements
It is important to be aware of the specific requirements that are meant to be met with the implementation of new SAP ERP. These can be related to your specific business goals such as automating processes to save time and lower costs, attaining better customer response, and improved business analysis, to name a few. Analyze the existing systems and check what business processes needs improvement – whether it is accounting or HR.
3. Establish KPIs
Be sure about the goals and benefits you wish to attain with the implementation of new SAP ERP. For instance, a manufacturer implementing SAP in his business may aim at reducing production costs, increasing demand, and inventory turns. On the other hand, a retailer might focus on improving profit margins, total sales attained, and inventory turnover. Always remember that having some defined KPIs will keep the team focused and clear about the goal to be attained.
4. Define a Dedicated Team
It is important to have a dedicated team of professionals to work on the implementation of the SAP ERP. Hire professionals within your organization who can dedicate all their efforts to your project and ensure that there is no scope of failure. Team members who do not work efficiently or get easily distracted should not be dedicated with any sort of responsibility of the project to avoid any scope of disappointment.
5. Identify SAP Implementation Partner
Finding the right partner to carry out SAP implementation is extremely important. This is because it is not essential that you find the expertise required to carry out the SAP implementation within the organization itself. Getting connected to a certified SAP implementation partner will empower you with the technological expertise.
Make sure you choose such a partner who holds experience of working with companies from same domain and size. This would empower you to better be able to deal with the various challenges that come along in the way of implementation plan. You would also be able to stick to the predefined timeline.
6. Focus On Training Your People
Make sure that you do not miss out on training your employees and helping them understand the ways to optimally use the SAP ERP. Available with multiple modules and functionalities, SAP is a comprehensive software that can be used only after undergoing training sessions. Be it the project team, IT team, or end user, everyone would require training to use the SAP ERP. Also, it is important to bring a change in your work style and mindset to leverage SAP in your organization’s departments – be it production, manufacturing, HR, or any other.
7. Keep Communication Flow Clear
The implementation of SAP ERP will have an impact on the functioning of the entire organization and its departments. Be it marketing, HR, or procurement, each department will be impacted by its implementation. The top leadership in the organization would also be highly interested in getting regular updates after its implementation. Therefore, make sure that you keep the key milestones in place and prepare a communication flow to keep all the departments updated about the progress in project. Setting up a weekly review meeting can also serve as a great idea.
8. System Testing By End-Users
Try and implement system testing in your SAP ERP implementation process. Test the SAP ERP system implemented in your organization with the real-time end-users. Ask them to use it to its full capabilities. This would allow the identification of errors at an early stage and thereby, enable their fixing before the SAP system goes live in the market.
9. Keep A Check On Change Orders
Building an implementation plan beforehand is the key to successful implementation of SAP ERP. However, it is also important to remember that this planning should be done keeping in view all the possible factors, scenarios, and expectations that might impact the process. There is always a possibility that you might need to make some changes in the plan and the project scope. Therefore, make sure that this change in the project scope does not go beyond a specific point and hence, does not cause any delays in the project delivery.
10. Manage the Change
The SAP ERP implementation in your organization will bring major changes in your organization’s functioning style. However, these changes won’t be welcomed by every employee with open arms. Therefore, it is recommended to identify employees who are ready to accept these changes and request them to motivate others in the organization who are not ready to welcome these changes. Show them how this change would benefit the organization as a whole and help improve their work at the personal level.
Implementing a successful and effective SAP ERP is essential for the success of any business. In this digital era, no business can survive with outdated platforms. Therefore, having SAP within an organization is the key to its success. Make sure you implement one if not done yet.