New business software can bring great benefits to your organization. At the same time, it has a huge impact on the organization and requires adjustment from all employees. Therefore, it is of crucial importance to manage this change well.
Implementing business software
"Implementation" is the assurance of processes in a software solution, processes are formed by (prescribed / used) methods and executed by your people. Often these processes are formed in the past (‘this is how we always do it’) or a consequence of the (im)possibilities of your current software solution. The most difficult step in every implementation is "letting go" of this process, to view it from a distance and to determine how it can be changed (improved). It is your people who execute the processes and will undergo the change.
A third party who is familiar with "best practices" can contribute enormously to actually going to change things in your company. The outcome of this process is secured in the software solution. If the software partner for your industry has already defined optimized processes you start the ERP implementation with a head start.
This process will only succeed if it is properly supervised by both you as a customer (managing the change / mindset of your employees) and by your software partner, who can protect you against pitfalls. In sum, we often refer to this as Change Management. It is important that you and your software partner give high priority to Change Management during the implementation of ERP software.
Redefining business processes
New software will affect your business processes. Select a software partner who is able to help you improve the current business processes. The consultants working with you should not only have knowledge of the software they implement, but they also need extensive industry knowledge. Only then they are qualified to help you optimize your business processes. Rely on best practices; an experienced software partner that knows your industry well has processed this knowledge and experience into the workflow of the software solution. This way reforming the business processes in many cases leads to higher efficiency, achieving your business goals and it provides you a solid basis for future developments.
"Change management is without a doubt one of the most underrated topics of an ERP software implementation."
Guidance during the implementation
During the implementation your employees are first introduced to the new software and, in many cases, the changed business processes. By choosing a user-friendly software solution your people will recognize and test the processes faster and easier. You may want to choose to first train a group of motivated key users who are very familiar with the processes in their departments. They can then train the other users. During the implementation it is important to spend a lot of attention to internal (company-wide) communication and you should frequently organize meetings for this; change requires excellent communication.
Do not underestimate change management!
Change management is without a doubt one of the most underrated topics of an ERP software implementation. Where usually a lot of time is spent on setting up requirements, the selection process of the software and the partner, and discussing and defining processes, too little attention is paid to the change (and its impact on the organization and people). This poses a serious threat to the success of the project. Therefore, do not underestimate the importance of change management. Communicate openly and transparently, show understanding for employees who experience difficulties with the change and convince the entire organization of the importance and added value of the new software.