What are the Steps to Implement ERP for a Business?

This guide is designed for all those in charge of managing companies, regardless of the size or sector of their core business and who are interested in knowing first hand what are the steps to implement an ERP in your company properly. This way you will have all the necessary information to have an ERP working correctly and without problems.

What is it for?

Thanks to this guide you can obtain detailed and concise information on the steps to follow to install an ERP correctly in a company, so that there are no surprises and that both management and workers of the company can enjoy from minute 1 of all the advantages. You will find information in a light format, you do not need to be a professional technician, this guide includes information from different sources and synthesizes them, uses a light language, so everyone can know the steps to implement an ERP program.

Do I need it?

Of course, it is essential to know well all the steps to follow for the implementation of an ERP in your company, because this way the process will be much faster and both workers and managers will be able to use it better. Knowing how an ERP works and its advantages, you will see how much it can benefit you.

An ERP can be of great help to your company, nowadays almost all companies, regardless of sector or size. But not implementing it correctly can be a big problem in the future, that is why you not only need this information to be able to implement the program, but also to foresee problems in the long or medium term with the operation of the program.

Why is it useful to learn about the steps to implement an ERP?

If you are dedicated to managing any type of business and you are aware that you must install an ERP in it, then it is essential that at the time of implementation you do it following the correct steps and not in any way, in order to achieve all the expected benefits. This way you will be able to implement the program properly, avoiding problems or losing information, among the many cases and inconveniences you may encounter.

What is an ERP?

An ERP (acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning, which translates to Enterprise Resource Planning) is a complete system, a set of different applications and software tools that are integrated to perform the administration or automatic management of processes and tasks of operational and managerial level, being very useful in companies of products and services, for this its first task is the centralization and integration of all tasks that make up the company, whether purchasing, sales, warehouse, human resources, finance, customer service, accounting, etc..

An ERP software is adaptable, scalable, modular, functional, etc. all of which provides the possibility to manage in an optimal and coordinated way, as well as to automate and increase productivity in a simple way. ERP helps you to improve the decision making process, keep information centralized and organized, optimize management, reduce tasks, among others.

Why is it necessary to implement an ERP?

There are different reasons why it is necessary to implement an ERP in your company, this type of programs can improve many of the functions and processes you perform in all areas of the company. They are able to improve profit and productivity results, besides giving you a competitive advantage over other companies in the same sector. Among the reasons to implement this ERP you have some of them:

Financial integration

In companies it is necessary to understand that within the financial world, there are many data that must be managed together, each with a different category, so that both the sales area with the financial area and accounting, have different nominations for certain information, interpretation and content. An ERP unifies all these versions of data into a single one, so that it can be managed in a comprehensive manner and without many hitches. It allows you to understand the financial evolution of your company in all its aspects, as well as to improve its management.

Customer information

Many times the different data and history of customers can be tedious to handle, ERP systems are able to obtain data from orders and customer management from the office of these, automatically generating manufacturing orders or services, you can configure it to make shipments of goods, distribute tasks, etc.. Likewise, as for invoices, it is capable of generating, approving, sending and archiving them. In this way, all the information is integrated and organized in a comprehensive way, in a single system, in which all the agencies are integrated with each other. Companies can follow information routes and track it, making it much easier to locate information, manage inventories and all types of shipments to customers.

Process optimization

Many companies or large companies, usually have different headquarters, as well as tend to integrate other smaller companies, some partners, etc.. This is usually due to different mergers, acquisitions, expansions, etc. These types of organizational changes require a complete adjustment and a lot of communication, but this can be complicated with the different methods and systems used in the different units. With the implementation of an ERP you will be able to get all the information in a coordinated way, standardization methods and process optimization will be automated in a coordinated way. Standardize processes and integrate all the organs. This will increase productivity and improve the use of time.

Reduction of inventory tasks

ERP allows to optimize processes in service and product companies, which leads to improve and reduce inventories, as well as to keep them up to date. You will be able to notice significant improvements in a short time, especially in deliveries.

