When starting up the implementation of new ERP software, you and your project team will carefully consider the planning, milestones, resources and everything else required to be well prepared for the go-live. However, circumstances might require your company to reduce the implementation time considerably, pushing you to go live much earlier than you would prefer. I have been through this a number of times and thus speak from a personal experience. These are interesting projects during which you should keep in mind the following issues.
Start with the data conversion on day one. A system is as good as the data it contains. Without this data you are nowhere.
Set priorities even more tight
In a regular implementation, certain topics (e.g., optimizations and new features) are often moved to a subsequent phase because of time and priority. In a quick implementation, it is even more important to set priorities correctly. The new software always offers new features that are of great value in the future. But remember; time is limited. Therefore focus on the highest priority issues.
Get your reports in order
Start as soon as possible in the short period of time you have with setting up the most important reports. These have got to be in order and therefore the data in your ERP system must be in order. From day one! The work method and work instructions must help end users in this process. Because they are important sources of data entry.
Daily processes must run
Focus on normal, daily processes. You should be able to make quotations. Sales orders need to be created and delivered. Inventory levels must be updated. You should be able to send invoices as soon as possible. Hours must be entered. And service orders need to be performed.
If these processes do not run smoothly, you have a big problem. So pay attention to this!
After go-live support
Prior to the go-live, you need to be supported well in order to bring the project to a good end, but after the go-live, support is equally important. Make sure that immediately after going live your implementation partner is there to support you with any questions and issues that arise.
Rely on the implementation partner
Unfortunately you do not have the time to thoroughly test everything. Due to the limited time you have, you will have to trust compeletely on the advice and tips of your implementation partner. They know the software and have experience within your industry. Rely on their experience.
Accept the change
Especially with an industry-specific standard software solution, processes will be different from what you are used to. This requires change and change takes time. Accept the change immediately and implement this in the organization. There is no time to think about it for too long.
Make sure all stakeholders emphasize the importance of the above matters. The project will only be a success if you follow a commonly agreed line.
Peter Gerhardt is Senior Lead Consultant Logistics at Dysel and helps customers achieve maximum results with business software.