A few weeks back, we highlighted some of the lessons shared by one of our clients that had recently engaged in an ERP selection and implementation process. In the podcast interview, this particular client shared several lessons learned from the selection process.
In this same podcast interview, this same client shared additional lessons learned from the company’s ERP implementation process. As it turns out, evaluating and selecting the right ERP software solution was only half the battle; the other half of the battle was effectively implementing the selected software.
Below are some of the highlights and lessons shared in the interview:
- Focus on organizational change management. At first, the client didn’t realize how important organizational change management would be to the ERP implementation. However, it quickly became clear that this would be a critical success factor for the project. We helped the client deploy a comprehensive organizational change plan, beginning with identifying gaps between processes in the old legacy systems relative to the ones in the new ERP system. These process and organizational changes were communicated repeatedly to employees, culminating in a conference room pilot and end-user training process to help end-users become comfortable with the software. The client also found it effective to clearly communicate to employees that there was no turning back to the old system and way of running the business.
- Ensure effective project controls and manage scope. One of the challenges of the implementation was managing the scope of the project. Because the company had a custom legacy system with an organizational mindset that requested functionality could be developed on the fly, it was very tempting to give in to the desires of end-users to change the software rather than leverage out-of-the-box functionality. It took a great amount of discipline to ensure that the company leveraged best practices from the software while at the same time changing the software where applicable to accommodate the company’s competitive advantages.
- Focus on business processes and workflows. Not only were business processes in the new system clearly defined and documented, but employees repeatedly simulated the system against these business processes until they got it right. End users and employees were involved early in the ERP selection and implementation process to clearly define, test, and train on the business processes and workflows of the new system.
- Go-live is not the finish line. The company decided early on that they were not simply going to implement the software and call it a day; instead, they viewed their ERP initiative as a continuous improvement initiative. Once the software was implemented, they constantly measured benefits and made improvements to the system and associated processes. Some of the key business benefits realized by the client include streamlined business processes, more consistent standards, easier employee training on the new system, and better customer service.
- Independent ERP consultants are crucial to the success of the ERP implementation. The company found that involving outside ERP experts was instrumental in making the ERP initiative successful. In this case, ERP consultants from Panorama Consulting Group provided the expertise. This allowed the company to leverage outside expertise, manage the ERP vendor, and ultimately reduce overall project costs while increasing business benefits. In addition, this outside help enabled the company to embark on the ERP selection and implementation initiative without disrupting day-to-day operations.
These are just handful of lessons shared in this informative interview with a client who recently completed an effective ERP implementation. Click on the audio player below to listen to the full interview with the client.