Standardization of information

Information is a precious commodity within organizations, especially those with multiple units. Therefore, the human resources area is often affected by all these sources of information. Thus, thanks to the action of ERP it is possible to unify and track information of all types of employees, at all levels and units. This makes human resources administration much simpler.

Discover the steps for implementing an ERP system

Implementing an ERP system in your company can be one of the best decisions you can make to improve efficiency in each and every process, which means that you will be able to make better use of resources, saving time and money in each and every department of your business. However, ERP implementation is not something that should be taken lightly, as there are many aspects that need to be taken into account in order to do it properly.

In fact, many business owners feel overwhelmed at the prospect of going through the entire ERP installation process, so they tend to put it off for an indefinite period of time. If you are not sure which are the steps you should follow to be able to implement an ERP system correctly in your company, below you will find the steps we recommend you to follow so that you can incorporate the ERP system correctly in your company.

Steps for the correct implementation of an ERP in a company

1.- Identify the specific needs of the business and its objectives.

The simple fact of knowing the general advantages offered by an ERP system is not enough, since you must be very clear about the management processes of your company that you want to solve or improve using this system.

This is very important because the market of ERP providers is quite large and varied, being able to find solutions for different types of companies and different sectors, so the same ERP system will not be equally effective for two companies that belong to different business areas or that provide different services.

Therefore, take your time and make a very complete list of all the requirements that are truly essential in the ERP system you are planning to implement. It is also recommended that you have a realistic budget in your account, as some ERP solutions can be expensive, much more than you expect, affecting your business finances.

To make the identification of your needs less complicated, there are some important aspects you can take into account:
  • Do you require a mobile and flexible solution, then a cloud solution may be your best option.
  • What are your company's short and long term forecasts? What is the expected growth?
  • What is the number of employees you have and how many do you think will use the ERP software to improve their efficiency?
  • What processes do you want to automate and manage using the ERP system?
  • What are the technical requirements of your company?
  • How much money do you plan to invest in implementing the ERP system?
  • Does data have to be imported into the program?
Carefully answer all these questions and you will have a much clearer picture of the types of ERP you need.

2.- Make a comparison and evaluation of the different options available.

Earlier, we mentioned that the market for ERP solutions is very large and growing steadily, so you should take your time when shopping for the different ERP solutions that you think meet the criteria you selected in the previous list of questions.

When you have one or more vendors in mind, request a demo version of their ERP solution so you have the opportunity to try it out and see how it works before making a decision. This is the most effective, quickest and easiest way for you to get a feel for how one of these programs works and whether it fits your needs or not.

It is also important that you ask the potential provider to explain in detail the conditions of their service, how the program works, the cost and all the services that are included with the contract. Ask and request information on all aspects, as this will prevent you from having an unpleasant surprise later on that will affect the experience of using the ERP system.

Additionally, you must decide whether you should have an ERP for Windows or an ERP for Mac. For companies accustomed to using Windows, the ERP solutions of quality and recognition in the market that can be used are Holded, Oracle, Ekon, or A3ERP.

There are businesses that use Mac computers, in this case, it is necessary to be thoroughly informed in this aspect. Among the best programs for Mac are ERP SIG PYME, AbanQ, Light Speed, Opentaps, and xTuple ERP.

From this list of ERP's we can highlight AbanQ, it is an open source software for SMEs. This program is in charge of the commercial management of the company and has multiple functions for the administration of e-commerce. In addition, it is a software that adapts to different sectors. Companies looking for ERP's for Mac will find programs that allow them to integrate seamlessly with their devices.

3.- Import all the company's data

It is clear that if your company is going to start using a system it is important that all the information of your business can be integrated into the program so that the processes can be managed and automated.

Make sure that the provider you are thinking of hiring will take care of importing the files. This is especially important if the database is very large.

4.- Do you have the necessary infrastructure?

It is vitally important to make sure that the company has all the necessary infrastructure so that the ERP system to be implemented can work correctly and smoothly.

