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Written by

Anne Mulvenna

How Long Does it Take to Implement an ERP?

Genius ERP: ready out-of-the-box for custom manufacturing.

ERP implementation planning isn’t always easy

When implementing an ERP, businesses should aim to get the project completed within 4 to 6 months, nothing longer. While it’s true that ERP implementations are a massive project to take on, long implementation timelines only lead to ERP projects stalling and failing — leaving your business in worse shape than before.

What if You're Too Busy to Implement an ERP?

Most manufacturers realize they need an ERP when they are already in the thick of it, so to speak. 


Typically companies realize that they need an ERP system when their business is growing or changing in a substantial way, and they recognize that they can’t keep on top of things anymore.


ERP software helps manufacturers in numerous ways — from better inventory tracking, to keeping on top of job costs, to creating shop floor efficiencies and speeding up accounting tasks, to name a few. 


But what that means when it comes to implementation is that ERP projects are disruptive: Any system that touches so many aspects of a business is going to be a challenge to implement.


The good news is, if your business is growing and changing, your team is already scrambling a bit to keep on top of things — but you know they can handle it. They are already pushing through and doing everything they can to help you get projects completed and out the door, so you know they will do the same when it is time to implement an ERP system.


Frankly speaking there will never be a perfect time to implement an ERP. You will always be able to find an excuse why not to — which means it’s all the more important that you do it now. 


Embrace the disruption and live with the instability for a while. 


As a growing company, you are already functioning at a hectic pace. You know your team members can handle it, so — as the saying goes — there is no time like the present. Also remember: Investing the time and energy now will put you in a much better place in six months time.


How to Implement an ERP System Quickly

1. Pick a Project Champion

This is one of the most important tips to a smooth implementation process. You need to pick someone on your team that is responsible and accountable for the implementation plan. 


The right champion will have a mix of skills: Excellent project management skills, an understanding of ERP software and how to use it, but also great communication skills — meaning they will be able to clearly articulate the need for the new system to your team, and be able to deal with any interpersonal issues that inevitably will come up along the way.


Picking the right person, one who has the trust of other team members, will help smooth over any conflicts that will occur. Asking your staff to change how they do their jobs isn’t always easy, but a good project champion will be able to help team members overcome fears or perceived difficulties in how to use the system.


2. Break the Project into Pieces

This is what will help you keep your timeline short and effective. Instead of trying to get everything done at once, pick the functionalities and modules that are the most important to your shop and implement those first. 


The right implementation plan for your shop will ensure you get an ERP implemented quickly — meaning you will start to reap the benefits of an ERP system more quickly too.


Maybe you really need help with project management, or maybe your inventory is out of control. Setting realistic expectations and choosing to implement the features you need most first — over a shorter period of time — will let you get the system up and running in your shop in a timely manner.  If you try to implement everything at once, your ERP project will drag out past six months, meaning more time for it to stall, and never get completed.  


And once you have mastered how to use those features that are most important to you, you will understand how the system works, and it will be easy to add other features and functions quickly in the future. 


3. Get the Right ERP System

The truth of the matter is that some ERP companies are better than others when it comes time to implementation. Some companies will have more experienced ERP consultants and implementation teams, as well as better designed and thought-out business processes for implementing the system.


When you are shopping around for an ERP, it is important to ask potential ERP vendors about their implementation process — it’s no good picking a great ERP solution if you will never actually be able to get it up and running in your shop.


The right team will be with you every step of the way, guiding you through user training, up to your go live date, and beyond. 


Genius ERP has an industry leading implementation record because we not only have a team of trained and experienced implementation consultants, we also have an easy-to-follow system that breaks down an ERP implementation project into manageable pieces — guaranteeing you will get our system up and running in your shop quickly. 


To learn more about our implementation process, click here. (Also check out our eBook on how to implement an ERP successfully. It’s full of timeworn and proven advice that will guide you through an ERP implementation process.



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