3 Tips to Keep Business Software and CRM Implementation on Target

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For businesses considering the addition of a new customer relationship management or enterprise resource planning system, there are a lot of decisions to be made. From choosing a CRM or ERP partner to help in the process, to selecting a particular group of enhancements and add-ons for the base platform and finding the best way to provide employee training, a host of issues have to be addressed. Staying on top of these concerns and making sure a decision is reached can help an organization stay on track and avoid delays in the implementation timeline.

Here are three pieces of advice to help companies keep their ERP and CRM implementations on time and on target:

1. Work with the right partner
This simple and somewhat obvious piece of advice can be overlooked when so many other considerations are on the table. There are plenty of partner organizations that work with businesses to develop and deploy business software systems, but not all are created equal. A company looking to add such a platform needs to consider the relevant expertise and experience of their potential partners, as well as a few other factors.

It's common sense that working with a partner that has experience specifically related to your organization's market will likely yield a strong result. When a partner has existing knowledge of your industry, it puts the partner in a much better place to recommend the most effective pieces for the implementation, from the underlying system to the modules that provide more specific, market-related functionality and additional components such as Microsoft Office 365 and client portal creation tools. This edge in terms of expertise can make a big difference when it comes to following an implementation timeline and realizing a return on investment.

Another factor to consider is the locality of your partner. Working with a partner in the same general region makes it easier to have face-to-face meetings and to have in-person technical support as well. These advantages can lead to a higher level of service during the implementation period and afterward as well. The importance of quick access to this kind of support when needed can't be overstated.

2. Don't force early deadlines
When a business adds ERP or CRM software, a desire to begin realizing ROI as soon as possible and to improve operations can lead decision-makers to push for quick timelines and schedules that don't offer much forgiveness for unforeseen issues. Implementing business software is a complicated process and rushing the completion of a project will usually harm the overall usefulness of a new system. Yes, there needs to be a level of accountability in terms of scheduling, progress and completion, but it needs to balance with the reality of a complex, multiphase implementation. Decision makers need to resist the temptation to push deadlines too strongly and make sure that the proposed timeline is realistic and a helpful tool for guidance, instead of a series of tight deadlines that can harm the project.

3. Have leaders actively involved
For the vast majority of implementations, a team of staff members from across the organization will be working together to resolve issues related to the process and make sure the installation remains on time and on budget. A lack of involvement from the highest levels of a business can cause problems, however. Sometimes leaders need to make an executive decision or provide guidance at a particularly crucial juncture. The implementation team will do the majority of the work in terms of logistics and organization, but those at the top of the business have to remain engaged as well.

by The TM Group

1 thought on “3 Tips to Keep Business Software and CRM Implementation on Target”

  1. Agreed! One needs to consider few important things when it comes to working with the right partner.

    One must consider existing knowledge of your industry and the locality of your partner when it comes to working with them.
    There should be some deadlines for CRM implementation but proposed timeline should be realistic. And for the major implementations, leaders should take initiatives and need to make an executive decision or provide the proper guidance.

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