Implementing an ERP solution requires company-wide collaboration. Create a reliable ERP Search Committee with key players across all departments – engineering, purchasing, production, shipping, accounting, management, etc.
The first step in forming an ERP search committee is choosing a project leader. The project leader will guide the ERP search process from forming the search committee and identifying areas of weakness in the business all the way through signing contracts and the implementation.
A successful ERP project leader should:
- Have ERP experience. This could be experience working for an ERP software company or implementing a previous system. Having previous ERP experience is important for a number of different reasons. First, you have seen how an ERP system can transform a business. Knowing the features that are out there will help you and your team identify what features you have to have, what features would be nice, and what features you can live without. Second, you’ve learned from the past- you know what works and you know what pitfalls to avoid. Lastly, you know the scope of an ERP project from the initial search through the go live date. This will help you to keep your colleagues on the ERP search committee as well as those that will be using the system on track throughout the process.
- Be well-respected by colleagues. The ERP project leader will not be successful implementing an ERP system alone. Unless he has the support and trust of his search committee, the project will not be successful. Once an ERP search committee chooses a system, they will be an integral part of the implementation process for getting the rest of the company onboard, trained on the system, and ready for go live.
- Have business process knowledge. Leading the ERP project from a functional point of view versus technical point of view is very important. Although a leader from the IT department will play an integral role in the search and even more so in the implementation process, having a sense of the “big picture” to streamline operations and boost the bottom line is important for the ERP project leader.
Once the ERP project leader is selected, he or she must form the ERP search committee, which will also be involved with the ERP project from start to finish. Since an ERP solution touches all aspects of a company, it’s important to have key players across all departments on the search committee, from engineering and production to accounting and management.
In choosing key players from each department, the ERP project leader should look for:
- Enthusiasm for the Project. Each member of the committee should be genuinely enthusiastic and “believe” in the project as this will be important in motivating the employees in your department to be excited about the ERP project.
- Liked by Employees in Department. Like the ERP project leader, each committee member should be well-liked by the employees in his or her department or area of expertise. Every user will need to be trained on the new system which can be time-consuming, frustrating, and difficult at times so it helps to have a leader that employees can trust and look up to as a cheerleader for the project.
- Dedication and focus. An ERP project is just that, a project. It is important to pick people with the dedication to do whatever it takes, the focus to keep their eye on the end goal and the ability to assign tasks to keep the project moving along to avoid costly delays.
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