The supplier has to check the compatibility between the company and its ERP solution, so that all the technical needs of the program can be met.

Cloud solutions are usually better in this aspect, but you should always make sure that they are prepared for the company's growth.

5.- System customization

The best ERP systems on the market have been made after years of development, research and feedback, so some will simply fit your company's needs perfectly, so there is no need to customize them or make specific changes.

However, on some occasions you may need to make some modifications in order for the program to fully meet your company's requirements. If this is your case, then you will need to discuss this with the vendor and see if they are able to make these changes and if they will cost extra.

6. Involve employees in the change.

The implementation of any of these systems has an effect on the way the staff works, representing several positive changes to the operations they perform every day. However, it is necessary that employees are aware of and involved in the implementation and the changes it will bring. It is normal for there to be rejection of the changes among workers.

7.- Training on the use of the system

Closely related to the previous step is the fact that all workers in the company will have to go through a period of training so that the ERP implementation is successful and the system can be used to its full potential.

The supplier must provide all the necessary training so that the company and its employees are ready to work with the best ERP and enjoy all the benefits of its incorporation.

Now all that remains is to start working with the system and enjoy all the advantages it brings. Undoubtedly, the benefits are very broad and will improve the efficiency of the company, but the implementation must be done correctly for this to happen.

Stages of ERP Implementation

As well as the steps already mentioned, there are also implementation stages. These stages are articulated with the steps to provide a correct and the most appropriate implementation. They are general levels for all ERPs, being a basic requirement during this process. Six stages can be distinguished at a general level:


Before integrating an ERP, you should consider the objectives of the implementation to be carried out. You should also consider the implementation times, the schedules that will be used, the roles of the people in charge and assistants, or technicians, as well as the responsibilities they will assume. At this stage you must leave the ERP installed.

Analysis and understanding of the company

In this stage you will have to promote the dialogue between the specialists of the system and the team of experts, this common understanding will serve to be able to know the current processes of the company, as well as the future ones. You will be able to make known the expectations that are obtained from the ERP implementation.


In the configuration and development stage, you will have to define the tools and parameters defined in the analysis stage. In addition, you will also have to comply with certain specific configurations for the operation, as well as different configuration, development, or integration tests.


The preparation stage is oriented to cover all the requirements and final details, all before the ERP program can go live. You will have to train the ERP users, they will have to know the final configurations that were made. The final tests of the ERP system should have passed optimally, make adjustments and prepare the first parts to be managed.


This stage is oriented to the first moments in which the ERP software, here you will see the operation of the program, get out of the tests and start working. It should focus on the ERP support, during the first weeks it is necessary that the support of the program is verified, as well as other adjustments to be made if they arise along the way.


After implementing the ERP and performing the initial configurations, testing its operation, and adjusting details. The project control stage refers to a later and independent part, it is about being able to control the ERP with respect to the fulfillment of the plan, its configurations and tools. In itself, all the activities of the activity control on the operation of this one.

How long does it take to implement an ERP system?

The time usually varies from company to company. Those who decide to implement an ERP usually make the decision with little time in advance, this process as we have seen, should not be taken lightly, because doing it correctly will allow us to operate the ERP without problem, while not carrying out all stages correctly, could cause problems that will require extra time to be solved.

Usually companies and ERP providers report that the implementation time is usually between 3 or 6 months, and the simplest ones up to one month. This time is an approximate, it is not always fulfilled, it can be more or less. Many times the times that are shorter can be the ones that cause the most problems, you should not be afraid of the time that this process takes, the longer it is, the better the process will be. Although there is no specific set of instructions, because ERP can be varied and require different implementation processes, it is always recommended to follow the steps correctly.

On the other hand, if what you are using or integrating, is an ERP system in the cloud, it is not necessary to perform so many processes, but they are much faster. This is due to the advances of the Internet, with implementations of modules and functions that are much easier to install. It is much easier to have the ERP in the cloud, the implementation is based on the integration of information and initial configurations.