A SAP implementation for SMEs can be the perfect solution to help your company streamline its operations and improve productivity. SAP solutions can provide critical IT services like data integration and real-time data processing, lead management, mobile devices and more. And since an SAP solution is based on open source technologies, it can easily grow with your company as you add on more functionality and as your business expands. While a traditional business model may seem antiquated, in the age of cloud computing, SAP can power and simplify an entire platform that can further aid your company in achieving business objectives.
However, an SAP implementation can only be as good as the business processes that are driving it. And the benefits of SAP can only be fully realized through the engagement and continuous support of key business processes. With a solid and properly implemented information system, SAP can make your data accessible and valuable in real-time – giving your business the ability to respond quickly to customer demand and propel your company forward in new market segments. But without an effective information system to support your SAP functionality, your overall productivity and efficiency will suffer.
When conducting an ERP implementation, consider engaging a consulting firm that has expertise in assisting small and mid-size companies with ERP implementations and sales, marketing, technical and other business requirements. Such firms can help you determine the best ERP options for your company and can also conduct pilot tests with your existing ERP application to ensure that your ERP implementation delivers the benefits you need. The firm can also guide you toward compliance initiatives, such as addressing security, compliance and privacy concerns. A consultant can also help you implement best practices and guide you toward obtaining certification, enhancing your company’s IT reputation and boosting your revenue as a result.
Once your ERP implementation has been underway, a consultant can help you address other related issues, including implementation testing, migration, integration, training, and maintenance. Best practices for such processes vary widely, from simply adding application testing to making sure that all processes run smoothly and effectively, to implementing a change project manager or a quality management team to ensure that these changes deliver on the ERP benefits that you have planned for your organization. Some processes that might need improvement include:
Implementing a change project manager improves project management and productivity by enabling you to reduce manual tasks and focus your attention on betterifying your entire processes. A project manager can even take the role of an operations consultant, helping you streamline processes and reduce costs. Such initiatives can yield significant benefits. However, the benefits of ERP implementation aren’t limited to just operational improvements. Reducing errors and transactions reduces the amount of time spent processing information that doesn’t match what is in storage, improving customer service and reducing overall cost of ownership are also important results.