How to successfully implement an ERP in an educational organisation
As the world is progressing towards Mobility and cloud based solutions in almost every domain, education is also not away from its positive impact. Every school around the world is either using one or other kind of solution or looking for implementing one.
Few years back, large mass of schools started adopting offline school management system. It worked well for a good long time. Now as integrated connectivity and access 24*7 became common, and basic necessity, again a trend has started to move towards a more robust and effective cloud based solution.
Considering that there is a big mass of schools all around, many companies are trying to build business around this and so it becomes difficult for a school to choose the most relevant solution for them.
At times, due to the limited information and understanding about product and domain knowledge, many schools end up choosing something which doesn’t work for them. And so they build a perspective that school management software is not that effective and they end up relying on their older offline system or totally traditional paper based system.
However, considering the need of efficient, fast and quality operations at every educational organization, implementing a good cloud based school management software became unavoidable.
Implementing a wrong or not so suitable system will not only result in monetary loss but also will affect the productivity of all the stakeholders associated with it.
So I felt sharing some points to consider before you make a decision to choose a system available out of all the options:
- List down the departments you want to digitize: Having clarity on exactly which departments do you want to digitize is very important. Out of all the operations, based on working patterns, different schools face different level of difficulties in managing operations. So choosing the departments you want to digitize is very important. Though you do not need to have exact requirements, you need to make priorities on the same.
- Appoint an IT person or a small team to evaluate options: Having a person who understands the current software trends in school domain is very important. Choosing a right person and his/her commitment for this will decide a lot on success of it. Appointing a small team is also recommended when you’re a large organization.
- Search for suitable options available and shortlist few of them: Here is very tricky work. How do you shortlist suitable solutions provider is very important. You can follow different methods to shortlist best options available. First you can check with your connected, neighbouring schools or other reputed schools and take feedback and reference from them. Second you can search on Google to find best options available. While shortlisting, you may check the company website, features, team, years of existence. You may check detailed information available on website about different modules. If the information is not enough then those might won’t be good solutions. Prepare a list of shortlisted software you want to evaluate.
- Evaluate shortlisted Software: Out of all the shortlisted software, evaluate each one of them one by one with detailed demo. If possible, try to get free demo access and try to operate on your own. While demo, you may ask solutions for most critical use cases of your day to day operations. You should consider how dynamic the system is, what kind of rapid development the company is doing, how is their support process etc. If you get satisfactory answer then only consider that company into final shortlisted few.
- Free trial: Take free trial for a week or two of the final shortlisted companies. See how quick they are in support for the free trial setup. Are you able to understand and operate effectively. You may find the software a little difficult to understand or operate if you’re new but it won’t take much time to get used to it. However, it’s quality and effectiveness shouldn’t be compromised. while free trial, if you get any doubt or query, ask their support team. See how quickly and effectively they are resolving your queries. You need not to implement all the modules in free trial. You may implement 2-3 most important modules and try to use them fully. By doing this you will get a clear idea on deciding whether to choose the system or not.
- Pricing: There will be a lot of different pricing offered by different companies. This is a very tricky question what’s the right kind of pricing for your school ERP software needs. If you’re expecting quality support and new development regularly with new updates, very low cost solution is ideally not possible because a company needs to invest a lot in development, server infrastructure, offices and their backend operations. So for a good visionary product, a reasonable price is expected to serve customers effectively. I recommend you to invest little more over your budget also if required to implement a good product. Because this will become the face of your organization and single point of communication for all the stakeholders. It will result in a lot of indirect benefits.
- Finalizing deal: Now finally after detailed evaluation and trial demo along with your experience with the companies regarding their services, you need to take the final call on which system to go for. You should consider that the system you’re going to implement will be there for next 5-10 years. So you need to decide based on futuristic vision. I believe, at this stage you will be very clear with which system you should go. You may keep terms like, half payment advance and half after successful implementation of the system if you’ve a doubt on performance or services. However, I believe, implementing a smart ERP and Mobile App solution is as important as having a good building or teachers or anything for that matter.
One thing I would like to let you know that no company will be able to fulfill all of your features requirements the way you want. Because it’s not possible to customize a product for each customer. However, if you’re able to even 80% of you day to day operations completely digital, I guess it would be a great success. Eventually when the product goes ahead, it leads to 100% digitized operations.
Successful implementation of School Management System will not only save your time, money and resources but it will add a lot of value to parents and all the stakeholders. Go ahead and decide on a deadline with your team to find a suitable solution and go digital ASAP. If you need any support or consulting, you may connect MyClassCampus team, we would be happy to assist.