It’s a 90 degree summer day, your air conditioning is broken and you’re sweating it out at the pool. Do you jump into the deep or wade in at the shallow end? The answer to this question is mostly a product of preference, but when it comes to ERP implementation, the choice should be less about preference and more about strategy.
Running parallel systems, the old with the new, was a common practice before the turn of the century. The idea was this approach mitigated risk, allowed errors to be fixed with less disruption and let employees comfortably learn the new system.
However, modern day ERP systems rely on centralized data management and detailed, highly coordinated and interlinked systems between departments. With staff in all departments relying on the same data set and learning to input new data into one central system, parallel roll out often adds complication and stress.
The project team should focus energy on reviewing the amount of historical data needed from the existing system and transfer that information into the new system after “cleaning” data by eliminating outdated, mis-keyed or duplicate information.
When two systems are run in parallel, the team can spends a lot of manual effort entering the duplicate data. In today’s business world, available manpower is probably more constrained than years ago. If errors are made on data entry, then time is wasted analyzing differences between the systems thereby slowing down day-to-day operations. Further, employees are less likely to embrace a new system if the old one is running and there is no deadline. In addition, if part of a department supports the old system while the remaining departmental staff is training on the new system, those people on the old system may question their longevity with the company. Proper testing during the implementation of the new system should negate the urge to Parallel Process.
Therefore, jump into the pool without reservation by partnering with a firm which has experience with many successful system implementations in various industries.
Want more details about effective ERP implementation? Download our 10 Tips for Successful Implementation Whitepaper. If you’re looking to upgrade or implement an ERP system and need a partner, consider giving Parallel Solutions a call at (440)498-9920. We’ve been in business for over 20 years and will help you choose the ERP system that is right for you.
Mary Jo O'Neill