It’s time to implement your ERP system, and you need a team to oversee the project and get it done in a timely and cost-effective manner. Maybe you’re considering a manager from each department or an IT person to head things up. Maybe you’re hoping the vendor takes the lead and occasional meetings with different department managers will be all that’s needed.
There’s a lot that goes into ERP implementation, and, as such, there should be a lot that goes into team selection. Smaller companies may not have the luxury to assign lots of people to ERP teams and that’s okay. Although we speak of some larger scale strategies, like multiple teams, a team can be one or two people if need be. It’s less about size, or even who has time or inclination, and more about who has the skills needed to effectively elicit change.
Here are some key points to consider when assembling your ERP implementation team(s):
ERP may seem like an IT focused project, but it’s a business wide endeavor. Leaning too heavily on IT for implementation can be a mistake. Leaning too heavily on executives is also problematic if they will not be directly involved in using and managing the ERP system.
It’s best to involve people invested in the outcome and eventual daily process of using the new ERP system. This, of course, involves IT and management, but not exclusively. It’s best to identify who in your organization will influence both the setup and continued use of the system and make sure they have some leadership in the implementation process. This means involving key employees in the departments deeply affected by the change and not just the department managers.
Identify Leadership Skills:
Change management and buy in is a large part of ERP implementation. It’s important to choose emotionally intelligent leaders who can communicate well, troubleshoot and inspire buy in for change. These leaders will also be responsible for project management and training, so organization skills and follow through are also key components. Can your project manager(s) keep focus in meetings, drive decision making to consensus, and listen to and handle concerns diplomatically? These skills will be as essential, if not more essential, than understanding the intricacies of the technology itself.
Assemble Multiple Teams:
Everyone’s time is valuable and limited. Because of this, a project of this scope may be best tackled by several smaller teams, which can have full ownership over different points in the implementation process. Consider who has the time, skills, influence and interest in these different areas when crafting teams:
The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone. We can be your ERP partner to help with these and other essential ERP tasks. If you’re considering a vendor, Give Parallel Solutions a call at (440) 498-9920. We are a full service provider and our experienced staff can help assess all your needs from software to training and support.
As with any long term, valuable goal or project (such as personal health), immediate need and desire often trumps long term pay off even though focusing on the future is beneficial. Investing in new ERP is much the same, since cost is immediate and benefits pay out over the long term.
However, just like with personal health, favoring short term appeasement, remaining reactive and making decisions which favor the here and now can have long lasting, potentially detrimental consequences.
So how do you motivate the leaders within an organization to think about long term benefit?
One very clear way is to proactively highlight the immediate detriments of short-term thinking. Quantifiably measuring the inefficiency caused, day to day, by not having an ERP system or system update will speak volumes to those who need to listen.
Here are three top considerations of the immediate lost benefits of not implementing ERP:
You know ERP will save you time, but you’re not sure how or where. Investing in ERP, anywhere down the road, will require this analysis, so why not start it now? Do your best to calculate time spent in current data activities and then understand the streamlined automation opportunities allowed by implementing ERP.
Now take the time difference and apply a value. The cash value is ultimately defined by labor cost savings, the value of time now able to be spent in revenue generating areas, decreased inventory cost and other specific benefits to your industry.
Making business decisions without the accurate or complete information is unwise. Often those without ERP, or with legacy systems, have trouble compiling and accessing data. This is a lesser noticed, but very problematic circumstance. Accessing information is critical to your company’s success.
ERP software will ensure siloed departments can readily share and compile the necessary metrics for long term business projections and planning. In the more short term, inventory data will be accurate which saves money immediately and often boosts customer service satisfaction.
It’s hard to assign value to better information, but expressing it in monetary terms -- cost associated with inventory overstock, customer order mistakes, and the high price of bad business planning -- is a wise approach.
And in a final push to assess the cost of inefficiency, don’t forget the actual purse strings. Errors and slide backs in an inefficient AR environment can lead to money lost monthly and annually. Consider money owed and not collected, unreconciled bank statements and lines of credit, accounting fees at tax time for cleaning up messes and even capital expenditures that might be mitigated by combining legacy systems and maintenance into one predictable monthly fee.
Curious about other approaches for measuring the benefits of ERP or the inefficiencies of business without ERP? We can be your ERP partner to help with these and other essential ERP tasks. If you’re considering a vendor, or have more questions about cost projections, ROI calculations, Business Process Modelling or other imperative planning, give call Parallel Solutions a call at (440) 498-9920. We are a full service provider and our experienced staff can help assess all your needs from software to training and support.
In America in 2014, 33 million adults and 15 million children lived in food insecure households. Most of us can’t imagine what it is like to begin and end our day without food in our stomachs. However there are 200 foodbanks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs that provide food and services to people each year in the USA.
Exact, supplier of Macola software, makes it a priority to give back to Community Hunger Prevention Non-Profits. That includes not only in Dublin, Ohio where the US headquarters of Exact is based, but also in the communities where Exact hosts events.
During Exact Macola Evolve 2016, the annual customer conference for Macola, $15,000 was donated to the Atlanta Community Food Bank through the Empty Bowls Project. That donation included contributions from Exact as well as partners and customers.
Exact contributions include monetary donations, business software to help streamline operations, and hands-on volunteer opportunities. Exact engages employees, partners, and customers to help support this worthy cause.
Mary Jo O'Neill