Skip to main content
Back to News

Best Practices in ERP Implementation: Maximizing ROI

Implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can provide tremendous value for promotional product distributors by optimizing efficiency, visibility, and scalability. However, without following proper implementation steps, the ROI may never materialize. By leveraging industry best practices around elements like data migration, change management, executive alignment, and user training, distributors can ensure their ERP project succeeds in improving business processes and unlocking growth.

Related: A Guide to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Why ERP Software Is Critical to Business Processes Management

For promotional product distributors, managing all the moving parts of sourcing, warehousing, decorating, and shipping branded merchandise requires tight coordination between teams and accurate data. However, running on disparate systems and manual processes creates information silos, bottlenecks, and redundant data entry. This results in hampered visibility, a higher risks of errors, and difficulty scaling.

An ERP solution unites all core business operations, from order management and inventory to reporting, on a single platform accessible in real time enterprise-wide. This provides numerous benefits:

  • Centralized data and reduced redundancies
  • Automation of manual tasks
  • Enhanced efficiency and visibility
  • Seamless order processing
  • Reliable analytics and insights

With these software capabilities, promotional product distributors gain the digital tools necessary to manage higher order volumes, accelerate growth, and make smarter data-driven decisions. But these outcomes require following key best practices when implementing ERP.

Related: Exploring ERP’s Diverse Functional Areas

What Are the Best Practices in ERP Implementation?

A successful ERP implementation depends on elements beyond just the software itself. Distributors must also focus on proper planning, communication, training, and project management. Those overlooking these critical factors often end up dealing with disruptions, time and budget overruns, or lackluster user adoption.

By understanding vital best practices around ERP deployments, promotional product companies can avoid these pitfalls and ensure that their improved business process management vision gets translated into reality.

The Steps Involved in the ERP Implementation Process

Similar to any major technology project, ERP software implementations should follow a phased, step-by-step process spanning months to allow for sufficient testing and training. Rushing ERP deployments almost always backfires. The optimal steps to a successful ERP implementation include:

Phase 1: Planning (1-2 months)

  • Assemble project team
  • Define objectives and requirements
  • Select ERP partner and software

Phase 2: Design and Configuration (1-3 months)

  • Map future state business processes
  • Configure software settings
  • Develop testing plan

Phase 3: Testing (1-2 months)

  • Perform integration testing
  • Fix issues
  • Sign off on performance

Phase 4: Training and Change Management (1-2 months)

  • Create training guides and materials
  • Train users on new processes
  • Reinforce executive support

Phase 5: Deployment (1 week+ campaign)

  • Data migration
  • Launch ERP system organization-wide
  • Provide hypercare support

Given this extended timeline, executive alignment on objectives and adequate budgeting are imperative for smooth progression between stages.

The Importance of Data Migration in ERP Implementation

Transitioning years of legacy data into a new centralized ERP database is complex, but taking shortcuts by archiving old data instead leaves business information blindspots. Promotional product distributors must place a high priority on “cleaning” existing data and mapping it correctly so personnel can access full insights once live.

Without reliable historical visibility in areas like past client orders, inventory levels, and shipping times, the ERP cannot optimize future decision-making and reporting. Data migration missteps also risk business disruptions if previous records remain unavailable in the new system post-go-live.

Utilizing migration specialists and starting early allows sufficient time for structured data conversions, testing for errors, and backups in case issues emerge. This keeps go-live predictable.

How ERP Project Managers Can Lead a Successful Implementation

Orchestrating dozens of moving parts in ERP deployments requires effective project management and leadership. From the planning stage through training and go-live, it is imperative the project manager collaborates cross-functionally, coordinates vendor resources, anticipates risks, and drives accountability to timelines.

They should work closely with department leads to ensure proper alignment between the software solution and updated processes. Additionally, project managers must maintain clear, consistent communication both company-wide and directly with the executive suite regarding overall progress. Without this authoritative project oversight, ambiguity, delays, and cost overages can quickly accumulate.

The Role of the Implementation Team in ERP Projects

Beyond the project manager, developing an implementation team, including key users and IT staff, ensures optimal configuration, adoption, and sustainability. This cross-disciplinary group should encompass:

  • Department Leads: Drive process decisions
  • Key Users: Software testing and training
  • Tech Experts: Handle integrations and data
  • Executive Sponsor: Business objectives oversight

With all stakeholders represented, the group can address emergent needs, guide change management, and stay closely involved through every project phase rather than just implementation itself. This inclusive collaboration results in greater user adoption and long-term utilization of the new ERP solution.

How Can Entire Team Cooperation Influence the Outcomes of Implementation?

While the core implementation may involve 20-30 members, achieving a successful ERP rollout requires buy-in across the entire company. Failing to inform and prepare all personnel affected by process changes risks pushback or suboptimal usage and value capture.

By emphasizing employee education through measures like training, newsletters, and town halls, the implementation team builds an understanding of how the updated ERP solution benefits roles company-wide. This facilitates the smooth adoption and collaboration required to capitalize on its workflow and analytical potential.

