With competition stiffening in the fashion and footwear sector, implementing an ERP system is the best business decision and investment you can make to help your organisation keep pace with your competitors. More responsive customer service, greater interdepartmental visibility, improved efficiency, and better collaboration are among the many benefits that your business will enjoy once the ERP is implemented and embedded. Overall, the main thing you need to do to successfully get started with a new ERP is to be transparent with your team.
Staying up to date with industry trends will give you great advantage, so effective implementation of the ERP is essential. How can you ensure this is delivered successfully, to grow your business and propel your brand to the forefront of your industry?
Step 1: Assemble A Project Team
A dedicated project team will include your IT experts to take charge of system customisation, testing and performance, and data migration. You should avoid giving the project too much of an ‘IT’ focus by pulling together stakeholders from every department in your business, from accounts and sales to product development and the shop floor. This is a business project and their knowledge will be invaluable in deciding which ERP modules will meet the needs of your business.
Step 2: Plan For Change
Implementing a system provides the opportunity to review working practices, to make sure they are (still) relevant to the business and change them where necessary. Most ERP systems come with “best practice built-in”, especially those which are industry-specific, such as STYLEman.
Engaging with your project team is essential to filter critical messages through to the rest of the workforce in a positive, enthusiastic manner.
A crucial part of planning for change is identifying the objectives and goals you intend to achieve by implementing an ERP. Consider the functions, processes, and analytics that will most benefit your business, and remember that scalability for future growth is vital. With these elements agreed by the project team, change management will be more focused and supportive of employees’ needs.
Step 3: Migrate Your Business Data
Migrating the data requires you to compare your source data with the target data of the ERP system. You don’t need to hang on to out-of-date information, but moving any relevant data over (including historic) will save you a lot of time and hassle in the future. Data that will be migrated must be uniform (for example, think about how a simple address could be entered by users in different ways, using various abbreviations). Option Systems will guide you through this process and make it as smooth as possible for you.
While your IT specialists will be responsible for the migration, you may need to offer support in setting up new databases, mapping legacy data to new database fields, testing legacy data, and testing and verifying new data inputs.
Step 4: Plan Training For Staff
New software can look more overwhelming than it is, so reassure your staff that they’re working in comfortable, familiar territory. Hands-on ERP training is highly effective and lets your team get to grips with a system that is easy to use, and even easier to teach to others.
Step 5: Test And Go Live
Good planning to ensure that all areas of the business functions and procedtiures are fully tested will ensure fewer issues at launch. A good Go-Live plan communicated to all users will ensure that everyone is aware of their role and any downtime required, and will reduce any disruption at this stage. OSL implementation managers can help you plan for software launch to ensure everyone is comfortable from the start.
Bespoke ERP Planning For Your Business
At Option Systems, we recognise that every business has different needs, so we’ve developed STYLEman ERP specifically to support the apparel and footwear industry. With our bespoke planning and implementation consultancy, we can ensure that STYLEman ERP meets the needs of your business. For more information, get in touch today, or [click here] to arrange a free demonstration of our innovative ERP system for apparel and footwear businesses.