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Four pieces of good advice for ERP implementation: Get dressed for success

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Morten Dyring

Morten Dyring

Senior Manager

23. June 2023

Thomas Malmros

Thomas Malmros


23. June 2023

Implementing an ERP system is a complex and expensive task, and unsuccessful projects may have a great negative impact on the company. But you can increase the chance of success by documenting and embedding the business processes in the company before the project gains speed.

This is the view of our ERP experts, Morten og Thomas.

In this article, they share their most important experiences from several years' work with ERP implementation - hoping that it may make your ERP implementation easier.

Four pieces of advice for ERP implementation

Our own experts have been involved in the implementation of ERP systems for many years as well as in, for example, four SAP and two Navision/BC implementations, having different roles and responsibilities.

Each project has presented its own challenges, and some of their dearly bought experiences have been within:

  • ’Intercompany flow’ and reconciliation 
  • Roles and authorisations 
  • Recording and clearing of payments (credit cards, electronically and in cash) 
  • Master data

#1: A standard solution isn't always the best solution

Price is an important parameter when companies choose ERP systems and ERP suppliers, but all choices have consequences.

Morten and Thomas have been involved in projects where a company has chosen a standard solution and wants to arrange all the company's processes in accordance with this solution.

But, it wouldn't be feasible to impose a standard solution on your business and your processes. There may be many good reasons why your processes look as they do – and one of the risks presented by a standard solution is that it doesn't take account of your company's unique situation and needs.

Instead, you should assume the responsibility and ownership of the company's business processes and use them as the basis for a successful ERP implementation.

#2: Business processes should form the basis of ERP projects

Though every single ERP project is unique, they promise you one thing: You will face challenges when implementing a new ERP system.

One of the challenges met several times in connection with ERP projects is a lack of documentation of business processes. So, if your company hasn't documented your business processes yet, this would be an obvious place to start when commencing your ERP project.

The process descriptions are based on your current work procedures and embed the ownership in the individual departments. The process descriptions are also a good point of departure for many other ERP activities since they:

  • Ensure completeness so that no processes are 'forgotten' in the new ERP system
  • Provide input for a new ERP solution through proposals for improvements of the current process 
  • Stress special challenges and special business processes to ERP suppliers
  • Define roles, rights, and separation of duties 
  • Clarify internal controls and reports
  • Provide the ERP supplier with information and specifications of requirements
  • Provide a good point of departure for the necessary 'as-is' scenarios and 'to-be' scenarios as regards project change management.

During the ERP project, some processes will be changed, and it is essential that the process descriptions are updated to reflect the new reality. Only by being updated can they form the basis of test cases, teaching and training material, and desktop procedures.

#3: Find the root of existing challenges

You have probably already identified the challenges related to your existing ERP system. No matter whether the challenges are caused by problems with master data, scalability, integrations to other IT systems, or the like, it is important to analyse the problems and find a solution to them before commencing the implementation.

If you set the problems aside until the ERP project is launched, you will merely further increase the complexity and, thus, the risks of the ERP project, since unresolved problems are thus pushed through the project.

An overview of the general IT system landscape, including processes and related integrations, should be prepared before project start to get an overview of the extent of the technical changes in connection with the transition to a new ERP system.

You could advantageously incorporate the IT system landscape in the process descriptions, thereby getting a general overview of the solutions in the different areas. This would also be a good point of departure for the business and IT when your business is to make decisions on future improvements.

#4: Set the right team

When setting the project team for the ERP implementation, it is worth considering several different things. Firstly, it may be a project asset to involve employees with experience from previous implementations in the project. In addition, it will be necessary to involve key employees with much knowledge of the business, since it's the business that the new system is to support.

Some project participants from the business want to maintain a leg in the business and to work part-time on the project, while others choose to focus and work on the project. Both solutions may work, but it is a difficult balancing act.

On the one hand, focus must be on the project, and in this connection fully allocated resources would be preferable. On the other hand, it's important that the project has knowledge about ongoing business activities, so that the project group continues to have insight into the business, thereby ensuring that the business and the project are heading in the same direction.

More often than not, you will choose project participants who are among the most competent in their field and who are proud to deliver '100 per cent solutions' at the agreed time. Combined with the work load that may arise in connection with ERP projects to reach the milestones on time, this may be a really bad combination.

That's why it's important to remain focused on the work-life balance of the project participants. They acquire unique knowledge during the project, which you can embed in the business by retaining them after the completion of the project.

Checklist for successful ERP implementation

  • Be aware of the consequences of choosing a standard ERP system.
  • Prepare process descriptions.
  • Document the existing IT system landscape, focusing on processes, integrations, and scalability.
  • Map existing challenges and convert them into real solutions in the new system.
  • Get the right employees included in the project team.
Thomas Malmros

Thomas Malmros


+45 22 20 53 27


Would you like to know more?

At Basico, we have many years' experience with ERP implementation - and we would be only too pleased to let you benefit from our experience.

Don't hesitate to contact Director Thomas Malmros for a non-binding talk about what we can do for your business.