Choosing ERP Implementers in Saudi Arabia: A Complete Guide

April 6, 2024 by
Amr El-Sawy

Choosing a Resource Planning System Provider in Saudi Arabia: A Complete Guide

Discover how to choose the appropriate company to implement resource management and planning programs ( Odoo ERP ) and the most important questions that will help you choose the professional implementer of Odoo systems in Saudi Arabia and the stages of ERP Implementation Processes.

Enterprise Resource Planning ( ERP ) software aims to streamline business processes. However, without the right implementation and support partner, you may not be able to fully take advantage of all its benefits.

Although the initial cost of implementing an ERP system is significant , it is essential to prioritize the overall financial health of your company. It cannot be guaranteed that all ERP partners have the same level of experience in dealing with certain systems such as SAP , Microsoft Dynamics, or Oracle . While more experienced partners may require a higher investment, their experience can save businesses money, especially in areas such as system design, implementation and support efficiency.

In addition, it is essential to choose an ERP partner that offers a specific and solid plan for implementing business processes. ERP systems are complex and require access to your vital business data. Your trusted partner will develop a customized implementation strategy from the beginning and address any concerns you may have.

Understanding the stages of implementing Odoo Enterprise Resource Planning ( ERP ) software

ERP implementation plan consists of six main phases, each of which has specific objectives. Every company is different, so the stages may vary slightly depending on the company, and they may even overlap. The Odoo ERP system implementation life cycle includes six parts, which are defining action points and planning, then design, through development and testing, all the way to implementation and support.

Determine action points and planning

The Odoo ERP system team has a vital role in the implementation process, as it undertakes various tasks such as developing the project plan, ensuring adequate resource allocation, making key decisions, and managing daily operations. The team usually includes the project manager, and representatives of the relevant departments. The involvement of senior management is necessary to ensure that the necessary resources are provided and the support required to implement the changes in the organization is provided.

Early objectives include understanding the challenges involved and directing them towards the objectives of the Odoo ERP implementation plan , which may have been previously defined in the business case. Detailed analysis includes documenting the workflow and allocating system development accordingly. Choosing a system whether it runs on a local server or the cloud is a big decision influenced by organizational needs and IT capabilities. On-premises requires the purchase and installation of hardware and software within the organization's data center, while cloud options offer faster implementation and lower IT requirements.

ERP & Business Flow Design

During the design phase, detailed requirements and workflow are carefully analyzed to create a comprehensive design for the new Odoo ERP system . This includes crafting more efficient workflows and business processes to take advantage of the system's capabilities. The role of users is vital at this stage as they have valuable insights into existing processes and their involvement ensures they accept the new system and get the most out of it.

Gap Analysis is used to identify minute details and unique aspects that may require specific software customization and custom modifications to match the workflow system. In this context, the team cooperates with implementation partners to identify solutions to address these gaps, to ensure that the system meets the unique needs and goals of the organization.

ERP Development

This phase requires an effort to configure and customize software to support the redesigned processes, an effort that requires attention to effectively meet the organization's needs. The development phase may require full integration with existing business applications in the organization which is an additional effort to enhance harmony between different systems.

In parallel with software development, the team should start preparing training materials to support users in adapting to the new system, which contributes to the success of the application. You should also start planning for the data migration process, which is an important stage that requires focusing on identifying essential data and avoiding unnecessary migration of unimportant historical data.

ERP Testing

System testing and development may occur at the same time. For example, a project team could test specific parts of the system, fix bugs or make necessary modifications based on the results and then retest. Or one unit of the ERP system may be being tested while the other is still under development. Initial testing of basic software functions should be followed by a thorough examination of the system's capabilities, with some employees involved in trying out the system for their daily activities. This phase should also include testing of the data migration and providing initial training to end users.

ERP Implementation

The day the system is finally operational, be prepared to face some potential challenges. There may be some difficulties due to many things that must be coordinated, and some employees may feel confused, despite all the efforts that have been made to prepare them for this change. The project team should be ready to answer any queries, help users understand the system and try to fix any problems that arise. Also, the implementation partner should be there to help if problems occur. It may take some time for users to adapt to the system and begin to see the expected gains in productivity.

Organizations sometimes have different plans regarding implementing all modules of the ERP system together at the same time, as some initially focus on implementing specific modules or processes in priority, and then gradually add the rest. To reduce risk, some organizations may prefer to continue operating legacy systems in conjunction with the implementation of the new ERP system for a period, even though this may increase the overall project cost and reduce the efficiency of the users initially.

Post-implementation support

Supporting the implementation of the ERP system after operation contributes to maintaining user satisfaction and ensuring the desired benefits for the organization are achieved. The project team may still be in charge of the system during this phase, but its focus will shift to listening to the user feedback feed and adjusting the system accordingly. Additional development and configuration by the project team may be required as new features are added to the system, and new employees will also need training on the system.

If you have your ERP system on a local server, you will need to install periodic software updates and possibly upgrade hardware over time. If you use the Odoo ERP system on a cloud server, Odoo may update the software automatically.

Learn how to verify the capabilities and expertise of an ERP systems professional and Odoo partner

Maintain communication with your technology partner and your team across the organization. It is very important to have a knowledgeable technical partner and keep the communication portal open. Here are some useful tips to avoid potential challenges in the future:

1- Take the time necessary to get to know your technical partner well. Ask them to show you that they fully understand your systems – every part of it, from the basics to the finer details and different configurations. If they do not show this understanding, consider looking for another partner to help or even replace the current partner. This decision can seem harsh, but it is essential to realize that expertise in a particular field, such as ERP or point-of-sale systems, does not necessarily mean full understanding of other fields such as cloud computing, SQL database servers , or even SharePoint. What you need is a partner who understands the holistic picture.

2- Before you upgrade, update, or change any tool, application, platform, or system, take the time to speak with your implementation partner and discuss these changes in detail. Tell them what you're trying to achieve, because they may have better or less expensive ways to achieve your goals. Most importantly, ask them for advice on the appropriate strategy for implementing the desired change. For example, recently a customer approached us with a plan to upgrade a platform – and that was a really good decision. If they had not done so, the strategy would not have worked and problems would have awaited them. Thanks to joint cooperation, we succeeded in developing an appropriate strategy to maintain their systems and develop an effective plan to prepare for challenges and ensure business continuity.

3- Consider deciding on a periodic service plan with the technical partner. Although you may find that you can save money by doing everything yourself, it is essential that you consider the potential outcomes. Is it worth this risk? A smarter approach is to set up an agreement with your technology partner that protects you as well as considers your budget. Most of the time you will get maintenance support when needed, and one maintenance call can make a complete return on your monthly investment. In addition, many plans include a specific time period for a consultation with a technical expert to discuss strategy and plan implementation for upcoming projects.

At DIS , our technical team are not only Odoo ERP professionals but also have a comprehensive understanding of the entire Microsoft technology environment , including Microsoft 365, SQL Server, Azure, SAP, Oracle Platforms , and custom technologies for industries such as Retail Points of Sale, Manufacturing and other Odoo Services. With our extensive experience in accounting, business, and a variety of industries, we are ready to help you make smart strategic and tactical decisions about your technology and Odoo ERP implementation.

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