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What happens when you buy an ERP system?

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I am often asked about ERP systems, so I have written this blog from my own experience, I am not saying Dynamics is better than any other system its just that it’s the only one I have worked with.

Enterprise Resource Planning systems such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV can be configured in many ways.

Prior to Order, you will probably have issued an RFP (Request for Proposal) and had a bid process. Typically a Dynamics system might start from £200k with probably half the cost or more being for consultancy.

Once you have selected your supplier, the first stage is Systems Design, I have worked on many of these, basically, you gather information on how the business works now, right down to fine detail such as how control accounts are used and what reports are currently used, then you consider what is possible with the new ERP system, what is the best way to perform tasks, how are results reported, some of the information will be flowcharted and a route map drawn up to get from where the business is now to the new ERP system. It is a highly detailed process, my reports were typically 200 pages long and the supplier and client sign off the report before configuration work starts.

Next the system experts get to work and make a mock up of the system and then workshops are done with senior management and directors to makesure the clients instructions have been correctly intrepreted, this process is then signed off.

The next stage is Training, normally immediately before the system goes live.

I hope this is helpful.


  1. driscollpaul says:

    Steve, the world of ERP is changing rapidly, and whilst what you describe is entirely true of how things used-to-be, that will not necessarily the model going forward. When Larry Ellison, head of Oracle, announces that “quick, cheap, and cloud are the future” then we need to take note. There is a guide to ERP including details on circa fifty ERP applications at Regards, Paul

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