How Much Organizational Change Management?
The most challenging aspect of a global digital transformation might be aligning corporate culture around a singular goal. You must account for cultural differences and language differences.
Executive support is especially important during global projects as local entities may be extremely resistant to globalized processes. People can’t embrace what they don’t understand, so you must communicate the reasons for transformation and how it will benefit employees and the organization as a whole.
Organizational readiness assessments are also critical to global projects. You can assess risk by analyzing your organizational attributes as well as the characteristics of proposed changes.
How Much Software Customization?
Does globalizing your business processes reduce the amount of software customization you’ll need? Sometimes, but not always.
While you may be standardizing your processes based on a global standard, you’re not necessarily standardizing your processes based on software functionality. However, there is typically an overlap between globalized processes and processes that are standardized based on software functionality, as they both mostly involve non-value add processes. It’s probably safe to say that more globalization usually equals less customization (but more organizational change management).
Another strategy for reducing customization is to allow flexibility in each location’s choice of software and vendor. This can make globalization more difficult than usual but not impossible.
Defining a Support Structure
While you’re determining which of your processes should be globalized versus localized, you should consider whether your support structure will be globalized, localized or customized. Many companies choose to centralize ERP support and helpdesk functions, while others choose to offer decentralized support to cater to diverse locations. The sooner you define a support structure, the sooner end-users will adopt new processes. This is true for both on-premise and cloud ERP implementations.
Defining a Master Data Strategy
Master data is an important but overlooked aspect of the global vs. local conundrum. Not only do you need to cleanse and migrate master data, but you need to define how it will be managed going forward. For example, will local offices have the flexibility to manage their own local chart of accounts, or will changes require centralized and global governance? The same should be decided for other types of master data, including customer, supplier and inventory master records.
Final Piece of Advice
This may be your first global digital transformation, but it’s not ours. Our digital transformation and ERP systems experts understand the challenges of both globalization and localization and how to find the right balance based your organization’s unique objectives.