Changing ERP system - how to proceed

Caroline Skuland

Changing ERP systems is often a sign of a turning point in the business. It shows growth, development and a forward-thinking attitude. Modernizing an ERP system is not just a technology choice, but a strategic move to improve the company's capacity and efficiency. It is about preparing the business for future challenges and ensuring a smooth and efficient daily routine. 

From this perspective, it is important to know how to make the change of ERP system easy and painless. A well-done switch can transform business operations, increase competitiveness and create new opportunities in a more digitalised economy.

A brief introduction to the significance and benefits of the ERP system

Switching to a new ERP system, with careful planning and strategy, can lead to significant improvements in productivity and business operations. Here are some of the advantages such a switch can bring:

Simplifying business processes

Modern ERP systems offer automation of various tasks. This can include anything from invoice processing to inventory management, saving time and reducing human error. It is important to engage employees in this process, as they are the best at identifying needs and opportunities for efficiency.

Lid Jarnindustri experienced increased efficiency with new ERP system

Improved data management and information flow

A new ERP system should improve how data is managed and shared. This makes critical information more accessible, and it is advised to assess current and future needs to make sure the system can meet them.

Compatibility with modern technology

A cloud-based ERP system is a good choice, which is adaptable and easy to expand. This lets the business grow and change without worrying about technology restrictions.

Flexible scalability

An ERP system needs to be scalable to meet the present and future needs of the business. A system that can adjust to business expansion and evolving demands is crucial for lasting success.

Easier reporting and compliance

ERP systems make reporting and regulatory compliance easier. This is important for meeting the standards and rules of different industries.

Moving to a new ERP system can improve efficiency, data-based choices, and adaptability. This decision should be part of a bigger plan that impacts the whole business.

Read about advice for businesses digital transformation

How to pick the best ERP system - what to do

When changing ERP systems, you need to select a solution that fits your present and future requirements. Here's how the process works, step by step:

Identifying needs and future expectations

  • Analyze needs: To select a fitting ERP system, begin with a comprehensive examination of your business's present and future needs. This involves an evaluation of business processes, scale, and industry-specific needs.
  • Technological factors: Consider technological aspects such as automation, compatibility with current systems, and the possibility for future technological advancements. Modern ERP systems provide features such as artificial intelligence, data analytics, and cloud-based solutions.

Assessment of ERP systems

  • Cloud-based versus traditional systems: Weigh the pros and cons of cloud-based systems versus conventional solutions. Cloud-based systems can offer more adaptability and accessibility, while traditional systems can give more authority and personalization.
  • Scalability: Select a system that can grow with your business. Make sure that the system is suited to future shifts in the business model and technological developments.

Supplier selection

  • Experience and support: Look for a provider that has worked in your industry and can offer reliable support before and after implementation. A good knowledge of industry-specific issues is essential to offer tailored solutions.
  • Reference check and reputation: Do careful reference checks and assess the supplier's reputation in the market. Ask for feedback from other businesses that have used the vendor's system to understand their experiences.

Therefore, choosing the right ERP system is a crucial decision that requires a thorough understanding of your business's needs, as well as an evaluation of the technological capabilities available. A successful implementation of the ERP system can have a significant impact on your business's efficiency and ability to respond to future challenges.

How to plan and implement a new ERP system successfully

A new ERP system is a big change that needs good planning and implementation. The best way to do it is to follow a clear method and have the right people on board. Here's how:


  • Set goals and scope: Start by defining clear goals for the ERP system's impact on the business. Know the current processes to improve or replace them. Outline how roles will change and how this affects end users. 
  • Pick the right system: Choose an ERP system that meets the present and future needs of the business. Do thorough analyses to understand these needs. A cloud-based solution may suit some businesses better as it allows flexibility and easy growth. 
  • Involve decision-makers: Engage key employees and stakeholders early on. This makes sure their knowledge and needs are considered, and helps them accept the system change.

Implementation phase 

  • Project management: Form a strong project management team, with distinct and clear roles and responsibilities. This team will guide the project through all its stages. 
  • Data migration: Moving existing data to the new system is a vital part of the process. It requires careful planning to make sure that all relevant information is moved correctly. 
  • Customization and configuration: Adjust and set up the ERP system according to the business's needs. This can include adjusting modules, forms, and reports. 
  • Testing: Perform comprehensive tests to ensure that the system functions as intended and meets all necessary requirements.

Training and support phase

  • User Training: Create and deliver a training program for the end users. This ensures that they know how the system functions and how to apply it efficiently in their daily work.
  • Post-implementation support: Provide continuous support after the system is live. This includes technical support, as well as assistance with any questions or problems that may occur.

Evaluation and further development

  • Evaluation: After putting the system into action, perform an evaluation to measure how well it works and find out any areas that need improvement. 
  • Ongoing improvement: The ERP system should undergo regular review and modification to make sure that it stays current with the changing business and technological trends. 

By following a careful and thoughtful approach to ERP implementation, your business can get the most out of your investment and ensure a seamless shift to the new system. 

Each of these phases is crucial to ensure a successful implementation that meets the company's operational requirements and enhances efficiency.

Integration and customization when changing ERP systems

Adapting and integrating new systems is vital in a business environment where technology is always evolving. Here's how to achieve it when you need to finish:

Compatibility with current systems 

It is vital to make sure that your new ERP system works well with your existing systems and processes when your business switches to it. This step is necessary to prevent operational problems and achieve optimal productivity during the change phase.

Assessment of Integration Needs

  • Systems alignment: Think about which of your current systems, such as CRM, HRM, or payroll systems, should align with your new ERP system. This allows for consistent data transfer and productivity across different business functions. 
  • Technical suitability: Verify that your new ERP system matches your existing systems in technical terms. This may require looking at API access and other technical connections to ensure a seamless integration.

