Ah, data. Chances are, your company is swimming in it. Customer names, addresses, invoices, purchase orders, item numbers — it’s enough to boggle the mind. And, if you don’t deal with it effectively before your ERP implementation, it’s enough to take down your new system.
Truth be told, the migration of an organization’s historical and live data to its new ERP system is fundamental to a successful ERP project. But, and here’s the important part, it has to be clean data. And if your employees have created their own ways of inputting information into the legacy system, or if processes haven’t been standardized across functional groups or offices, your data’s gonna be dirty. Join the club.
So what’s an organization to do?
- Start the process early.
- Do not underestimate the complexity of data migration. It is big and hairy and affected by the number of systems your organization is using, the number of sites that are going live, how many end-users are involved with the data, the regulations affecting your industry, and on and on. The sooner you start dealing with your data, the better your chances will be of avoiding disruptions and delays with your ERP implementation.
- Define a data migration strategy.
You won’t get anywhere without a good plan. Accept that and dedicate the time, manpower and resources to figure out the best way for your company to address this issue.
- Make the tough decisions.
There are likely good reasons why different areas have been classifying data differently, and it’s important to talk to department heads and use their input to define a thorough standard for your data — today and in the future. Executive decision-making is key to this process.
- Clean out your closets.
An important part of data migration is the trashing of your old data. The more you try to migrate, the more complicated it becomes so it behooves you to limit your data as much as possible per regulations and company needs. Management must be involved to make critical decisions regarding the usefulness of old information.
- Don’t assume your IT department can “just handle it.”
Data migration simply cannot be effectively “handled” by your IT department, your ERP vendor or any software you purchased. It cannot. The process needs executive support and decision-making and money and time and people. Period. It must not be underestimated.
There are a number of other steps that your organization must take in order to effectively manage this process. Many companies find that third-party consultants often can help limit risk and increase ROI. Learn more about Panorama’s ERP implementation strategies and how we can be of service to your organization.