Involving key stakeholders in meaningful and empowering ways in the implementation of enterprise-wide software is key to its success. Getting buy-in from not only the key players in management, but those at the front-lines where the data will likely be entered, is critical.
When it comes to top-down buy in, be sure pay attention to influencers amongst both top and middle management. Assure management about the time and resources being dedicated to change and help them understand the relevancy for the firm overall and their individual departments.
Even if benefits of ERP seem obvious compared to a legacy system, selling large-scale change to management is often about the bottom line. This means providing firm numbers and crafting a compelling financial argument, which includes accurate cost and ROI projections.
This often means working with a vendor to fully understand software licensing expense, on premise hosting or cloud costs along with additional costs for implementation, training, and customization. Understand the cost and scope of service to be delivered which is covered via annual vendor maintenance.
The costs of existing processes and systems must also be understood to accurately calculate ROI of a new system. Consider and measure the costs, as much as possible, of time consuming work arounds, duplication of efforts and other time wasters within the current process and system. Then one is able to calculate in financial terms how ERP will increase efficiency and lower costs over the long term.
When it comes to front line employee buy in, communication is key. Staff want to understand the timeline, project scope, and underlying business decisions for the project. Open lines of communication ensure that everyone who has a stake in the implementation is able to understand and contribute to the success of the end result.
After two way communication lines are open between ERP project managers and staff, it’s all about training. Once any concerns are vetted, training will support a staff’s growing positive attitude. This training must be customized for each process in the organization so that staff see it’s directly relevant to their department. Consider training incentives that focus on the positive and use training to highlight key features of ERP and show how it will ultimately save time and make jobs easier in the long term.
We Can Help
A good ERP implementation partner will be there for every step of change management. They will guide you on the needed steps of your project and will work with you throughout the process to help you evaluate the needs of the business. Parallel Solutions works with businesses from planning to implementation to help you make better decisions and work more efficiently on the project without interruption to daily operations.
If you’re considering a software change, or have more questions about cost projections, ROI calculations, Business Process Modelling or other 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 ongoing support.
Mary Jo O'Neill