Collaborate with the provider

  • Communication with the provider: Having a transparent communication with the ERP vendor about integration requirements and possibilities is essential. A reliable vendor should give advice and assistance in this process.
  • Tailored integration solutions: Sometimes, specific business needs may require customized integration solutions. This may include modifying existing APIs or creating new ones.

Tailoring the system to your business requirements Once

you have integrated the new ERP system with your existing systems, the next step is to tailor the system to suit your company's specific needs.

Requirements assessment 

  • Know the business requirements: A comprehensive assessment of the present and future requirements of the business is essential. This involves understanding distinctive processes, data needs, and user criteria. 
  • User participation: Involve important users in the customization process. This ensures that the system is easy to use and satisfies the specific needs of those who will be operating the system regularly.

Configuration and customization 

  • System setup: Configure the system to match specific business processes and workflows, based on the needs analysis. 
  • Modular design: Use a modular design for your ERP system, where you can choose and adjust modules that fit your business. This helps to avoid extra functions and lower complexity. 

Training and support 

  • Customized training: Create and apply a customized employee training program, based on the adjusted features of the new ERP system. 
  • Continued support: Provide enough support and resources after implementation, especially in the first stages of use.

How flexibility matters

  • Flexibility for future changes: Keep in mind that your business may have different needs later. Pick an ERP system that can adjust to future needs and technologies. 

To make the transition easy and successful, you need to integrate the new ERP system with the existing ones and customize it to your business's needs. This means you need to know your business processes well, communicate with the supplier, and focus on usability and efficiency during the implementation process.

Difficulties and responses for installing ERP systems

Challenges for ERP implementation

Having unclear goals and expectationsUnclear goals can cause misunderstandings and waste. It is essential to have clear goals for the ERP implementation and share these with everyone involved.

Lack of user training and engagement 

Employees may not welcome change, especially if they don't see the benefits or how the new system operates. Customized training and active user participation are key to success. 

  • Underestimation of time and resource requirements
    Implementing ERP systems can often take more time and resources than anticipated. Practical planning and resource allocation are vital. T
  • Technical issues and integration difficulties
    Technical issues can occur, especially when it comes to integrating with existing systems. It is important to have a comprehensive technical assessment and testing before implementation.
  • Opposition to change within the company
    Opposition to change can be a big barrier. It's important to understand and address employee worries, as well as to emphasize the positive aspects of the change.

How to overcome the challenges 

  • Clear communication and goal management
    Communicate regularly and clearly. Set clear goals and update everyone on progress and changes. 
  • Comprehensive user training and support
    Train users based on their needs. Support and help employees to adapt. 
  • Realistic project planning
    Make a detailed project plan with realistic time and resources. Plan for unexpected events and challenges. 
  • Technical preparation and testing
    Test technical aspects and integrations before implementing fully. Work with technical experts to ensure smooth integration.
  • Managing Change Resistance
    Find and deal with change resistance. Encourage feedback and open dialogue. Emphasize the benefits and improvements of the new system.

Your business can improve your chances of a successful ERP implementation by understanding and addressing these challenges proactively. Think of the implementation as an ongoing process that needs adjustments, evaluations and enhancements over time.

Assessing and maintaining ERP systems

The business has achieved a major milestone in digital transformation by adopting a new ERP system. But the work doesn't end there. To get the most out of the investment, it is important to regularly assess and maintain the system. This ensures that the ERP solution can serve not only the current needs, but also the changing business demands. Here's an easy checklist to help you cover the basics:

Continuous evaluation

User feedback and satisfaction

  • Ask users how they feel about using the system. 
  • Measure usability and efficiency in daily tasks. 

Performance evaluation

  • Check and measure how well and fast your system works. 
  • Find any problems or slowdowns in the system. 

Business objectives and system usage

  • Ensure your ERP system still matches your company's plans. 
  • Evaluate whether the system is fully utilized.

Maintenance and Updates

System updates

  • Stay current with the latest updates from the vendor. 
  • Add new features and tools that can enhance performance. 

Security Considerations 

  • Ongoing evaluation of your system's security to prevent cyber attacks. 
  • Perform frequent security audits and update security protocols. 

Data Integrity & Backup 

  • Maintain data integrity. 
  • Have strong backup and recovery processes.
Also read: Effective security solutions according to business needs

Preparing for upcoming needs

Technology and innovation trends 

  • Keep track of technology trends and how they might impact your ERP system. 
  • Think about using new technologies such as AI and machine learning to enhance effectiveness and knowledge. 

Flexibility and adjustability 

  • Evaluate your system's capacity to flex and adjust to shifts in your business. 
  • Prepare for future development and enlargement, and ensure your ERP system can accommodate this.

Cost management and ROI (Return on Investment) 

  • Track the costs related to the ERP system to make sure the ROI is positive. 
  • Find ways to lower costs without affecting performance. 

As you can see, a successful ERP implementation is not a single action, but an ongoing process. By doing frequent assessments and upkeep, businesses can make sure that their ERP system remains a useful resource that helps and improves business objectives.

Do it right when you switch your ERP system

Changing to a new ERP system is a complex process that requires careful planning, understanding of your business's needs, and a strategic method. Success relies on the selection of the right system, efficient implementation, and ongoing assessment and maintenance. By making sure that the ERP system is flexible, forward-looking, and suited to the specific needs of the business, businesses can achieve considerable productivity and value creation. This process is vital for keeping up with competitiveness and innovation in a constantly changing business world.

Talk to our advisors without any obligation.