When considering a new ERP system, it is important to get professional assistance in evaluating the network and PC requirements for the software. The investment required in a network refresh will be dependent on the age and condition of the existing infrastructure and the specification of requirements for the new software.
Different software systems have different requirements when it comes to resource and licence requirements; all of which will have a cost implication on the overall project.
Do I need to involve my accountant?
Not necessarily. If you feel that your accountant has some positive influence to add to the project then by all means get him/her involved from the outset. It is important that someone internally ensures that there is an adequate 'audit trail' in terms of balances brought forward etc. Depending on company size, you may or may not have this resource available internally in which case you should engage with your accountant or other suitably qualified third party.
Do I need to use different pre-printed stationery?
In most cases, a new system should be able to design the necessary outputs to accommodate the existing stationery. However, I would advise that you need to analyse the cost of the time it takes to redesign the output forms to see if it is worthwhile. The roll out of a new system is an opportune time to make sure that your corporate image is supported on your invoices, purchase orders, statements etc.
Switching from traditional Dot Matrix to laser output forms may also be a move worth considering; leading to reduced costs on pre-printed stationery. The capabilities of modern systems also extend to greater use of electronic communication and document management and this should be embraced as part of the solution.
What kind of training is included in the initial project?
Training can take place at different levels during the course of a project and it is up to you to agree in advance what level of training you require / expect as part of the project.
On the job training will take place with individuals during the course of the project – personnel in the Accounts Payable / Receivable will work closely with the consultant throughout this element of the project receiving on-going hints and tips and may possibly do without formal training.
Point of Sale and Customer Service Staff training can take place on a “Train the Trainer” basis which is much more cost effective than utilising expensive consultant time to achieve same.
Resource should be allowed for the preparation of extensive 'cheat sheets' or summary documents which can act as a refresher in future months or with new staff.
I hope this series of frequently asked questions helps in some way to clarify things for you if you're thinking of buying a new ERP system. Please do not hesitate to ask further questions in the comment box below.
In part 1 of this series I answer questions such as...
How much should I expect to spend on a new ERP system?
How much history can I take with me to my new accounts system?