Planning for a Life Sciences ERP Implementation
The need for a new ERP system is driven by organizational growth, limitations of the current solution, and a merger or acquisition. Whatever the reason for implementing a new ERP, once the decision is made, here are some actions you should take to get a plan started:
Identify Stakeholders - The success of an ERP project is highly dependent on having input from these stakeholders throughout the process. This should include people from finance, quality, manufacturing, HR, sales, marketing, and IT
Software Selection Core Team - If not already determined (such as by a parent or sister company), identify the leads for the software selection process
Software Selection Criteria - Develop the criteria by which potential ERP solutions will be evaluated. This includes functionality (such as finance or manufacturing capabilities) and platform (cloud, on-premise, mobile capabilities)
Create a Request for Proposal (RFP) - This document is distributed to potential software vendors. It provides information about the potential project and includes requests for written responses on a given timeline on vendor information, ability and method to meet business requirements, implementation methodology, and high-level costs
Determine Vendor Long List - There are hundreds of ERP solutions in the market. Of course it would be overwhelming to evaluate that many for the best fit to the business. A small listing (3-8) is typical for seeking RFP Responses
The above process is critical to the success of the overall project. My Life Sciences clients often do not have someone internally that can drive this process because of both knowledge of the process and staff availability. Hiring an outside consultant who is knowledgeable of the process, marketplace, and industry will alleviate stress on internal resources and provide the expertise needed to ensure this is done with the best outcome. Consultants with knowledge and experience with the approach other life sciences companies have taken, FDA Validaiton procedures, GxP guidelines and regulations, and who speak the language are valuable to this process.
John Hannan LLC is making ERP visions a reality. If you're looking for expertise to implement a new system, upgrade to a new version or integrate other add-on solutions, contact us today and learn how we're helping similar organizations.
In a related blog, The Software Selection Process for a Life Sciences ERP Implementation, I discuss the software selection process and what to expect for activities and timelines.