Which is easier, following driving directions with each turn marked, or knowing that you need to head west, generally? As anyone who’s used a GPS knows, you’ll get where you’re going much faster with detailed instructions. The same holds true for implementing an ERP system. However, for implementation, your road map is actually a list of goals. This is the first part in a series about how to avoid implementation failures. One of the most important pieces to a successful implementation is your shop’s goals.

Setting Goals

Before you start looking for an ERP system, you should know what you want it to do. The more specific your goals are, the more it will help you. For example, a system that “makes your shop better” will probably do that, to a point. But a system that gets your shop to 99% of jobs going out on time is a much easier goal to plan for and to meet. It will also help you find the right system if you know exactly what you want a software system to do for your shop.

Tell Sales Reps Your Goals

Once you have your goals figured out for your ERP system, you will want to share those with the sales reps you’re talking to. They should be able to tell you exactly how their system will help your shop meet those goals. If they can’t, then their system might not be a good fit for you. Knowing your goals will also help these sales reps cover the most important aspects of their systems. It can even let them find the most relevant references for you to talk to.

Tell Implementation Specialists Your Goals

Once you’ve received your software, you’ll need someone who knows the software to help you implement it. Whether someone from the vendor or a third party is helping you, they’ll need to know what you want the system to do so they can make sure that happens. If you share your specific goals, they’ll go over everything you need to know to help your business, and they won’t waste time on aspects your shop doesn’t need. That will make your shop’s training faster and more effective.

Continuing On

After you’ve implemented your software, the only thing left to do is check in on your goals. A year or so after implementation, your shop will want to see how many of the goals they’ve reached. If you’ve met or passed all of your goals, it’s time to make new ones. If you haven’t met all of them, it’s time to look into why that happened and what your shop can do to adjust. With a roadmap, the entire process of buying an ERP system becomes much easier. Instead of looking for “the best product”, which is debatable, you can instead look for the best product for your shop. This will have a much better impact on your whole experience and on your bottom line.

To learn more about implementing an ERP system in your shop, click below.


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