What Strategies Are Essential for a Successful ERP Implementation Plan?

Beyond just following the right technical steps, promotional product distributors must also focus on core implementation strategies around communication, training, and post-go-live assessment. Together these allow the new ERP solution to drive the desired operational and financial upticks.

How the Project Team Can Ensure ERP Implementation Success

To ensure success, project leaders should incorporate these key strategies within the deployment plan:

  • Execute a Communication Strategy: Regularly updating staff at multiple levels prevents misinformation and reassures all stakeholders. This requires conveying timelines, process changes, training schedules, etc. through preferred mediums like email, intranet platforms, and town halls.
  • Develop a Training Strategy: Users will not sufficiently adopt the new ERP solution without proper training both before and after go-live. Creating role-based instruction covering new workflows and software navigation ensures personnel can utilize key capabilities.
  • Define a Benefits Tracking Strategy: Once live on the platform, businesses should still evaluate if it is driving sought ROI around metrics like order processing times, inventory accuracy, or reporting efficiency. This allows for post-go-live enhancements.

Get buy-in around these elements early on from both project team members and company executives.

The Role of End Users in ERP Implementation

Beyond the core project team, end users across all affected departments play a pivotal role through their software usage after deployment. Their adoption and feedback influence ERP success.

With early training, users get to voice pain points in existing processes to address via new configurations. Additionally, post-go-live support tickets aid in understanding which functions may still require refinement or retraining.

Without this transparency around limitations and enhancements needed from regular system users, the scale of ROI and workflow improvements may never fully materialize from the significant ERP investment.

How ERP Software Optimizes Supply Chains and Data Management

For promotional product companies, two areas where quality ERP solutions truly elevate operations are supply chain visibility and data reliability. Automation, tracking, and analytics capabilities transform legacy challenges around inventory and reporting.

Improving Supply Chain Management

Distributors dealing with multitudes of custom orders have historically lacked coordination across sourcing, production, and fulfillment of the many SKUs and personalized branded merchandise items. This has resulted in stockouts and delivery delays.

ERP software centralizes management of the entire supply chain, from supplier and warehouse to decoration and customer. Inventory optimization algorithms improve purchasing decisions while shipment notifications and tracking integrations with carriers enable real-time order status monitoring even through final delivery. By modernizing supply chain operations, businesses meet rising demand without sacrificing quality of service.

Enhancing Data Management

Pedigree data holds the key to both streamlined operations and strategic direction, yet compiling anything beyond basic financial figures proves burdensome with scattered systems. ERP solutions consolidate information enterprise-wide on a secure centralized cloud database accessible at any time. This simultaneously provides stability of legacy data while enabling advanced reporting around trends like bestselling products, customer order frequency, and divisional performance.

Rather than implementing changes based on hunches, promotional products management can instead make data-driven decisions to optimize everything from marketing spend to inventory budgets. The ERP becomes the business intelligence engine powering growth.

How Facilisgroup Can Help

As an industry leader providing technology tailored to the workflows and business process challenges faced by promotional product distributors, Facilisgroup enables companies to scale their operations more intelligently.

Our Syncore promotional products technology solution delivers tailored functionality for distributors managing extensive product varieties, order volumes, and contract decorating shops. By consolidating all core business operations onto Syncore, companies can eliminate previous hassles around data discrepancies, manual task redundancy, and lack of cross-departmental visibility.

The software solution transforms order processing, inventory management, data analysis, and supply chain efficiency. This is augmented through additional software options like:

  • Commercio: Branded webstores to expand sales channels
  • Amplifi: Continuous professional development

Additionally, as a Facilisgroup partner, businesses gain access to preferred supplier discounts and a network of promotional product distributors leading the field in operational excellence. Industry trailblazers choose Facilisgroup for our expert guidance and essential workflow software solutions to accelerate growth amid rising market competition.

If your company is ready to execute bigger goals, contact us today or schedule a demo.


What are some best practices for ERP implementation?

Critical best practices for ERP rollouts include securing executive alignment, assembling a cross-functional implementation team, allowing a sufficient timeline for phased testing and training, emphasizing change management through continuous communication, and developing go-live contingency protocols. This collective focus ensures smooth adoption and value realization.

How can good data migration help with ERP success?

Because ERP software centralizes enterprise data on a single platform, properly “cleansing” and mapping legacy data from previous systems enables accurate historical reporting and insights once live. Sloppy data migration causes disruptions if prior records remain inaccessible post-go-live, impacting business decisions.

What modules may ERP systems contain?

Beyond central finance and operations functions, ERP solutions often contain additional capabilities via integrated modules like Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), and e-commerce. This provides businesses with a comprehensive platform.

How does ERP improve supply chain management?

ERP software enhances supply chain performance through automation, inventory optimization, shipment tracking integrations, and overall data centralization for real-time visibility across sourcing, warehousing, manufacturing, and fulfillment. This allows promotional product distributors to meet higher order volumes without sacrificing their quality of service.