Why Change Management is critical in ERP implementations

New ERP 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. "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 are 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 supplier, who can guard 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 practice; 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.

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.

Alex Bouwmeester is Project Manager Europe at Dysel and guides the customer from start to finish during the implementation.




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